What Is the SIA?

The SIA stands for the Security Industry Authority. It is the governing body of the security industry and is run by the Home Office. It is responsible for licensing, training levels, industry standards, and prosecutions. All security officers must hold an appropriate licence, and the penalties are very severe if unlicensed staff are used, including imprisonment and unlimited financial penalties for both the individual and company. You can check for information, penalties and sentences at: www.sia.homeoffice.gov.uk•'prosecutions

What Are the British Standards for Security?

The British Standards Institute has numerous standards applicable to the security industry. The most common ones that affect the manned security services are: 

- BS 7499:2013 Static and Mobile Security Officers 

- BS 7984:2014 Keyholding and Alarm Response 

- BS 7858:2012 Vetting 

- BS 8549:2016 Security Consultancy

What Is Key Holding?

This is when a company retains your keys in a safe environment on your behalf. This service is sometimes backed up by an alarm monitoring facility and first response service. Keys should be retained in a tamper-proof bag and checked daily.

Why Do I Need a First Responder?

In the "good old days", it used to be the job of an office junior to attend alarm calls. Those days are over! Now, a first responder is trained to deal with all sorts of situations, including burglars, fire, floods, and squatters. They all have personal protection equipment and back up in the event of any problems. Companies and their directors can be held liable in the event of injury to their responding staff if they are not properly trained and equipped.

How Do I Know That the Security Officer Is Licensed?

It is illegal to operate without a licence and may invalidate any insurance. Every security officer and director has to hold an SIA licence. The security officer must display the licence on his or her person at all times when operational, as this can be inspected at any time. There is a unique number on the licence that can be checked on the SIA website, under the register of licence holders, to see the current status of any security operative. It is illegal to operate without a licence and may invalidate any insurance.

What Is Non-Contract Security?

Some security companies require a contract that stipulates the minimum number of hours, visits, and the length of time that contract will run. We do not require this, we are very flexible and operate on a client requirement basis, so you can extend, cancel, or alter any of our services, at any time, without any financial penalties. We are happy to agree to a service level agreement on all our services. If you do require a contract, as some of our clients do, then we are happy to oblige.

How Do I Set up the First Responders Service?

It's simple, either have your automatic dialler (on your alarm system) pointed to our dedicated service line in our control room or, if you have your own alarm or video monitoring company, they can call us manually. When an out of hours alarm activation occurs, we will then quickly attend and sort it out for you. In the event of a serious emergency, we will then notify your management on a call out list, as per your instructions.

How Do I Know That My Keys Are Safe?

We operate within the British Standards for key holding. Keys are sealed in a tamper-proof bag, within a safe, and are checked twice a day and countersigned. In the event of the keys being needed, the seal on the tamper-proof bag is broken and a record made. The seals are individually numbered and cannot be re-used. A senior person then checks the seal numbers every week and records them. No information about your premises is kept in the same place as your keys.

I Don’t Require Security Anymore, How Do I Cancel the Service?

No problem, we understand circumstances change. All you do is call or email us and the service can be cancelled the same day. Alternatively, we will work notice if you require a longer period. There are no financial penalties in any event and all keys are returned immediately.

What about Health and Safety?

We will undertake all necessary risk assessments that are legally required. We can do this just prior to commencing work and you will not be charged for this service. If the situation is urgent, we can usually undertake this the same day.

What Is the Next Step?

Email or telephone us and we will arrange to visit you. We can then look at your business and get a better understanding of your requirements. We will then confirm the cost and your preferred start date if you wish to continue. We do not employ salespersons who will try to sell you something - you will deal directly with someone who knows about security. There is zero pressure and zero obligations to continue with anything, and all discussions are confidential. Same-day appointments are available in urgent circumstances as, in this business, there are always surprises.

Contact us, 

in Birmingham, West Midlands, to ask us a question about our security services.