The term Risk Assessment is most commonly associated with Health & Safety. However the security and insurance industries use the term ‘Risk Assessment’ for the new European Systems Standard EN 50131-1 (or the British equivalent PD6662), which lays down a structured Risk Assessment procedure for designers of intruder alarm systems.
A properly completed Risk Assessment will lead to an appropriately designed and graded system. When designing a confirmable alarm system, insurers expect alarm installers to take into account the need to detect intruders before they reach the target, as well as the need to have confirmation of detection.
One of the most significant issues within the new EN Standard is evaluating the risk associated with the premises and determining a grade of system which will be directly proportional to the insurance value of the property and its contents. Once the grade of a property has been determined, it will define the extent of its alarm system, the type of remote alarm monitoring used and the system’s tamper security (ie. the method used to protect an intruder alarm system against deliberate interference).
Another important aspect of the EN 50131 requirements is the concept of a security grade. In the EN, each installation’s grade of system is determined by various factors. This grade is described in terms of the perceived type of burglar and how determined the burglar is likely to be.
What are the Grades?
- Grade 1 is for a low risk of theft. It applies to a property which is not likely to attract burglars. In the application guide (DC CLC/TS 50131-7), it assumes that a thief is likely to be opportunistic rather than planning a theft and will simply break open a door.
- Grade 2 is for a higher risk of theft. Such a property is likely to have something of interest to an experienced thief who is likely to have some knowledge of how alarm systems work and possibly carry some tools to help him overcome a simple alarm system. The thief is likely to check the building for easy access through doors, windows and other openings.
- Grade 3 is for a property which is a reasonably substantial risk, one which, might well contain objects of high value so there is good reason to assume it may be broken into. An intruder is likely to be knowledgeable about intruder alarm systems and have the tools and equipment to overcome the system. The thief is likely to get in by penetrating doors, windows or other openings.
- Grade 4 is for highest-risk properties. Such properties are likely to be targeted by a gang of thieves who will probably have planned the burglary in advance. They will know how to tamper with the intruder alarm system to prevent detection and can be expected to gain access by penetration of floors, walls and ceilings.
What Grade of System does my installation need?
To a large degree the choice of grade is dictated by the insurance companies but a rule of thumb guide is as follows:
- Grade 1 would be for residential/properties (whose insurance policy does not require an alarm system)
- Grade 2 would be for most residential/properties and low risk commercial premises (e.g. a florist)
- Grade 3 would be for high-risk residential/domestic and most commercial properties (e.g. an off-licence)
- Grade 4 would be for extremely high-risk residential/domestic and higher risk commercial properties (e.g. a bank)
Insurers are looking to the NSI (as part of their inspection programme) to ensure that approved installers carry out Risk Assessments professionally when designing systems and selecting a Risk Assessment Grade. Complete Security are NSI Gold Medal Accredited and can carry out a full Risk Assessment to offer the right grade of protection for your property and completely satisfy insurance requirement.