DIY vs Professional Security Installations

There has always been a DIY choice for security and many DIY systems are fit for purpose, fulfilling a requirement to bring a basic level of security to everyone.

However, DIY systems tend to lack professional specifications and standards’ compliance and are often not recommended by the Police, Insurers or specifiers.  There’s a common misperception that Smartphone Apps offer an equivalent service to a security system that offers a Police response to an alarm activation, which can only be provided by an accredited security installer.

An end-user can theoretically view an alarm on their smartphone and simply notify the Police by dialling 999. Whilst this is currently true if the end-user is able to verify the alarm event (eg. they have seen the burglary), it is a loophole that will soon be closed by the NPCC (formally ACPO).  Signalled Police response is tried, tested and affordable. A one-off fee provides constant Police response for the life of the system, there’s no recurring fee for police response (additional fees apply for monitoring) – it’s nothing short of a bargain!  ‘Apps to 999’ are classified by the Police as non-compliant Type B systems and therefore do not qualify for police response.


In 2017 Type B alarms generated over 16,000 false alarms across 17 Police forces with only 3000 genuine calls. By comparison Professional Signalling (Digi, DualCom, Redcare) signalled 136,000 genuine calls to the Police whom only failed to attend just 1431 premises providing a pretty decent 99% Police response across 43 Police forces.  As a responsible Industry protecting lives and property it seems sensible to only promote professionally installed security systems with signalling. Police dispatches will arrive at the alarmed premises before the keyholder in the majority of cases, thus adding another level of security to the vulnerable employee or family member attending an alarm activation.   Average UK Police Response during 2017 was 20 minutes in rural areas and 10 minutes urban.  The Met Police have released stats showing 80% of URN signalled alarms are responded to in under 10 minutes and the remainder in no more than 15 minutes.

These facts show that police response is efficient and effective. Police response offers massive benefit with a 24/7 professionally managed Alarm Receiving Centre to watch, analyse, filter and – if appropriate – despatch the Police. Obviously there are additional costs with a professionally monitored system with police response but the peace of mind and benefits far outweigh the costs of installing a cheaper DIY system with no insurance or police recognition.


The professional security sector consistently embraces new and relevant technologies but not at the expense of standards and competencies underpinning the professional security industry.  These standards and competencies ensure insurance compliance giving both domestic & commercial clients peace of mind in their security system.

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