Freelance journalist

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Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.
June 9, 2022

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Alarm systems

Could the ECHO intruder alarm system be coming to UK fire and rescue services?

The ECHO automated alarm signalling system could be graduating to fire and rescue services, delegates at this year’s FIREX International heard. Jamie Hailstone reports.

Speaking at the event, ECHO Director Richard Jenkins said the system was already operational and being used by the police in Greater London and Essex.

Echo-Logo-21ECHO is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2017 delivering automated alarm signalling and messaging between ARCs and blue light services, speeding up deployment of blue light responders to emergencies.

It provides virtually instant alarm signalling to police control rooms from approved Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) who remotely monitor premises protected by Intruder and Hold-Up alarm systems.

Transforming the speed with which police can respond to confirmed alarm signals by replacing the legacy of manual call handling, ECHO is automating police alarm response to homeowners, businesses and government properties.

Jenkins told FIREX delegates that pilot testing began in October 2020 and there are currently around 200,000 ECHO-connected alarmed sites on ‘police response’ around London and Essex. Should their alarms be activated, police response is estimated at one to four minutes quicker as a direct result of being ECHO-connected. And police forces are continuing to take steps to get ECHO-connected, improve their response to Intruder and Hold-up alarms, deliver better outcomes to victims of crime – and greater deterrence.

Jenkins said they are keen to take this system forward and believe it could work in the fire space.

“But we can see that the problem with false alarms in fire is a serious one, and that there’s huge cost attached. However, we now have a working model in the form of ECHO to show, or to bring attention to the possibilities of ‘copy pasting’ what the police have been doing for quite some time, and are now doing at pace,” said Jenkins.

“We believe we can leverage it into the fire and rescue services environment and deliver the quality and reliability of an alarm standard connected electronically through an echo hub, so that the signals can be received with high confidence and the responders.”

Want to know more about ECHO? Watch our webinar, which took place in December 2021, below, to find out how it’s impacting the security industry.

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