Brand Director at Barbour EHS

August 2, 2021


State of Physical Access Trend Report 2024

New BS 9518:2021 released for processing of alarm signals by an alarm receiving centre

A new British Standard code of practice (BS 9518:2021) has been published by the British Standards Institute (BSI) for the processing of alarm signals by an alarm receiving centre (ARC).

This British Standard gives recommendations for the processing of signals by an alarm receiving centre from alarm systems, such as but not limited to fire detection and fire alarm systems, fixed firefighting systems, intrusion and holdup alarm systems, video surveillance systems, social alarms systems, lone worker, and combinations of such systems.

The new British Standard, BS 9518:2021, supersedes BS 8591:2014, which will be withdrawn on 31 July 2022.

As a code of practice, the standard is designed to be recommendation and guidance, and should not be quoted as if it were a specification.

Who is BS 9518:2021 for?

  • ARC operators and monitoring centres
  • Security system specifiers and installers
  • Certification bodies
  • Insurers
  • Police

Why should you use BS 9518:2021? BSI explains…

  • It can reduce the number of false calls passed to the police
  • It’s expected that the police will make it mandatory for ARCs to comply with and be certified to this standard before they’re eligible to receive a police response
  • For convenience, it brings all the recommendations for ARCs together into one standard
  • It can help ARCs to increase trust and do business more easily
  • It can help to improve the efficiency of ARCs and help them manage risk better

The primary function of an ARC should be the handling of alarm and/or VSS (Video surveillance system (previously known as CCTV)) signals, together with other signals relating to the change of status of the alarm and/or VSS systems, such as setting, unsetting or fault signals, and any related or subsidiary operations, such as keyholding or controlling a response service.

The ARC should maintain an environment in its operations area that is free from unnecessary distractions such that:

  • The amount of ambient noise transmitted to the user is limited
  • The operator can listen to and quickly verify an incident, even through unclear received audio

Purchase the standard from the BSI online shop, here.

This news story is in partnership with Barbour EHS, a specialist information service provider supporting professionals across sectors including fire and security, FM, health and safety, sustainability and energy.

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