Choosing the right installer for your alarm system can seem mind boggling! When you search on-line or through the yellow pages, there are tens of burglar alarm installers in the Bristol area listed, often with several important looking badges or logos attached. But get a few things right first and the list becomes much more manageable.
- The most important logo to look out for in any ad or website is the National Security Inspectorate (NSI, previously known as NACOSS) logo. It means that the alarm company is approved and regularly inspected to ensure that it meets with stringent standards from both staff and equipment. You can be assured that installation staff who visit your home are trustworthy, have been checked through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and will carry a company identity card. The NSI lists approved alarm firms on their websites.
- Try and get a personal recommendation before asking for a quote. Have they been happy with their alarm and with the burglar alarm company who installed it? Alternatively, look for testimonials on an alarm installation company’s website. There are many local companies or the larger national firms.
- Take at least three quotations before deciding which installer to go with. Quotes given over the phone are unreliable. Companies should visit your home or business before quoting so that they understand your needs and the needs of your property.
- Ask for a quote in writing so that you know how much you will be paying in advance. Most companies are very happy to do this for you.
- When they visit to design your alarm system, good firms will ask where high value items are kept or where your safe is, should you have one. This is to ensure that the right detectors are placed in the correct position to protect these areas. If the alarms companies you have chosen are NSI approved you can be reassured about giving out this information, as staff are CRB vetted.
- Many customers opt for an alarm maintenance contract which reduces the likelihood of false alarms. This includes a basic annual check of all equipment and some contracts include free callouts or reduced costs if your alarm becomes faulty. Check how much the installation company charges for these features.
- Alarm monitoring links your burglar alarm to an alarm receiving centre so that the police, a key holder or you are called if the alarm goes off. Maintenance contracts are necessary if you want monitoring. Many people decide that this is not for them. It is necessary however, if you have a lot of high value goods at your property or if the property is in an isolated position.
- If your alarm installation company is NSI approved, you may receive a discount on your home contents and buildings insurance. Check with your insurance company that they will accept a burglar alarm installation from your chosen alarm company, prior to installation.