Monitored Security: How Can You Feel Safer at Home?
Discover the benefits of protecting your home with a professionally monitored security system. You can feel safer at home and when your intruder alarm and CCTV video surveillance systems are covered 24/7 by a highly trained team.
In this article, we’ll explain what monitored security is and why it is so important to ensure your home is being protected. We’ll also share the key advantages of implementing a professionally monitored security system to protect your family and your assets. You’ll learn that it can help you feel safer about your security coverage, give you more control, and may even save you money in the long run.
Before we learn about monitored security for your home, let’s first consider the main threats to households and families in the UK today.
What is the main security threat to UK households?
We all want to feel safer in our homes and feel assured that our assets are protected when we’re away. More people than ever are installing CCTV cameras and alarms, yet in the UK, burglary is still one of the most frequently committed crimes – a burglary occurs every 106 seconds (ONS). Shockingly 58% of burglaries occur when someone is home, which means your home is actually more likely to be targeted while you’re there – that’s a concern when most families have spent even more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
At an average cost of £3,030 per household, burglaries and other crimes like vandalism can be costly. Even if you have insurance, the costs of excess fees and time spent trying to replace goods that are stolen are burdens we as security service providers sadly see too often. Without a doubt, the biggest toll is the stress and the fear that thieves leave behind. A survey by Confused.com also found that more than one in six (15%) burglary victims have fallen prey to being burgled three times or more.
That same study also found (61%) of Brits believe that having an alarm system installed could be a measure to help stop their house from being burgled but reveals that this might not be the case if the system is old and could actually entice a burglar to that property.
The need to install safe and reliable security such as intruder alarms and CCTV to protect your property has always been and remains prevalent. Next, you’ll discover just how much these security systems have evolved with advances in smart technology and professional security monitoring services to enhance your protection.
What is monitored security?
Security technology has undergone a major evolution in the past decade, like most technologies, thanks to smarter hardware and software applications. The era of smart technology means we can now manage so many aspects of our lives, including home security, with the help of a simple smartphone app.
But what do we mean by monitored security and what are the main benefits? When we talk about professionally monitored home security, the main options are:
Alarm monitoring and verification – Connecting your intruder alarm system to a professional alarm response centre (ARC) enables you to extend your security coverage to a professional team. They’ll be on hand to help verify and respond to any alerts when an alarm is triggered in your home. They can also alert the police in the event of a confirmed threat.
Alarm monitoring with police response – Your intruder alarm system can be given a unique reference number (URN) which can help to improve police response times when an alert is raised.
CCTV monitoring – Operatives in an ARC can use video footage to help them visually verify intruders in your home. They can also monitor the footage and even provide details to the police in the event of a confirmed threat.
How does monitored security work?
First, you need to ensure that your home security systems are suitable for remote security monitoring. That means that the equipment is up to date and professionally installed to ensure that everything has been set up correctly.
Then your system needs to be connected to a professional ARC. Traditionally, security monitoring service providers relied on a phone line to connect your security systems (intruder alarms or CCTV video surveillance) to their alarm response centres. However, digital connections are now preferred in light of BT’s plans to close its analogue network (PSTN) – here’s a helpful guide on what’s happening with BT’s PSTN switch off.
Once your security system has been connected, you’ll receive 24/7 security coverage from your monitored security provider. They’ll be able to perform tasks such as verifying alarms, alerting keyholders, and alerting the police when required (as previously mentioned).
It’s really that simple!
What are the benefits of having monitored security systems?
Of course, the main priorities for installing any security systems in your home are to help you feel assured that the people and assets within your home are safe and secure. That doesn’t change with professionally monitored security, if anything, the point is to elevate the protection you receive. With that said, there are three main benefits to a smart home security system:
- 24/7 security coverage
- Reducing nuisance false alarms
- Faster response times if an alert is raised
- Smarter and more efficient maintenance of your systems
- It’s simple to manage
24/7 security coverage
We’ve already discussed how monitored security works, with 24/7 security coverage being one of the major benefits. For most people, it gives them peace of mind to know that someone is always on hand to respond to their alarms, whether they’re at home or away.
Professional ARC’s are always in operation too, whatever the day or occasion. So you can rest assured that you’re protected all of the time.
Reducing nuisance false alarms
At CIA, we know unfortunately that alarms can become a nuisance when they’re frequently triggered. In some cases, people don’t even bother to arm their security systems because of it! Monitored security can help to alleviate this pain, so you can keep your system on – after all, what good is a security system if it can’t raise an alert?
Professional ARCs use something called sequential verification to help confirm whether an alarm has been triggered falsely or if there is a genuine threat. This can be achieved in a couple of ways.
To sequentially confirm an alarm, at least two independent detectors must be activated within 30-60 minutes. The two detectors must be either:
- Different technologies which are permitted to have overlapping areas of coverage (e.g., a door contact and a passive infrared sensor (PIR)); or
- The same single technology in two separate areas (e.g., two PIRs in separate areas of your home.
Using sequential information, professionally monitored security operators can help to filter out which alarms are likely to be false and which ones may require action, such as calling the keyholder (maybe you) or alerting the police.
Faster response times if an alert is raised
In the UK the police place a higher priority on confirmed alarm calls, which makes sense when you consider there is likely to be more chance of an actual crime taking place in this instance. With that in mind, Security providers are not allowed to call the police in the UK if an intruder alarm is not confirmed, according to the framework set by The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC).
So, you know that if an intruder was detected in your home, any alarm sent via your professional security monitoring provider is likely to be prioritised by your local police agency.
If you combine professional monitoring for your intruder alarm system with CCTV video surveillance, your ARC operator could provide extra details to the police such as the appearance of an intruder and where they may be in your home. This could hopefully, lead to a more satisfactory resolution in apprehending them.
Smarter and more efficient maintenance of your systems
Knowing when your home security system needs maintenance can be guesswork unless you know what to look out for. Even then, by the time you’ve noticed your system isn’t working, it may be too late.
With a professionally monitored security system, your service provider can raise an alert not just when your system is working (when an intruder is detected) but also when it isn’t.
Operators in your ARC can receive a signal when a fault is detected in your system with information as to what is wrong. Then you’ll be sent a notification to arrange for an engineer to come to take a look.
The good news is that most of the diagnoses may already have been done before an engineer comes, so when they do arrive, they can focus on fixing the issue. This saves on unnecessary call-outs and helps to keep your system running.
It’s simple to manage
By now you may have realised that a big benefit to having a professionally monitored security system is that it enables better automation and allows your service provider to take care of your home security.
From installation to maintenance, and monitoring your system, you can live more freely knowing your home security is being taken care of. Plus, whenever you do want to check what’s going on or manage your system, it can all be controlled with a simple smartphone app.
How can CIA help protect your home?
At CIA, we offer simple home protection packages with options to suit your specific needs. All of our packages include the latest security equipment and professional monitoring as standard – we operate two NSI Gold Accredited alarm response centres in the UK. We can also take care of installation and maintenance for you!