• Anti-intruder and alarm systems: A guide to scoping requirements

    For Facilities Managers, safeguarding the physical assets and ensuring the safety of the personnel within their premises is a top priority. Commercial anti-intruder and alarm systems are crucial elements in a comprehensive security strategy. Here are top tips for selecting the right systems, based on input from delegates and suppliers at the Facilities Management Forum…

    1. Risk Assessment First: Begin with a thorough risk assessment of your facilities. Identify potential security breaches and evaluate the level of risk for different areas. This will help determine the type of alarm system that is needed, whether it’s perimeter detection, motion sensors, or glass break detectors.

    2. Integration Capabilities: Look for systems that can be integrated with your existing security measures, such as CCTV, access control systems, and fire safety alarms. Integration not only enhances security but also simplifies management and response to incidents.

    3. Accreditation and Compliance: Ensure the systems you consider comply with UK standards such as BS EN 50131 or the equivalent European Standard EN 50131. Check if the providers are accredited by bodies like the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) or the National Security Inspectorate (NSI).

    4. User-Friendliness: While you want sophisticated systems, it’s important that they are user-friendly. Complex systems may lead to user errors, which can result in false alarms or security breaches due to improper use.

    5. Response Options: Decide if you require a system that is monitored by an external company, which can provide police response, or if an audible-only alarm would suffice. Monitored systems offer an extra layer of security, as there will be a response even if the property is empty.

    6. Deterrent Factor: Visible alarm systems can act as a deterrent to potential intruders. Consider systems that make it obvious that security measures are in place, such as bell boxes on the exterior of the building.

    7. Maintenance and Support: Opt for systems that come with reliable support and maintenance services. Check the terms of service and ensure that you have access to prompt assistance in case of malfunctions or false alarms.

    8. Scalability and Flexibility: The chosen system should be scalable to adapt to the changing needs of your facilities, such as expansions or layout changes. Look for systems that can be easily modified or upgraded.

    9. Advanced Features: Consider systems with advanced features such as app integration, which allows you to monitor and control the alarm system remotely. Features like these can add to the effectiveness and convenience of managing facility security.

    10. Cost Consideration: While budget is always a consideration, avoid selecting solely on cost. The cheapest option may not provide the best value. Consider the system’s reliability, the cost of ownership, and the potential costs of a security breach.

    11. Professional Installation: Use professional installation services to ensure that the system is set up correctly. Poor installation can lead to vulnerabilities in your security strategy.

    12. Consultation and Customisation: Work with a supplier who offers a consultation to understand your specific needs and can provide a tailored solution. Off-the-shelf products may not always suit the unique requirements of your facility.

    By carefully considering these factors, Facilities Managers can select an anti-intruder and alarm system that effectively protects the organization’s assets and personnel. Remember, the goal is not just to respond to intrusions but to actively deter and prevent them.

    Are you researching security systems for your organisation? The Facilities Management Forum can help!

    Photo by Stoochi Lam on Unsplash


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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