Why Worry About Remote Monitoring?
Discover why professional monitoring is becoming a key component for business and residential security alike and find out how you can easily explain the benefits to your customers. 

Professional Security Monitoring Has Become a Standard Requirement for Many

Professional security monitoring is not a new phenomenon, Southern & Northern Monitoring has been supporting connected customers for over 30 years. But enhancements in technology and a greater need for more automated and flexible security have pulled monitored security services towards the core of security. 

In this article, you’ll discover how professional monitoring is no longer seen as a peripheral add-on to intruder alarm or CCTV installations. You’ll also learn how to explain the key functionalities and benefits to your own customers to help enhance their protection, that’s whether they’re a business or a residential client. 

We’ll start at the beginning by explaining the basics about monitored security before discussing the key benefits to your customers – and in turn your security business. 

What is Professional Security Monitoring? 

Security systems have always had to be monitored, whether that be an intruder alarm system, CCTV system, fire detection, flood detection, or even temperature control. No matter how advanced the system when an alarm is triggered somebody must respond to it. 

Professional security monitoring services help to support that burden, for people protecting their own homes, business owners, keyholders, and of course, on-site security guards. 

Security systems such as those listed above can be connected to a remote alarm response centre (ARC) where a team of operators are on call to react when an alarm is triggered. Nowadays, the systems they employ, and the training of their staff have advanced to help make security management not just safer, but also more efficient and effective too. 

How does Remote Monitoring Work? 

As mentioned above, most modern security systems can be remotely monitored with a simple connection. This traditionally relied on an analogue connection via your phoneline, but with the PSTN network now being closed-down, digital communication is already being implemented and will soon become the norm. 

Most accredited monitoring services providers require that any connected systems have been professionally installed and maintained to help ensure their integrity and the protection they aim to provide. 

A Unique Reference Number (URN) is also required for police response for intruder alarms and CCTV systems, which are two of the most commonly monitored devices. 

Once connected, intruder alarm, fire alarm and CCTV systems can be monitored 24-hours a day. When an alarm is triggered, a signal is sent to the ARC where operators are on hand to respond either to contact a keyholder or the police or fire brigade in the event of a confirm emergency. 

That really is the basic explanation of professional security monitoring in a nutshell, 24-hour coverage and alarm response whenever your system is triggered. There is a breadth of services that can be included in any monitored security solution, some of which we’ll touch on as we move on next to discuss the major reasons why your customers should care about remote security monitoring. 


Do You Really Want to be ‘On-Call’ at All Hours? 

Let’s face it, as much as we’d love to try, nobody can be everywhere and completely aware of what’s happening all the time. One of the obvious challenges that professional security monitoring solves is supporting homeowners, business keyholders, and security staff by extending their visibility and coverage.  

Many homeowners believe that the fact that they’re at home is enough of a deterrent for potential intruders and that they’ll probably catch them and scare them off if they tried, when in fact, most burglaries occur when somebody is in the property (64%). 

Most alarm activations also occur at night and most also turn out to be false alarms – windy weather is one of the biggest causes in spikes in alarm activations. With a team of operatives working around the clock, professional ARCs are best placed to filter out false alarms and respond to confirmed threats at any time of day. 

Filtering Out False Alarms 

Let’s stick to the subject of false alarms for a moment because they can become a nuisance, even resulting in some end users ignoring them or not even arming their systems.  

Remote security monitoring providers have developed advanced methods that can help to filter out nuisance false alarms. For intruder alarm systems, they can use sequential information to determine if a trigger may a confirmed threat. 

If a single detector or location is triggered, it is not classed as a confirmed alarm, as intruders would usually move through a building triggering multiple detectors or multiple locations. These signals are actioned at a lower priority than a confirmed alarm and are not eligible for police response.  

If multiple detectors or locations are triggered, this pattern correlates with what you’d likely see if someone was in the building, so the signal is passed to an operator to respond as a high priority. This process of confirming alarms can be greatly helped by the addition of CCTV footage with what’s known as visual verification. 


CCTV and Audio Talk Down

CCTV & video surveillance technology has become widely accessible in recent years, with more homes and businesses being equipped with systems to monitor and record what is happening at any given time. 

CCTV can also open a raft of opportunities when it comes to professional security monitoring too. With video footage available, ARC operators can confirm an intruder is in your home or business and actively respond just like an on-site security guard would - either by providing the police with details from what they see on the video (if a URN is in place) or even using audio talk down to warn them off. 

The major difference in this situation is that an on-site security guard or keyholder would need to put themselves at risk to investigate and respond to the triggered alarm, whereas ARC operators are safe in their remote location and with the benefit of recording video footage. 

Police Response: It’s More Than a Matter of Time 

It’s inevitable that some alarms require police response, and it is true that professional monitoring services can help to improve the time it takes to respond - between an alert being raised, investigating the cause, and calling the police. 

However, professional security monitoring plays an important role in police responding to an alarm and it’s more than just a matter of time. 

Police services across the UK must place a higher priority on confirmed alarms, which can only be provided by qualified ARCs – ARC calls go direct to police control rooms whereas 99 calls go through initial emergency services triage before being passed to police. This is a major advantage to any security installers whose clients are connected to Southern & Northern Monitoring Services, as we have two NSI Gold Accredited monitoring centres based in the UK. 

We’re also connected to the ECHO network, which is a new way of passing confirmed alarms straight to the police without having to pick up the phone and wait in line like everyone else. ECHO estimates that this can give up to a 4-minute improvement in police response times. 

What Other Monitored Security Services are Available for B2B? 

B2B sales and service contracts can make up a large proportion of overall revenue for security installers. So, it’s important to ensure you’re providing them with the best possible service as well as advanced security protection. 

As we mentioned above, CCTV monitoring can open an array of opportunities for businesses that are looking to amplify their security whilst remaining cost-effective. Nowadays, many of the services provided by on-site security guards can be supported and supplemented by remote security monitoring providers.  

Virtual guard tours can be conducted using CCTV cameras. This could provide a major cost benefit to businesses that need 24-hour security coverage, which would otherwise mean having to pay for guards across the course of a day.  

The same could be said for remote access control services too, where gates, barriers, and external doors can be monitored and controlled 24/7 from a remote monitoring centre. 

How to Help Your Customers Get on Board with Remote Monitoring 

It is important to share these major reasons and the key benefits of remote monitoring with your customers, as we’ve discovered so many people are still not even aware that they exist, let alone what the value could be. 

24/7 security coverage and police response are two of the most important benefits that people tend to look for. But you should naturally focus on finding out your customers’ needs and how they could be helped with an extended security team. 

The opportunities for security installers are adding lifetime value to their customers and improving their experience overall. 

To discuss the Southern and Northern Monitoring products and services you can provide to your clients, please complete the form below, give us a call on 0844 871 2223 or complete the form below. 

We also offer a wide range of security solutions for homes and businesses, such as CCTV, personal safety, fire detection, and intruder alarm monitoring.