It has long been accepted that products designed and constructed to British Standards (BS) are a sign of quality and dependability. For a manufacturer to be able to display the British Standard mark they would have to allow their product to be ruthlessly tested and examined. However, over recent years, and as a direct result of our closeness with the EEC, the European Norm (EN) is taking over from the British Standard.
So how does this effect wireless alarm systems
British Standards (BS4737, BS7042 and BS67699) were phased out several years ago and European Norm 50131 took their place for intrusion systems. EN50131 was incorporated into a UK document with the catchy title of PD6662:2000. EN50131 covers the construction AND installation of BOTH wired and wire free systems and it is broken down into seven parts. EN50131 -1 which covers General Requirements EN50131- 2 for Intrusion Detectors etc. Part 7 covers the Application Guidelines i.e. installation and maintenance
Furthermore, EN50131 also incorporated four “grades”, which were lacking in the old British Standards, and which describe the risk of attack to the property. Grade 1 equates to “….domestic properties which are most at risk from opportunist thieves (without an insurance requirement for an alarm system)”, and Grade 2 equates to “…..most domestic properties and low risk commercial properties where a likely intruder will be more prepared ………”. It is suggested either could refer to the average householder’s property. You can find a fuller interpretation of EN50131 here.
The wireless alarms reviewed at wirelessalarmsreview.co.uk are those that are aimed at the DIY market. There is a whole plethora of them in this sector and the site attempts to steer the security conscious individual in the right direction. Alarms such as those in the Friedland Response range do meet European Norms in so far as construction is concerned however, if they are installed by the householder, as is intended, this would not meet Part 7 of the EN i.e. a comprehensive risk assessment would not have been carried out and it cannot therefore be connected to an approved Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). Consequently, the system would not meet ACPO requirements and would not qualify for what is generally termed as police response.
Never-the-less, wireless alarms have come on in leaps and bounds over recent years and companies such as Friedland Response use the more secure 868 MHz operating frequency which is less prone to interference from other devices operating on the 433 MHz frequency. Furthermore, systems such as the Friedland Response SL5 (and others) have a monitoring facility whereby, on activation, it will automatically dial out pre-set telephone numbers until somebody answers it. That person can then contact the police to attend – using the 999 system if appropriate.
An article about police response to alarms can be found here.