Your telephone service is changing – Things to know and ask your alarm provider!

Tuesday 18 February 2020 - David Wilkinson, Director of Technical Services, BSIA

Your telephone service is changing –

Things to know and ask your alarm provider! 

What’s happening?

The UK telephone service is changing to a digital voice service. This is part of the Government’s drive for consumers and businesses to have access to digital online services via Broadband and other new services. It is also because the current phone network is ageing and needs to be replaced. 

? This change has already started and is expected to be complete by 2025!

To achieve this ‘digital’ transition, telecommunication companies such as BT, Virgin Media, K Com  etc. are starting to offer their new services, which means you may be offered these over the coming months and years.  

How does this affect my alarm system?

If you have an alarm system fitted in your premises that connects to an alarm receiving centre or other remote services, it may be affected by these changes. Some alarm systems that use the telephone lines may not continue to work on the new digital service, whilst others will, with some minor modifications. It is likely that your alarm service will need reconnecting to the new phone service after it has changed.

What do I need to do?

Top tips to keep you safe and secure:

If you are approached by your telephone provider to upgrade your phone service, or voluntarily decide to upgrade to a faster broadband service, let them know your alarm is monitored off-site. You should also contact the alarm company that maintains your system

If you are approached by your alarm system provider to upgrade your alarm, make sure you receive a detailed quote from them explaining why the change is necessary

If you are approached by a company other than those above to install a new alarm system, ensure you receive a detailed quote from them and also seek further quotes from reputable alarm system providers

General advice

Not all alarm systems will be affected by the change and it may not be necessary to replace or upgrade your system 

Always check that any proposed changes will be ‘compatible’ with the new digital services

Choose a professional alarm system provider that is approved by one of the recognised certification bodies NSI or SSAIB and a member of a recognised trade association such as BSIA or FSA

If you are unsure what to do, contact your local police crime prevention service or seek assistance from one of the security industry trade bodies: BSIA or FSA

Useful contact numbers:

British Security Industry Association (BSIA) - 01905 342 020

Fire & Security Association (FSA) - 020 7313 4800

National Security Inspectorate (NSI) - 01628 637512

Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) - 0191 296 3242

Citizens Advice - 0344 411 1444  

Supported and endorsed by the following industry organisations:

image logos