As a business owner, protecting your assets, employees, and premises is a top priority. Intruder alarms play a crucial role in safeguarding your business against thefts, break-ins and vandalism, however, simply installing an intruder alarm system is often not enough. To maximise its effectiveness and comply with your insurance requirements, business owners must be familiar with intruder alarm compliance and insurance regulations. In this blog, we’ll take you through our business owner’s guide to intruder alarm system compliance and insurance coverage, to aid the safety and security of your business.
An intruder alarm system is an effective solution for safeguarding a business and its premises. However, if certain compliance standards are not met, it may lead to faults in the system or it not working effectively. In addition, if a business’s insurance requirements are not met it could mean that any claims in the event of an incident be void.
Intruder alarm systems can be a significant investment into a business’s security, and therefore it’s best to get it right from the off. Many may be tempted with a cheaper alarm quotation, but fail to notice that it doesn’t comply with industry standards or adhere to your insurance regulations. It is therefore important to understand compliance surrounding commercial intruder alarms and your business insurance to ensure you have the correct intruder alarm installed and your insurance provider is satisfied.
Intruder alarm compliance refers to the adherence to specific regulations and standards set by governing bodies or insurance providers. Compliance requirements may vary depending on the nature of the business, its location, and the type of alarm system installed. The key aspects of intruder alarm compliance include:
As a business owner, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the relevant industry standards and regulations surrounding intruder alarms and those for your industry or business type. There are several British Standards that cover the design, installation, maintenance and monitoring requirements of intruder alarm systems:
BS 8243 and PD 6662 – apply to the design, installation and maintenance of intruder alarm systems
BS 8591 and BS EN 50518 – apply to alarm receiving centres (ARCs) receiving signals from intruder alarms.
Any business can claim to comply with the relevant British Standards, however, some organisations work to enforce these claims in the form of providing official accreditation, especially for security installers. The two main inspectorate bodies for business intruder alarms that are recognised by the police are:
Both organisations outline stringent standards that need to be met and carry out extensive audits to ensure all accreditors are providing high-quality, compliant services and can be trusted intruder alarm service providers. It is therefore recommended to choose an alarm installer with a valid accreditation to ensure intruder alarm compliance as well as meet your insurance requirements.
Depending on your type of business, risk level and insurance requirements, you may need to choose between an unmonitored or monitored intruder alarm system. Monitored alarms are connected to an alarm receiving centre (ARC), and can provide faster response times and increased security. We recommend that you consult with your insurance provider to determine the most appropriate type of intruder alarm for your business.
Regular Maintenance & Testing
To remain compliant, business owners also need to carry out ongoing and regular maintenance and testing of their intruder alarm systems. A maintenance schedule helps to ensure your system remains in optimal working condition and regular testing helps identify any faults or malfunctions promptly.
In addition to remaining compliant, it’s also vital for business owners to understand how intruder alarm systems impact insurance coverage. When you take out insurance for your business premises, you will usually be required to agree to a set of warranties. If you don’t adhere to these, your insurer will no longer be liable and you are unlikely to be compensated if you make a claim.
Insurance providers may have specific requirements regarding intruder alarms when it comes to your coverage. Ensure your alarm system meets its criteria and inform them of any changes or upgrades to ensure your business remains covered. Typical insurance requirements include:
An insurance provider may stipulate that your instruder alarm be installed and regularly maintained by an accredited security provider. They may require a minimum level of accreditation such as NSI Gold.
There may be a requirement on the usage of the intruder alarm, which if not followed may make any claims void. For example, setting the intruder alarm when the premises is empty or out of working hours, as well as not leaving any alarm code details within the property.
A certain type of alarm may need to be installed for your insurance policy to be effective. Make sure you have the right type of intruder alarm that satisfies your insurer, whether that be a monitored system or a simple bell box.
If anything surrounding your business’s security changes, then your insurer is likely to stipulate that you informed them immediately. They will need to know whether you upgrade the alarm system, change the maintenance contract, or put in place monitoring.
Many business insurance policies will require a site’s intruder alarm to comply with certain standards, such as the British Standards surrounding the design and installation of the intruder alarm as well as the conditions of the ARC if the system is monitored.
A business must carry out a security risk assessment to determine the grade of alarm system needed. Some insurers may require you to install a certain grade of alarm system, depending on how much risk is associated with your site.
A business is likely to receive a reduction in insurance premiums if it is considered lower risk. This is achieved by improving its overall security by complying with industry standards, installing a reliable intruder alarm system by an accredited installer and even having the system remotely monitored.
As a business owner, it’s worth considering integrating your intruder alarm system with other security systems such as CCTV cameras, access control systems, or fire alarms. Comprehensive and smart security systems can provide enhanced protection to your site, visitors and employees, as well as improve your insurance premiums.
If your intruder alarm system doesn’t comply with industry standards then you may run the risk of having an ineffective system in place that could jeopardise the safety and security of your business. In terms of your insurance cover, an intruder alarm that doesn’t comply with the requirements stated within your policy could void your cover and mean that you would not receive a payout if a break-in or other incident occurred.
The first step to ensuring intruder alarm compliance is understanding what is stipulated within your insurance policy and what requirements you need to meet. Once understood, it’s recommended to get in touch with an NSI-accredited intruder alarm installer, you can work with you to design a system that is in line with your policy and provides the necessary protection for your site whilst ensuring you are compliant with all the required standards.
Ensuring intruder alarm compliance and proper insurance coverage is crucial for every business owner. By adhering to relevant regulations, maintaining a certified system, and regularly testing and maintaining your intruder alarm system, you can effectively protect your business.
At BusinessWatch, we are NSI Gold certified and work to the highest and latest industry standards. We are experienced in installing, monitoring and maintaining business intruder alarms and can design bespoke solutions that meet your requirements.
Get a free quote by calling us on 0330 094 7404 or contact us online here.