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Security: Intruder detection & alarm systems

Integrated with other security systems or stand alone; monitored by an ARC (alarm receiving centre) with police response or by the customers own security or control room staff.

Impulse Engineering have been advising clients, designing systems, procuring equipment from a wide range of suppliers, installing as a standalone task or part of a construction team, delivering a turnkey solution and support for the owner through its design life. We specialise in high security systems (although we’ve installed a good number of Grade2s) from Grade 3 to Grade 4 (where equipment allows), often with specific containment requirements and always with secure signalling.

The grade of a security system is determined by the outcome of a risk assessment for most commercial risks, Public sector clients have specific standards that dictate the grade and specific additional accreditations the equipment must have. A risk assessment carried out by a suitably experienced engineer will lead to an appropriately designed and graded system. When designing a system that requires alarm confirmation, insurers expect designers to take into account the need to detect intruders before they reach the target, as well as the need to have confirmation of detection.

Grade 1: Low risk of theft.  It applies to a property which is not likely to attract burglars. It assumes that a thief is likely to be opportunistic rather than planning a theft and will simply break open a door.

Grade 2: Higher risk of theft.  Such a property is likely to have something of interest to an experienced thief who is likely to have some knowledge of how alarm systems work and possibly carry some tools to help him overcome a simple alarm system.  The thief is likely to check the building for easy access through doors, windows and other openings.

Grade 3: Higher risk a property which is a reasonably substantial risk, one which, might well contain objects of high value so there is good reason to assume it may be broken into.  An intruder is likely to be knowledgeable about intruder alarm systems and have the tools and equipment to overcome the system. The thief is likely to get in by penetrating doors, windows or other openings.

Grade 4: Highest-risk properties.  Such properties are likely to be targeted by a groups who will probably have planned the burglary in advance.  They will know how to tamper with the intruder alarm system to prevent detection and can be expected to gain access by alternative methods such as penetration of floors, walls and ceilings.

Grade 3 & 4 systems are often required to meet additional requirements. These requirements are set by corporate security policies or public sector standards.  Equipment formally listed in the SEAP (Security Equipment Assessment Panel) catalogue have now been replaced (as of April 2013) by CPNI (The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure). CPNI provide advice on physical security, personnel security and cyber security/information assurance. Most importantly, they explain how these components combine together and reinforce each other - and their relationship to the threat. CPNI works closely with private and public sector partners, the National Technical Authority for Information Assurance (CESG), the police, National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) and the Counter Terrorism Security Advisor (CTSA) network.

Legislation & applicable standards

  • BS 8473:2006 + A2:2013, BS EN 50131-1:2006 + A1:2009, BS EN 50131-5-3:2005 +A1:2008, BS EN 50136-1:2012, BS EN 50136-1-4:1998, PD6662:2010, DD263:2010, DD CLC/TS 50131-7:2010, NPCC – Guidelines on Police Requirements & Response to Security Systems. JSP440 and Secured by Design.
  • CPNI  protects national security by providing protective security advice. Protective security is – in their own words  'putting in place, or building into design, security measures or protocols such that threats may be deterred, detected, or the consequences of an attack minimised'. More information can be found at www.cpni.gov.uk
  • NPCC – The National Police Chiefs Council: The council represents all UK forces and their chiefs, it sets policies that most adopt as working practice. All UK forces have an alarm management department that will issue a URN (unique reference number) for a police response upon receipt of a confirmed (new installations) alarm condition to compliant companies. Each alarms admin maintains a list of compliant companies that meet national standards and their own requirements.
  • NSI SSQS 101 V8 Quality Assessment Schedule to BS EN ISO 9001:2015 – NSI Security Systems Gold Scheme.