Concise Guide to Alarm Monitoring Services

Concise Guide to Alarm Monitoring Services
Concise Guide to Alarm Monitoring Services
This guide provides contact, administrative and alarm response information in a concise format and is supplemental
to the full Custodian Administrative and Operational Booklet.
It is intended as a quick reference guide to fire & intruder
alarm monitoring for Alarm Companies and their clients’ and
not a replacement of the full booklet.
Terms in this document:
‘Company’ - the organisation that provides service and
maintenance to alarm systems or pays for the monitoring
service, e.g. Alarm Company, National Account or End User.
‘ARC’ – Alarm Receiving Centre (NSI Gold, BS5979, Cat. II)
Crocus Street, The Meadows, Nottingham, NG2 3EJ
Head Office
Mon-Fri 08.30-17.00
T 0844 879 1701
F 0844 879 1709
Sales Hub
Mon-Fri 08.30-17.00
T 0844 879 1702 Opt 1
F 0844 879 1708
Credit Control
Mon-Fri 08.30-17.00
T 0800 028 3082
ARC Admin. Dept.
Mon-Fri 08.30-17.00
T 0844 879 1704
F 0844 879 1705
Touch helpdesk
SmartPac Helpdesk
Mon-Fri 08.30-17.00
T 0844 879 1712
ARC Notts
Operations (24/7)
T 0844 879 1703
T 0844 879 1706
ARC Leeds, 5 Canal Place, Armley Road, Leeds, LS12 2DU
Operations (24/7)
T 0844 879 1710
T 0844 879 1711
RVRC Crocus Street, The Meadows, Nottingham, NG2 3EJ
Operations (24/7)
T 0844 879 1911
F 0844 879 1912
Mon-Fri 08.30 – 17.00
T 0844 879 1007
F 0844 879 1708
Mentor, Unit 10 Pennine Bus Park, Longbow Close, Bradley
Huddersfield, HD2 1GQ
T 0844 879 1690
09.00-17.00 (Support)
F 0844 879 1691
09.00-17.30 (Sales)
Prior to connecting systems to our ARC's for the first time
you will need to have agreed a monitoring contract with us.
Should a contract not be in place please contact our sales
To provide consistency and minimise errors it is preferred
that all applications for monitoring, subsequent data changes
and cancellations are submitted electronically via our standard SmartForms which are available to authorised Service
Companies via SmartPac or TOUCH - click on these links or
see our website for further
CSL 154, Issue 2, January 2015
Page 1 of 3
We aim to process all forms received before 12 noon on a
weekday during the same working day and forms received
after 12 noon, at weekends or bank holidays, the next working day. (Normal working day being 0830 - 1700 Mon to Fri
excluding English Bank Holidays).
Application for Monitoring - Our ARC Admin. Dept. should
be in receipt of the appropriate application form at least 24
hours in advance of commissioning the system and longer
periods where third party signalling services are required, i.e.
Redcare, Dualcom, etc.
Commissioning Systems - To commission the system contact our ARC Admin. Dept., identify the system you require to
commission and request that it is placed “in-service” and “ontest”.
Test each alarm and restore signal, including single and dual
path failures, call us on completion to confirm each alarm
signal and restore condition has been received in the same
order as sent.
Check all proposed alarm responses meet your end user’s
expectations and provide any missing information that may
inhibit our ability to respond to an alarm correctly, i.e. Contacts/Keyholders, Police URN’s, etc.
On completion of commissioning, provided you have not
instructed us to take the system “out-of-service”, a graded
commissioning certificate and report will be issued based
upon the completeness of information supplied and satisfactory transmission of all required test signals.
More detailed instructions in respect of commissioning particular communication products and the bulk transfer-in of
systems can be found within the Custodian Administrative
and Operational Booklet.
Contact/Keyholder details, site telephone & postcodes can
be amended through SmartPAC or TOUCH or by submission of the appropriate form to our ARC Admin. Dept.
Cancellations, URN and Alarm Response Plan changes will
only be accepted in writing on the appropriate form directly to
our Administration Department.
We will accept verbal requests from customers (following
password validation) for Contact/Keyholder, password or
open/close schedule changes.
We will always try to accommodate verbal requests from
engineers, (following engineer code validation) but not for
complex changes.
Our ARC provides various reports via SmartPAC, TOUCH or
on a request basis (daily/weekly/monthly) to assist alarm
companies in managing their alarm systems monitored at
Custodian ARC’s.
It is vital that the alarm information we hold is complete and
accurate to ensure a correct response to alarm conditions. It
is therefore important that the reports we send are reviewed
to identify and amend any missing or incorrect details.
We would also recommend you carry out, as a minimum, an
annual audit of your Contacts/Keyholders, URN’s, alarm response, etc. and as a matter of course review all data held
and system status at maintenance and corrective site visits.
Signal Priorities - All alarms are assigned a priority as indicated in the table below. In the event of multiple alarm signals, only the highest priority alarm will be processed.
Confirmed Intruder
Line Fault
We can only act on alarm signals received at the ARC. We
accept no liability for signals lost for whatever reason by
suppliers or their agents.
Filtering Policy - Alarm signals are filtered in accordance with
ACPO & ACPOS Policies, BS5979 & BS8243 or where not
specified by industry standards for the periods stated for the
type of alarm event below. The purposes of a filter period is
to prevent the calling of emergency services and keyholders
unnecessarily whilst ensuring that should an applicable second signal be received during this period that the signal is
upgraded to a confirmed alarm on release from the filter or
aborted in the event of mis-operation or applicable restore
Mis-Operation Signals - All systems should either send an
unset/set (open/close) signal or be capable of generating a
secondary signal to indicate that the alarm system has been
Where we are unable to identify whether the system is
set/unset (open/closed) we will action as "closed" and then
respond to alarms in the following way:
All intruder alarm conditions are delayed in accordance with
the relevant agency policy, if the ARC receives an open or
abort signal prior to processing the alarm it will automatically
be aborted.
Open/Close with monitored line communications - Where the
communication path is monitored, alarm transmission
equipment must be programmed to send open & close signals to the ARC. If the status of the alarm system is unknown
we will be unable to pass incidents that involve transmission
of faults to the emergency services.
Alarm Response Performance - We aim to meet the standards for contacting the emergency services as set out in
BS5979 for Category II ARC’s:
Fire - 30 seconds for 90% of signals received.
PA - 30 seconds for 80% & 60 seconds for 98.5% signals
Intruder - 90 seconds for 80% of signals and 180 seconds for
98.5% of signals received.
These targets are exclusive of any imposed filtering period
and exceptional circumstances such as extreme weather
conditions and the associated abort signals received under
these conditions.
Fire Alarm Processing - Fire alarms are processed In accordance with the appropriate Fire Authority Policy and the
table below indicates our default response to these signals.
Type of Alarm
Fire Alarm none (CFOA) region
Fire Alarm (CFOA) region
Fire Alarm no Brigade
Action taken
Fire Brigade & Contacts
Premises, Fire Brigade & Contacts (if required)
Premises or Contacts
Hold-up Alarm Processing - Hold-up alarms are normally
extended directly to the Police without delay provided a URN
is in place, Police response has not previously been lost and
the alarm confirmation requirements of BS8243 are to apply.
Type of Alarm
Hold-up Alarm
(confirmation is not required)
Unconfirmed Hold-up Alarm
(with sequential confirmation)
Unconfirmed Hold-up Alarm
(with sequential confirmation & telephone call back)
Unconfirmed Hold-up Alarm
(with audio or video confirmation)
Sequentially confirmed Hold-up Alarm
Page 2 of 3
Contacts Only
1. Call Premises
2. Police or Contacts
1. Premises (via Audio
or Video) and/or
2. Police or Contacts
Police only as confirmed
Intruder Alarm Processing - All police calling systems must
have a unique reference number (URN) for the ARC to be
able to dispatch to the Police.
All new intruder alarm systems and systems that have had
police response withdrawn, but now require police response
reinstating, must incorporate confirmation technology. Intruder alarms are normally filtered for a period of 2 minutes.
Type of Alarm
Unconfirmed Intruder Alarm
Confirmed Intruder Alarm when closed
within re-arm period or audio or visual
Confirmed Intruder Alarm when open
Unconfirmed Intruder alarm followed by
an Open or Abort signal
Action taken
Premises or Contacts
Police and Contacts
(as confirmed)
Premises or Contacts
No action taken
Path Failure Processing - The response to path failure conditions changes when the system is set or unset as described
within the table below. Single path failure conditions of
EN501131 grade 2 and 3 systems are normally filtered for 60
minutes and grade 4 systems for 2 minutes.
Type of Alarm
Single path failure
Single path failure
Dual path failure
Dual Path Failure
Single Path failure with a single intruder or vice versa
Action taken
Premises or
Premises or
Police and Contacts
(as confirmed)
Police and Contacts
(as confirmed)
Faults and Advisory Alarm Processing - A selection of the
standard response to common fault and advisory alarms
signals is stated below. Power fail, low battery, trouble and
tamper conditions are normally filtered for 10 minutes and
system fault conditions for 60 minutes.
Type of Alarm
AC Mains Fail
Open or closed
Low Battery Grade 4
Low Battery Grade 2 &
3 & Non Graded
System Fault, Trouble,
Tamper & Other
System Fault, Trouble,
Tamper & Other
Zone Omit following an
intruder alarm within
the previous 60 minutes
Open or closed
Action taken
Premises or Contacts
Open or closed
By auto report only
Premises or Contacts
Contacts only
Contacts only
Zone Omit following a
hold-up alarm within the
previous 20 hours
CSL 154, Issue 2, January 2015
Action taken
Police only
Contacts only
Type of Alarm
Late to Close – LTC
(more than 30 minutes
after scheduled closing
Early to Open – ETO
(more than 30 minutes
before scheduled opening time)
Action taken
Premises or Contacts
Premises or Contacts
Calling Contacts/Keyholders - In accordance with ACPO
requirements there should be a minimum of two keyholders,
unless a 24-hour keyholding service is utilised, who have
transport available and reside within 20 minutes travelling
distance of the protected premises.
If Contacts/Keyholders are unavailable at the time of the
incident we may make further attempts to contact them up to
one hour after the event.
If we are unable to speak to an authorised Contact/Keyholder we will normally leave a text message for the
first Contact/Keyholder and notify the Company, the next
working day by report, that no one was available.
Answer phones are not normally an acceptable form of contact.
When the ARC initiates the telephone call to the Contact/Keyholder we normally ask for the named person but we
don’t require a Password at this point.
Once legitimate contact has been made, the incident will be
closed. Should they decline to attend the premises it will be
their responsibility to contact another authorised Contact/Keyholder.
It is recommended that contacts have mobile communications to ensure they are available at all times and to permit
updates to be passed should the alarm status change whilst
attending an alarm call.
The response to an alarm event by the ARC may be made
by an ARC agent telephoning the authorised Contact/Keyholder or as part of an automated process.
Our ARC uses non-geographic telephone numbers therefore
Contacts/Keyholders should not restrict calls from these
Calling Premises - If the premise’s number is required to be
contacted as part of the call plan the number will normally be
rung for up to one minute. If an answer phone is encountered we will not leave a message and will continue with the
call plan. We normally request a password to verify the identity of an authorised user for security related incidents, for
none security related incidents a password is not normally
TOUCH – engineers can place systems on/off test via their
smartphone, PDA or tablet and view alarm history and test
results in real-time. Register at:
SmartTEST (VRT) – an automated telephone system that
enables engineers to place systems on/off test, extend test
periods and receive vocalised results. To register contact
your local ARC, then use the SmartTEST number listed on
page 1.
Via an operator – call your local ARC number listed in the
contact section of this guide.
End user Fire Test – via SmartTEST (following set up via
the local ARC) or via an operator on a dedicated line Nottingham: 0906 802 0160 or Leeds: 0906 802 0162 (Calls
cost 60p per minute from a standard BT line other suppliers
may vary, mobiles may be higher).
CSL 154, Issue 2, January 2015
On-test expiry conditions - all test periods expire automatically at the end of the period set on commencement. If the
ARC monitors restore conditions and a test expires but the
system has not been restored and remains in alarm, such
conditions will normally be reported to the Company so they
can be reviewed. The ARC will not accept any liability for
tests that expire with unrestored alarm conditions.
Page 3 of 3
If you subscribe to this service, we can issue a remote restore dependant on the following criteria:
Remote Restore (Alarm was not Policed)
The end user has been identified by predetermined
The alarm was caused by client error or was a genuine
There is no requirement for an engineer’s visit.
Remote Restore (Alarm was Policed)
The end user has been identified by predetermined
The alarm was caused by client error or the cause is
known not to be with the alarm system
There is no requirement for an engineer’s visit
The number of alarms policed has not exceeded two
within the last 12 Months.
It is ARC policy not to remotely restore a genuine alarm that
has been extended to the police due to the possibility of the
end user’s insurance cover being invalidated if it is subsequently found that the alarm system is not fully working.
Out of Hours Emergency Demand Service Calls - We
offer, under a separate contract, an additional chargeable
service to the Company for the handling of service requests
from their clients outside of normal working hours. This service is available from 17:00hrs until 08:30hrs weekdays, all
weekends and recognised Bank Holidays.
Keyholder Care – Is a chargeable service offering peace of
mind to those responsible for providing a duty of care to keyholders. If the keyholder fails to respond to the ARC within a
set time window the chosen emergency contact will be alerted.
Lone Worker Monitoring – Our Leeds ARC is inspected
and approved by the NSI for the monitoring of Lone Worker
Devices to BS8484. We can provide monitoring of approved
Lone Worker Devices and pass verified alarms to the emergency services or an emergency responder.
Telecare Monitoring Services - Our Leeds ARC is inspected and approved to the Telecare Service Association Codes
of Practice under the scope of recognition for the remote
monitoring of Telecare services. Telecare is a service that
enables people, especially the elderly or vulnerable, to live
independently in their own home and to call for assistance at
any time of the day or night if required.
Mentor CASH - (Contract Administration and Service
History) is a business management solution for security installers. It allows installers to run their business from sales
enquiry to install and billing and has real-time links to engineer handheld devices and our ARC’s.
Remote Video Response (RVR) - offers a comprehensive
selection of CCTV related services by using a wide range of
transmission technologies, including: remote surveillance;
remote verification; remote service; remote interactive;
remote control; remote tours.
Contact your Account Manager for further details.
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