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Convenience and control at your fingertips

Modern security systems offer much more than a deterrent for intruders. Wireless technology, internet connectivity, high definition imaging and data gathering are examples of the latest technology that is now available to customers who keep their home or business secure with Spy Alarms.

With this sort of functionality incorporated, your security system can seamlessly integrate intruder alarms, fire safety, door entry control and CCTV in one comprehensive system, controllable by smart device (phone, tablet, laptop etc) from anywhere in the world and connected to the police and fire brigade for the swiftest possible response.

Not only that, modern systems can gather valuable information on who comes and goes, when and where, helping you to fine-tune your security for maximum convenience and efficiency.

At Spy Alarms we love to learn about new technological developments and pass them on to our customers. As criminals become increasingly sophisticated, we are determined to keep our customers one step ahead. On this page you can read some useful information about the technology behind the systems we install.

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What type of alarm?

Under the European Intruder Alarm standards classifications, there are now four grades of intruder alarm. To get the choice right, we perform a risk assessment, evaluating the crime statistics for the area you’re in and the set-up of your property, to establish the best solution for you and your insurers.

Grade 1: The lowest grade alarm system, suitable for an area of low risk. Installing a Grade 1 alarm presumes that the burglar knows little of alarm systems, is probably an opportunist burglar and almost certainly has no specialist tools to disarm the system. We very rarely specify a Grade 1 system.

Grade 2: This type of alarm is suitable for an area of low to medium risk. Most homes fall into this bracket and many smaller commercial premises too. With a Grade 2 system there is an assumption that a potential intruder may not just be a passer-by but could have some knowledge of alarms and be prepared for the break-in with some specialist equipment. We instal a lot of Grade Two home alarm systems and business alarm systems.

Grade 3: This level assumes a potential intruder will know what he or she is doing and will be well prepared. There is a good chance the system will be known to the intruder and, if not, he will have the appropriate tools to attempt to disable the system.

Grade 4: The highest grade of alarm system available, this anticipates a sophisticated attack by a criminal who is organised and who will have a strategy for attempting to disable your system. We only recommend Grade 4 systems when the security of your property has to take precedence over all other factors, including cost and convenience.

Further reading: The Pros & Cons of Wireless Security Systems for the Home

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Monitored alarm options

Monitoring technology currently offers three practical options. We do offer other options for higher-grade systems but in most cases one of the three detailed below will be best for your situation. In more than 30 years in the industry we have found these to be our preferred models but we can use similar options from other sources if a customer specifically requests it.

Option A – Automated teledialler: Friends and Family
An automatic dialler in the control panel calls your nominated key holders in sequence until it gets a response. The key holder must acknowledge the call by pressing a specified number on their keypad. The dialler will try each key holder three times and then, if it still receives no response, it will stop.

Point of note: This system relies solely on your existing landline in order to raise the response. If your line is disabled in any way, either deliberately or even when blocked by an incoming call, no information can be sent to your key holders. The system also relies on one of your nominated key holders being available and answering the call within the specified number of attempts. If they are not then there will be no response.

Option B – Digital communicator: Friends and Family and/or Police
In the event of an activation a digital communicator will automatically call our NSI approved central monitoring station, where we guarantee an operator response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The operator will work continuously to try and contact either the system owner or their nominated key holders until they get a response. If specified, they will also alert the police.

Point of note: This system relies solely on your existing land line in order to raise the response. If your existing home telephone line is disabled in any way, either deliberately or even when blocked by an incoming call, no information can be sent to the monitoring station.

Option C – BT Redcare Secure: Friends and Family and/or Police
The BT Redcare Secure monitoring option also uses our NSI approved central monitoring station but this has a built-in SIM card, allowing mobile communication as well as contact via your landline. The alarm communicates primarily through the SIM card and then falls back on an existing phone line in the event the SIM fails. This system can also be designed to call the police.

Point of note: In our opinion this system offers the best protection and value for money. There are other methods of offering this level of security but they require dedicated phone lines with all the associated costs and a higher monthly charge.

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CCTV systems for home and business

We offer a range of different CCTV systems to suit different needs.

Night Vision CCTV – Night vision security cameras provide continuous surveillance and high-resolution images combined with considerable digital image storage. Most systems permit data storage from multiple cameras to a single DVR. You can opt for continuous footage or take a still shot every five or 10 seconds. Further options include colour or black and white, outdoor or indoor models, available light settings and more.

HD CCTV – High definition cameras provide excellent quality images, valuable for identifying intruders, number plates etc. We strongly recommend HD CCTV over standard systems.

IP CCTV (or WiFi CCTV) – Internet Protocol CCTV cameras turn images into data and then send this through a computer network or internet connection, allowing you to view the images on any internet-enabled device, anywhere in the world. There’s no need for the cable connections, making IP CCTV more convenient to instal. We can recommend mobile apps to enable you to connect from your phone or tablet to your home CCTV system and we will help with the configuration of this app when we install your CCTV system.

Wired CCTV – While wireless CCTV is our recommended option for smaller applications, a wired CCTV system is more suitable for coverage of large areas.

Covert Cameras – While most CCTV cameras provide a visible deterrent to prospective intruders, covert cameras (also known as ‘spy cameras’ or ‘secret cameras’) are designed to catch criminals in the act. They come in many ingenious forms, including miniature cameras that can be clipped to your clothes, disguised as a smoke detector, intruder alarm or even a clock. But the use of covert cameras is strictly regulated by The Data Protection Act 1998, so make sure you’re aware of the law before installing covert cameras. We can advise you on that.

In essence, you are free to place as many secret cameras in your own private property as you like, as long as they are only capturing footage of your property. If you want to add CCTV to the outside of your property, you need to make sure they can only capture footage of your property, not neighbouring houses or strangers in the street.

In places of business, hidden cameras may only be used in cases where the business owner suspects a specific crime, such as theft, and intends to involve the police. Otherwise, secret monitoring amounts to the unlawful infringement of a worker’s human rights in the workplace.

For expert advice on the use of CCTV, talk to Spy


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Key features of modern entry systems

Home entry and commercial access control systems have become highly sophisticated, offering users some excellent convenience features in addition to their security function.

You can connect to your entry system to a computer and see who has been in and out of your property and at what time? You can then attach further data on each visitor, such as an image and email address, and log them in a personalised account. This allows you to gain an accurate picture of the movement of people in and out of your home or business and thus control entry for heightened security.
For example, if the resident is elderly and struggles to move around their home but expects a visit from a carer at the same time every day, you can set up the system to be disabled at that specific time. This could be a life-saver.

For businesses, a modern access control system can also serve as a valuable management tool for time and attendance, payroll and car park management.

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Thanks for your work on our home. Your engineer was fantastic.
S Marshall, Orpington, Kent

Why Spy Alarms

FREE Property Security Survey from an experienced surveyor

The best system to suit your needs AND your budget

NSI Gold accreditation

SMS alerts or 24/7 security monitoring with police and/or keyholder notifications

Over 30 years experience in installation and maintenance

Reliable, up to date equipment

Wired or Wireless systems

All staff are police checked

Kent and London-based fitting/maintenance teams

Pet-friendly

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