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Burglar Alarm buyers guide


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A guide to buying burglar alarms, taking you through all the key things to consider - particularly when buying a monitored alarm with alarm monitoring.

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Burglar Alarm buyers guide

  1. 1. Alarm buyers check list 10 things to consider when you’re buying a burglar alarm . . . Click to go through check list >>
  2. 2. 1: Wired or wireless Q: Is the system wired or wireless? A: AMCO answerBoth wired and wireless systems have their pros and cons. AMCO provides both wired and wireless systems to suit the specific needs of customers.• Wired systems are more reliable and don’t requiresensor battery replacements.• Wireless systems are easier to install and don’t requirethe sensors to be physically wired in - averting any decorconcerns.
  3. 3. 2: Type of monitoring Q: What type of monitoring does the A: AMCO answer alarm come with?There are two main types of alarm monitoring - “call back AMCO only provides “interactive immediate audiomonitoring” and “interactive immediate audio response monitoring” for full peace of mind - as thisresponse monitoring”. type of monitoring means that you’ve got someone on standby 24/7 to help you in an emergency if needed.• Call back monitoring means that when the alarm isactivated the property is called via telephone, and AMCO is unique in offering this type of advancedkeyholders are informed of the activation by telephone. monitoring as standard to customers.• Interactive immediate audio response monitoringmeans that when the alarm is activated monitoring centrestaff can immediately listen and talk into the property via aspeaker / microphone unit to check what’s happening.Then depending on the status of the situation can call thekeyholders or emergency services (Police, Fire orAmbulance).
  4. 4. 3: Deterrence and response speedQ: Does the system I’m considering A: AMCO answerreally offer the best security?The two key factors that lie at the heart of good security AMCO provide the best security possible as weare deterrence and response speed. provide both high levels of deterrence and install special monitoring that reacts and verifies1) Deterrence: ideally, you want to deter a burglar from emergency situations quickly.attempting to rob your property by showing them yourproperty is well-protected. This is usually done by 1) High deterrence: AMCO installs highly visible bell-installing a visible bell-box and warning stickers. boxes at properties, and also provides warning stickers with our £1000 reward scheme.2) Response speed: the best security will react quickly,and immediately alert the police / fire / ambulance in the 2) Quick response speed: because all AMCO alarmscase of an emergency. Importantly it’s key to consider how come with *interactive immediate audio response*emergency scenarios are *verified*, as the emergency monitoring, it means our monitoring team can listenservices won’t respond if the emergency isn’t verified and talk into the property remotely seconds after anproperly. activation, allowing us to quickly verify a situation and call the emergency services.
  5. 5. 4: Contract length Q: How long does the monitoring A: AMCO answer contract tie me in for?All monitoring contracts will have a “minimum contract AMCO’s minimum contract period is 12 months andperiod” and a “termination period” (the amount of time our termination period for both is 3 monthsyou need to inform the alarm company before youterminate your contract).You need to check the details of how long these periodsare, so you don’t get tied into a contract that’s too long foryou.
  6. 6. 5: Maintenance support and costs Q: What type of maintenance is A: AMCO answer provided, and how much does it cost?There are two types of maintenance support that can be AMCO provide a minimum of one remote check everyprovided: month and provide 24/7 telephone support.•“On site maintenance” - where engineers visit the After the initial one year guarantee (parts and labour),property to check the alarm. if a fault is detected that requires an engineer, then call-out visits cost £49.•“Remote maintenance” - where the system can beautomatically checked via the telephone line. N.B. It is a common myth that alarm systems are highly complicated pieces of equipment. In truth theyYou should also be aware of “Call out charges” - i.e. how aren’t, and because of this they rarely go wrong.much it costs if you need an engineer to come out and fixyour system.
  7. 7. 6: Hidden costs Q: Are there any hidden costs I’m not A: AMCO answer being told about?Alarm companies (apart from us!) are famous for their AMCO pride ourselves on being transparent, and*hidden extra costs*. Make sure you ask about these, in don’t hide extra costs.particular: • Fuse spur: all our systems come with a fuse spur• Fuse spur: to adhere to regulations, alarm systems as standard.should be connected to the mains power via an“unswitched fuse spur” and NOT plugged straight into a • Premium telephone charges: our alarm monitoringpower socket. If you don’t have an existing fuse spur telephone charges cost on average £1.50 a year. Weinstalled, make sure you get your alarm company to install do not try to make extra money from customers withone and that this is included in their quotation price. expensive telephone charges unlike some of our competitors.• Premium telephone charges: every time your alarm isactivated it will make a call via the telephone line. Makesure your alarm installer isn’t using an expensive numberto dial them every time you set and unset your alarm asthis could cost result in high ongoing costs for you (often£100’s a year!).
  8. 8. 7: Ease of useQ: How easy is the alarm system to use? A: AMCO answerAn alarm system should be easy to use, and simple to All AMCO systems are incredibly simple to use.maintain, so as little can go wrong as possible! Unlike competitors, we don’t install unnecessarily complicated equipment that is more likely to go wrongThe key thing you need to do with an alarm is turn it on (and cost you more money to fix!).and off. Alarm companies generally offer two ways ofdoing this 1) using a fob 2) using a key pad. As standard, AMCO installs key pads to control our alarm systems as we believe key pads are more secure•Fob: The way you turn a system on and and off using a than fobs.fob is by swiping your fob over a detector. The positivesare that it’s quick and easy. The negative is that you maylose your fob, meaning that anyone would then haveaccess to your house.•Key pad: all you need to do with a key pad system isenter your 4 digit number to control the system. Thepositives are it’s quick, easy and secure. There aren’t anynegatives!
  9. 9. 8: Ownership statusQ: Do I own the system when I buy it? A: AMCO answerCheck in the small print of your alarm quote to see whether All AMCO systems are owned by the buyer NOTyou own the alarm system, or whether it’s a rental system. rented.
  10. 10. 9: Industry standardsQ: Is the company installing my alarm A: AMCO answerregistered with NSI or SSAIB - anddoes it matter?NSI (NACOSS as it used to known as) and SSAIB are AMCO follows the European Standards (EN50131)alarm certification companies that many alarm companies that ensure that AMCO security systems provide thesubscribe to. best possible protection for its clients and their property.Both of these are private companies and are NOTgovernment bodies. We are NOT a subscriber to either of the inspectorate companies as we see it as a costly bureaucraticNSI is the trading name for “Insight Certification Limited” burden for both us and our customers.and SSAIB stands for “Security Systems and AlarmsInspection Board Limited”. Instead of paying unnecessary certification fees we’d rather pass those savings onto our customers!
  11. 11. 10: Would my alarm really save me?Q: Would the alarm system I choose A: AMCO answerreally save me and my property in anemergency scenario? AMCO’s special monitored alarms have a pedigree in not only preventing burglaries (and getting burglarsThe final thing to consider is, whether the alarm system arrested) but also in saving buy would really be effective in an emergencyscenario. A great example of AMCO saving a life is one of our customer’s *Mr A* in Preston, who suffered a diabetesPlenty of alarm companies claim to provide *peace of attack which led to a fire incident in his home. Thanksmind*, however in many cases the level of security to our *interactive immediate audio responseprovided is actually fairly low. monitoring, we were able to quickly listen into his property, identify the issues and call both theThe key weakness most alarms have is that only include ambulance and fire services - who reacted*call back monitoring*, which is flawed as it relies on immediately.verification via telephone, which slows down theverification and reaction process. The ambulance service saved Mr. A’s life, and the fire service saved Mr. A’s house.
  12. 12. System comparison chart - part 1 [Print out and fill in when doing a system comparison] Consideration AMCO system Competitor system Type of system Wired or wireless (you choose). “Interactive immediate audio response” monitoring - Type of monitoring meaning someone is listening and talking into the property immediately via a speaker / microphone. 12 months is the standard monitoring contract Length of contract length. 3 month termination notice period. Monthly remote system checks. After the first year Maintenance support guarantee, a 30 minute call-out costs £49 + any type and call out costs parts. Hidden extras (e.g. Fuse Fuse spurs are installed where the customer does not have an existing one installed. AMCO does NOT use expensive spur or premium telephone numbers. Average yearly telephone bill costs for telephone numbers) AMCO systems are around £1.50.
  13. 13. System comparison chart - part 2 Consideration AMCO system Competitor system All AMCO systems are owned by the buyer, NOT Ownership status rented. AMCO does not subscribe to either of these NSI / SSAIB registration companies. Installation cost (one- [use the quote calculator on our website to calculate off) the cost of your system] Monitoring cost £14.95 per month for “immediate audio response” (monthly) monitoring We have not increased our annual monitoring fees Annual price increase to existing customers for over 16 years and we intend to keep it that way as long as possible. * All AMCO prices quote include VAT
  14. 14. The Alarm Monitoring Company says . . . Check to make sure the alarm you choose offers the best security possible to save you and yours. Got any more questions? Drop us an email: You can also download / print this out if you want to!