Ultimate Guide to SSAIB Approved Alarms
The SSAIB is a certification body within the private security industry. They provide accreditation to companies that install and maintain security products, such as alarm systems and management systems. Find out why SSAIB approved alarms are the best choice for your business.
- What is the SSAIB?
- Advantages of SSAIB Approved Alarms
- How to Find SSAIB Approved Alarm Installers
- SSAIB vs Other Alarm Certifications
- The Role of SSAIB in Alarm Industry Regulations
- SSAIB vs. DIY Alarm Systems
- SSAIB Approved Alarm Certification Process
- Summary of SSAIB Approved Alarms
What is the SSAIB?
SSAIB stands for ‘Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board’.
The SSAIB is an authority working within the private security industry. They are a certification body that provides accreditation to companies that install and maintain security products, such as alarm systems, and management systems.
UKAS accredited, the SSAIB carries out a thorough initial inspection before awarding certification. Following accreditation, periodic inspections take place to ensure professional standards are maintained within the company.
There are varying lengths of certification, with product certificates lasting indefinitely, provided yearly checks by the SSAIB are completed. Whereas, management system accreditations are valid for three years, requiring annual inspections and recertification upon the completion of the three years.
Advantages of SSAIB Approved Alarms
Alarms that are installed and maintained by SSAIB approved companies come with a host of benefits, from providing optimum security to ensuring your insurance validity.
Firstly, you can rest assured that your alarm system is fitted, inspected and repaired by expert technicians that know exactly what they are doing. When a security company displays the SSAIB logo, you know that the company installing and maintaining the alarm system will carry out the work to the highest industry standards.
Due to the process of SSAIB certification, you also know that those high standards are being continually monitored through annual inspections, ensuring excellent security practices are maintained.
Operating on a not-for-profit basis, you can be certain impartiality was exercised in the decision to certify a security company. This provides you with the knowledge that your provider has been legitimately approved and has your security needs at the forefront of their approach.
The SSAIB works closely with government bodies to ensure they’re up-to-date with the latest security industry updates. By working with an SSAIB approved company for your alarm system, you know that your chosen security method is compliant with the latest police advice.
Insurers also place significant value on SSAIB certification when it comes to alarm systems. In the unfortunate event of an incident, insurance companies may review the security systems in place to ensure they provided reasonable protection against risks. By choosing an SSAIB approved company to install and maintain your alarm, you can know that they have done the leg work in ensuring your system is fit for purpose.
How to Find SSAIB Approved Alarm Installers
Now that we’ve covered what the SSAIB is and why it is so important to choose an SSAIB approved alarm company, you may be wondering how you can navigate finding an SSAIB certified provider.
There are two ways of determining whether a security company is SSAIB certified. Firstly, the SSAIB allows approved companies to showcase their logo on their company website. It looks something like this:
You might be wondering, ‘how can this be authenticated?’, as in theory, any company could display this logo, legitimately or otherwise. Fortunately, the SSAIB has a company search service on their website. The SSAIB Search Service allows you to verify whether the company displaying the logo is actually an SSAIB certified company.
If you haven’t yet found any security providers displaying the SSAIB logo locally, you can also use the search functionality to find approved security companies near you.
Firstly, you select a scheme – this is the security system you’re looking to implement. In this case, it would be ‘Intruder Alarm Systems’. You can then choose to search by postcode or company. If you’re looking to verify a specific provider, you can search for them here in the ‘Company’ option. For finding a list of certified providers near you, enter your postcode.
Lastly, complete the CAPTCHA verification, and hit search. You’ll then be provided with a list of local SSAIB approved alarm companies relevant to your search.
SSAIB vs Other Alarm Certifications
In the UK, the other alarm certification body we’re going to focus on is the NSI.
The NSI shares many similarities with the SSAIB, with both being nationally recognised and accredited by UKAS. It is also important to note with security certifications, it isn’t a one or the other approach – private security companies are able to hold certifications from both the NSI and the SSAIB.
NSI stands for ‘National Security Inspectorate’. Similarly to the SSAIB, the NSI is an awarding body in both the private security industry, as well as providing certification in the fire safety sector. Formed from the merger of NACOSS (National Approval Council for Security Systems) and ISI (Inspectorate of the Security Industry), the NSI has multiple levels of accreditation – silver and gold.
NSI Silver accreditation is about product accreditation. Whereas, Gold standard accreditation looks at both the product and the standard of the company management system. The NSI Gold accreditation is the highest and most desired certification standard.
NSI certified companies are required to be a part of annual audit programmes. Upon certification, they are able to feature the NSI accreditation standard they have attained on their website.
As well as having a similar approved company search service to the SSAIB, the NSI also has the Wall of Shame, made for showcasing companies who fraudulently advertise an NSI accreditation.
The Role of SSAIB in Alarm Industry Regulations
As a certification body in the private security sector, the SSAIB has a responsibility to both companies and the end users of approved security systems.
The main aim of the SSAIB is to promote and encourage high standards in the private security sector. They do this by inspecting company products and practices, and certifying those that meet professional industry standards.
To ensure that they provide certification only to those with the highest industry standards, they must themselves be well informed about the industry. There are several things they do to ensure this.
Firstly, they liaise closely with the police, government bodies and insurance providers at both national and european levels. Within this, they provide relevant expertise and knowledge about the issues security companies and users are facing, helping to shape the future of the security industry.
Due to these close working relationships, they not only act as a spokesperson in the private security sector, but are also one of the first to know about any updates in policies and best practices. This means that the SSAIB are able to update their indicators and processes to better inspect those that they are certifying.
To effectively comment on the needs of the security industry, the SSAIB must pay close attention to industry trends, patterns of crime and feedback from private security companies and their end users.
SSAIB vs. DIY Alarm Systems
We’ve spoken about the benefits of SSAIB approved alarms. But, what is really the problem with either installing your own alarm system, or going with an uncertified company?
The first reason may seem obvious – the alarm may not be installed or maintained at a high standard. A poorly installed or maintained alarm could impact the functionality of your system, meaning it may not work when you need it to. Further to this, without the assurances that an SSAIB certification provides, you lose the peace of mind that your alarm system is providing your home or business with optimum security.
Along with the loss of confidence in your system, you are also less able to rely on your SSAIB approved alarm installer for any advice or recommendations. When you work with an SSAIB approved provider, you are able to trust that with any additional questions or concerns you have, that you will receive informed answers from experts that have your security at the forefront of their mind.
Lastly, as previously mentioned, many insurance providers only consider an alarm as an approved security feature when it is installed and maintained by a recognised provider. With this recognition coming from accredited bodies, such as the SSAIB, a DIY or uncertified alarm system may create issues in the case of an incident.
SSAIB Approved Alarm Certification Process
To have a security product or management system accredited by SSAIB, companies must go through a thorough step-by-step certification process.
Firstly, companies must apply for the relevant certification online – be this a product, such as an alarm, or a management system.
Upon receipt of the application, the SSAIB will review the company information and get to scheduling an initial visit to the premises.
If it is a product looking to be certified, the inspection will take approximately one day. For management systems, this process is longer, and can stretch across multiple days, depending on the size of the company.
After the inspection takes place, a report is provided to the company, and where relevant, any non-conformances will be outlined so rectifying action can be taken.
After any outstanding issues are ironed out, an SSAIB decision maker can then review the report and if the company meets the necessary standards, certification will be awarded.
Following certification, annual surveillance visits take place, ensuring that the certified company continues to comply with SSAIB standards.
For product certifications, accredited status is indefinite, provided successful annual inspections take place with a positive outcome.
In the case of management systems, annual inspections will take place for three years. Upon the completion of the three years, the company needs to complete a recertification audit. If successful, the management system will again be certified and the three year process begins again.
Summary of SSAIB Approved Alarms
To summarise, the SSAIB is a key certification body in the private security industry. You can identify if an alarm supplier is SSAIB approved by looking for the SSAIB logo on their website, and verifying this using the online search service.
Security companies can also gain approval from the NSI. Both bodies are UKAS-accredited, and companies can hold certifications from both.
To ensure security providers are able to provide high standards, the SSAIB has a strict certification process, involving inspections and ongoing checks. Upon approval by the SSAIB, product certifications last indefinitely, whereas management system certifications need to be renewed every 3 years.
By having your alarm installed and maintained by an SSAIB approved company, you are guaranteeing a high-quality alarm system. Further to this, you have the peace of mind that your SSAIB approved alarm is compliant with industry standards and recognised by insurance companies. By using an uncertified security provider, or installing a DIY alarm system, you miss out on these benefits.
If you’re looking for an SSAIB approved provider for your home or business, Kestrel is a certified alarm provider. Get in touch to find out more about our installation and maintenance of high-quality, effective alarm systems.