Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) regulations

The ARC industry is responsible for the lives, safety and property of its customers, which is why ARC regulations are in place.  

Our industry is heavily regulated and has professional bodies such as the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) and the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).

Let’s have a look at some of the regulations governing the industry and how they help us maintain a high level of performance.

They cover three broad areas; the ARC itself, the staff, and the processes.

The Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC)

As part of our NSI Gold Accreditation, we are regularly audited to BS5979 category II.

This is a broad regulation, without which we would not be able to operate. We are regularly internally and externally audited to ensure our continued compliance.

It covers how the ARC is constructed, the process of alarm handling and the facilities available.

It specifically governs ARC’s that receive alarms from security systems, such as CCTV, intruder alarms, and fire alarms.

In particular, BS5979 covers the security of the ARC itself. If our ARC is compromised, public safety could be compromised. This can come from a loss of alarm monitoring but also the potential loss of incredibly sensitive data.

Therefore, BS5979 specifies that the ARC must be resistant to smoke, vandalism, floods, explosions, ram raids, gas attack, unauthorised access, power failure, and even lightning strikes.

If the ARC is compromised, we have a secondary ARC to switch seamlessly over to for continued service.

We are also certified by CHAS, the Contractors’ Health and Safety Assessment Scheme. This means we have watertight and fully compliant health and safety practices and policies and have mitigated risks wherever possible.  

Our ARC regulations for staff

Our staff and recruitment processes are regulated through various bodies.

Through BS7858 we ensure we only recruit the most trustworthy people. We take time to verify no one works for us who is less than desirable, whether they are answering lone workers device alarms, monitoring CCTV, or answering the phones.

This means making sure they are unlikely to be susceptible to bribery, have a squeaky clean record, have no court orders against them, and have good references from several sources.

The SIA have accredited and trained our keyholding and security staff to ensure their integrity. Because our intruder alarm response team are trained by the SIA, you know their response will be measured, intelligent and appropriate.

Processes controlled by ARC regulations

The process we adopt within the ARC are controlled and well thought out. Some are in line with regulations, such as BS8484 and some are created through tried and tested practices but standardised through ISO9001.

BS8484 is a standard that covers our response to lone worker alarms. It helps to ensure false alarms are minimised and genuine alerts are dealt with by trained staff in a structured and safe way. For example, staff are only allowed to speak to the end-user through the device when they are sure it is safe to do so. There are also regulations on how long it can take to respond to an alarm.

Being accredited to ISO9001:2000 means all our processes are clear, communicated with staff, and reviewed regularly. In doing this, we can be confident we are as efficient and safe as possible and tasks are carried out in the same order, no matter who is doing them.

What do ARC regulations mean for you?

Having these accreditations and following regulations means so much more than a certificate on our wall.

For you, it means peace of mind.

Whether we are monitoring a private residence’s fire alarm, the security alarms of a large industrial plant, or the CCTV of a city centre we are following the strictest, most robust and legal processes in the country.

Every response to an alarm follows the same pattern. Consistency is the key to effective processes, after all.

Every member of staff is trustworthy, dedicated, highly trained, and certified as such.

The ARC itself is unlikely to be taken offline. If for any reason, it is unable to fulfil its duties, we have a partner alarm receiving centre on standby, so service is seamless.

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