There is often confusion in the role security organisations play in the protection of people and property. To find out more, here’s a snapshot of the industry…
Firstly, the Bureau – this is the organisation which arranges the facets of security on your behalf. Often they install the alarm and provide technical support while contracting out some or all of the patrol and monitoring services to specialists in their field. Whether it’s a medi alarm for an elderly relative, an alarm system for your business or industrial alarm, the bureau organises the type of security you require. Unless you specifically request a particular monitoring centre or patrol company for your business the bureau will make arrangements for you either “in-house” or contracted specialist.
Monitoring Station – Security monitoring is a specialist field. It’s the “hub” where signals from your alarm system are received, appropriate response determined and activated. Depending on your arrangements the station will contact you if your alarm system is not “set” by your designated time, assessing who is on site, or if the alarm has been forgotten, leaving the premises unsecured. This is called a Late To Close. Responses to different alarm activations are flexible to meet the needs of each business such as “call keyholder” or “send patrol”.
The monitoring station is often a help desk for you and your staff to trouble shoot system errors and help determine if technical support is required from the bureau. The relationship with your station is a very personal one because they notice unusual activity signalled through the alarm system. The monitoring staff need to know who you are and where you are, this detail is essential. “Why is the business disarmed so early”? Why isn’t this alarm system turned on by 7.00pm – because tonight they have a meeting.“ As a business you need to know who is monitoring your alarm, and be able to contact them quickly
The Patrol Company attends the alarms when sent by the monitoring station and/or does regular physical checks for lock up as required.
Each area of security is a specialist field. Independence of each specialist means an independent report of occurrence. As the client these reports give you a true timeline of occurrence of events, contact made and attendance.
In the security industry it’s not uncommon that bureaus are amalgamated, which may change your security arrangements with or without your knowledge. Your patrol company may change or your monitoring move to a major capital city. As the client it’s important you keep up with such changes and ensure they meet your requirements.