Alarms and Intruder Detection Systems
"Alarms do put me off; it’s easier to go somewhere else. I never used to break in anywhere with a light on or anywhere with an alarm. For every farm with an alarm there’s another twenty without."
There is no doubt that an intruder detection system combined with an alarm is an effective deterrent. Studies have shown that your site is far less likely to be targeted if you have a correctly fitted and maintained alarm system.
There are several types of detection systems - suitable for farm uses - that are used to activate an alarm, for example:
- Magnetic contacts (fitted to doors, windows or gates)
- Passive or Active Infrared to protect internal spaces
- Microwave systems
- Vibration/audio detectors
More sophisticated systems might employ buried electromagnetic detectors or combine CCTV with video motion detection software.
Whatever detection system is employed it should be reliable, fit for purpose and linked to an alarm system which will alert the site operator or the police (though an approved alarm receiving centre).
There are basically two types of alarm system:
- Type A. Monitored alarm – this will, in addition to sounding an audible alarm (if required) also send a signal to an alarm receiving company who will, in turn, notify the police or key holders. Systems should conform to BS 4737 (BS EN50131) and comply with the ACPO policy on Security Systems if a police response is required.
- Type B. Audible only – this will sound upon activation serving to deter an intruder and attract attention. Systems should conform to BS 4737 or BS 6799. D-I-Y systems are reasonably priced and can easily be fitted. They should conform to BS 6707.
It is important that you check the background and accreditation of an alarm company before discussing your security requirements. As with any contract of work or maintenance you should protect yourself by ensuring that:
- The system reaches the required British Standards
- You check for 'hidden' costs such as servicing and maintenance
- You check for call-out costs and the provision of emergency attendance
- You obtain at least 3 quotes from reputable companies
- You do not accept a verbal contract
The police will NOT attend an activation of an audible-only alarm unless there are other factors which tend to support it as a genuine alarm (i.e. the sound of breaking glass reported).
Any alarm system should have at least two keyholders, who are familiar with the alarm controls and can grant access to the protected area. They should be contactable by ‘phone and available to attend within 20 minutes.
Contact your local Crime Prevention Officer if you require additional guidance or advice about installing an alarm.