The object of this information sheet is to explain to the alarm system owner the purpose behind having your system checked out every year (or 6 months for police communicator systems).
This will enable the alarm system owner to make the best choice for themselves.
The Alarm Company
To comply with British Standard 4737 1986 (the alarm standard) an alarm installation company :-
- Must offer a Service or Maintenance scheme to a potential customer.
- Must make a service engineer available 24 hours a day for emergencies.
- Must respond to an emergency (i.e. a bell ringing that will not stop) within 4 hours.
- Must remind the customer every year that the system is due for a service check.
This gives the maintaining company an opportunity to find a fault before it becomes a problem and create a false alarm. It also gives the customer the same sort of peace of mind you get in knowing that your car has passed it’s MOT and will be safe to drive.
Regular service and maintenance has been proved to DRAMATICALLY reduce the number of system failures, make systems perform better and last longer. THIS IS WHY
- British Standards DEMAND IT
- The police DEMAND IT (where police direct response is a requirement)
- Insurance Companies DEMAND IT
- Alarm Companies STONGLY RECOMMEND IT
What then are the options available to the customer?
Full Maintenance agreement – First priority call out
For this the customer pays a one off charge every year. The alarm installer will then undertake to test the system once or twice a year as required by BS4737 and/or the police. The installer will also undertake to repair or replace any parts that wear out through normal use without any extra charge. The installer will also offer the 24hr/ 4hr call out cover as required by BS4737.
Service agreement – Second priority call out
For this the customer pays a lower one off charge every year. The installer will then undertake to test the system once or twice a year as required by BS4737 and/or the police. All other call outs and parts are to be paid for at the going rate. The installer will then offer the 24hr/4hr cover as required by BS4737 AFTER they have dealt with the first priority contracts.
Fire, Flood, storm or vandal damage are NOT covered. These things are beyond the control of the installing company and should be covered by the insurers of the building or contents, please check.
Also not covered is any damage done by the unwise customer who tries to tamper with the system.
Non recommended third option
The customer has a perfect right to opt out of any or all service or maintenance plans offered by the installer, As long as they realise the following:-
- They have invalidated their own British Standard. BS4737 demands that the systems are at least tested once a year.
- They have removed all obligations on the installer. In fact the installer is perfectly within his rights to refuse to turn out at any time to systems that are not serviced to the requirements of BS4737. It is totally unreasonable to expect the installer to turn out at any time night or day to a system that has been left to deteriorate unduly.
- The police. Will certainly withdraw their response to systems that are not properly serviced or maintained as per the ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) policy on intruder alarms.
- The insurance companies.
- Are quite likely to refuse to pay out following a break in when a system has not been serviced or maintained in accordance with their requirements.
- Failure to perform. All the better alarm companies take out an insurance policy giving cover against an installed system failing to operate. A system that is not serviced is not covered by that policy.
By now the customer should be in a position to make up their minds about what level of service or maintenance cover they require.
Please choose wisely!