Just a siren or ringing bell is no longer able to summon a response from the police. However if you would like the peace-of-mind of a guaranteed police response this can be achieved without breaking the bank.
There are certain rules and regulations to adhere to but the process is really quite simple. There are two factors to consider and understand; Confirmed Alarms and types of signalling available.
Confirmed alarms advances the detection arrangements of a conventional home-security system (click here to download our handy guide to domestic alarms). The police are keen to eradicate false calls to burglar alarms and as such have adopted a policy of only responding to ‘Confirmed Alarms’. This is achieved by the system being able to send differing signals to the Alarm Receiving Centre. When the alarm system is triggered then an initial unconfirmed alarm-signal is sent.
This signal can only be passed to the homeowner and any authorised keyholders and at this stage the police’s assumption is that this may not be a genuine alarm. When a different, second detector activates then a ‘confirmed Signal’ is transmitted and the police are immodestly actioned. This works on the principle that a confirmed signal is almost always likely to be genuine and therefor keeps police fals-alarm statistics to an absolute minimum. The effect this has on the design on the system is that we may specify a few more detectors than a ‘Bells Only’ system to ensure we achieve a speedy police response.
Types of Signalling
There are several different methods available of transmitting the signal to the receiving centre.
The simplest and most cost-effective being a digital-communicator (not unlike a modem) sends signals via the phone line but cannot communicate if the line is cut. It’s cost-effective pricing makes this a popular choice for many homeowners.
Redcare (Classic or GSM)
Classic Redcare again uses the phone line but sends a continuous pulse down the line. If the line is cut keyholders can be made aware but it would not result in a police response. RedCare GSM adds GSM signalling to Classic Redcare ensuring the system can continue to signal even after a linecut.
DualCom GPRS and GSM
DualCom is an alternative to RedCare. Its primary signalling path is via the phone line (like a digital communicator) but also offers a choice of secondary signalling paths using either GPRS or GSM networks.
The Redcare GSM and Dualcom offer ‘Dual Path Signalling’ with each there are various Grades available (e.g. 2,3,4) The higher the grade the more secure the unit. Essentially the system checks more frequently to ensure the device is still active (known as polling). Therefore a signalling fault would be triggered much quicker on a Grade 4 system than a Grade 2.