BS 9518:2021 pdf download – Processing of alarm signals by an alarm receiving centre — Code of practice
The primary function of an ARC should be the handling of alarm and/or Vss signals, together withother 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 controllinga response service.
The ARC should maintain an environment in its operations area that is free from unnecessarydistractions such that:
a) the amount of ambient noise transmitted to the user is limited; and
b) the operator can listen to and quickly verify an incident, even through unclear received audio.NOTE The working environment in the ARC is particularly important when handling lone worker or social alarmsor other audio communication systems.
4.3Operational resources processes4.3.1Staff selection and screening
All ARC staff should be selected and screened in accordance with the types of risk arising from theinformation to be handled by the ARC and the nature of staff contact with customers, clients,usersand their data.
For ARCs processing signals from security applications (as defined in BSEN 50518:2019), all staffshould be screened in accordance with the screening process described in BS 7858.
For ARCs processing signals from non-security applications(as defined in BS EN 50518:2019),potential staff risks extend beyond those contained within the screening framework in BS 7858 andthe ARC management should have and operate a suitable screening framework and process, based onidentified risks for each post.
All staff should receive a period of training within the ARC to familiarize them with the routines andpractices of operation. There should be a stated minimum period of training to provide staff with thecompetence to carry out specified duties, which should be completed before the operator is allowedto handle alarms without direct supervision.Training plans should include the specific requirementsfor the types of alarms the operator might be required to handle.Further training should be given,asnecessary, for specific subjects, such as new equipment or changes in operational procedure.
There should be a written response agreement with each client specifying the action(s) to be takenon receipt of an alarm, fault, other signal including mis-operation signal, or any other services to beprovided by the ARC.
The response agreement should contain, as a minimum, the following.
a) Prioritization of alarm signals: the prioritization applied by the ARC to different alarm signal
types in instances where multiple signals appear in an alarm queue prior to processing, e.g. a firealarm signal might be considered a higher priority to be processed than an intruder alarm signal,so would be processed before the intruder alarm signal.
b) Multiple false activations: where multiple false activations (nuisance alarms) occur from an alarm system, if the ARC chooses to isolate all or part of that system, the response agreementshould specify the minimum frequency (number/time) of alarm signals received before theaffected part is isolated.Each case of detection device or system isolation/suspension should becommunicated to the client/user at the time of isolation, along with a maximum isolation period.
c) Reports: any reports or other information to be provided to the client. The ARC should, as a
minimum, provide a monthly report of any alarm system activation to their client in order to aidthe client in their management of false alarms.
NOTE 1 Annex A outlines common lines of communication/the contractual relationship between the ARC,client, alarm company, customer, users and emergency services.
NOTE 2 Where the client and the customer are the same person, the ARC and the client might agree thatmonthly reports of all activations are not required.
d) Notification of alarms: the arrangements for contacting a customer or user following a signalled alarm condition.
e) Notification of transmission faults: the arrangements for contacting the customer or user
following the identification of a fault on the transmission systems and if applicable, include anydelay period applied before notifying the customer or user.
Filtering of alarms: a documented policy on filtering of alarms should be provided to the client.The policy should detail:
1) which alarm signals are to be filtered;2how/when filtering is to be applied; and3) duration/time limits of filtering.
Where an ARC utilizes technology to automatically filter alarm signals after the signal has beentransmitted from the alarm system, the client should be provided with a description of how thefiltering process works and an agreement obtained in writing.
The ARC should make available to the client a copy of their response agreement for review.4.5 Critical data omissions
lf the ARC becomes aware that critical data required to complete the response agreement isunavailable or inaccurate (e.g.there is a user who is no longer valid on the system), within 24 h aformal notice should be issued in accordance with the response agreement requesting the supply ofthe missing data.