If you are reading this then you probably have a burglar alarm installed. But just how good is your system? Most of you probably think what’s the point of changing. Well, first off, what do you currently have installed?

  • Non-monitored system – makes a lot of noise but not much else.
  • Monitored system – the basic standard would be Redcare Classic, which will call the police if you are broken into. However, if your phone lines are cut (which happened to me a few years back) you are unprotected. Believe it or not, this is burglar rule number one; your phone cables are in the street and not that hard to cut.
  • DualCom system – uses both a Redcare line and GSM (mobile line), a simple but effective way of making your business safe. This means they can cut your phone line and your alarm will work fine.
  • Emizon System – this system uses your broadband and GSM back-up and is the one we use. It gives us the same protection of a DualCom system without the cost of an extra phone line.

If your system is more than 10 years old or is not a DualCom system, I would suggest the time has come to review and look at upgrading. For me the cost of a new system to a Grade 3 standard was under £2,500 (excluding vat), which also resulted in lower insurance costs. Top tip: if you do upgrade: you will require a ‘Certificate of Conformity’ as your insurance company will expect one.

This is all great but, as a bit of a control freak, I wanted more out of my alarm system. For example, how do you know if your alarm is set at night? Your staff lock up, but you have no way of telling if your alarm system is on or not. I wasn’t happy about not having any real control over the main protection for my business.

Our system is made by Honeywell and has the option for a small upgrade which enables me to fully access the system via a mobile app. This means I can set or unset my alarm from anywhere in the world. More importantly, I can check my system is set and view full logs from home on my mobile phone. Now if I get an alarm call in the middle of the night I can remotely view my CCTV and check the alarm system, plus reset, all without leaving my bed – full control and peace of mind.