Intruder Alarm Standards and Grading

Intruder Alarm Standards

All alarm systems installed in the EU must meet certain basic standards in order to be accepted by insurance companies and qualify for a police response. These standards are covered in the EN50131 series and are published in the UK as BS EN50131.

European Standards (as reflected in PD 6662):

  • EN 50131 – General Requirements
  • EN 50136 – Signalling Systems
  • PD 6662: 2010 – Scheme for UK implementation of the Euro Standards.
  • DD 263: 2010 – UK standard for system maintenance requirements.
  • BS 8243: 2010 – UK standard for systems designed to provide Confirmed Activations – used only if a (police response) confirmation system is required.

Important information

One of the most important aspects of the EN 50131 requirements is the concept of a security grade. For each installation the grade of system has to be chosen according to various factors. In the EN the grade is described in terms of the type of intruder and how much effort they would put into a burglary.

Grade Options

Grade 1 is for an installation with a low risk of theft. The property is not likely to attract intruders. It is assumed that a thief is likely to be opportunistic rather than bothering to plan things in advance. In the application guide (DD CLC/TS 50131-7) it assumes that an intruder is simply going to break open a door.

Grade 2 is for a slightly higher risk of theft. The property is likely to have something of interest to an experienced thief. In this case the intruder is expected to have some knowledge of how alarm systems work and possibly carry some tools to allow him to overcome a simple alarm system. The thief is likely to check the building for ease of access through doors, windows and other openings.

Grade 3 is for a reasonably substantial risk property. There is good reason to assume it may be broken into and might well contain objects of high value. An intruder is likely to gain access by penetrating doors, windows or other openings. The thief could be very experienced with intruder alarm systems and possess a number of tools and equipment to overcome the system

Grade 4 is for very high-risk properties. Intruders could be expected to plan a burglary in advance and have the knowledge and equipment to alter parts of the intruder alarm system to prevent detection. It is assumed that the intruder could gain access by penetration of floors, walls and ceilings. The intruder is unlikely to be working alone.

The EN standard says that it is not necessary to use the same grade of component throughout an intruder system.

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