1st October 2017 at 10:52 #1796057
Thank you, loopski and Ariège09: I will definitely be giving EPS a ring, after work tomorrow, and it’s reassuring that the thickness of walls can be overcome by two separate (linked) wireless systems. I’m sure that we could get something reasonable if only they are prepared to come out and look at the place, rather than trying to do it all over the phone. Many thanks again.7th October 2017 at 10:07 #1796718
JUST AN UPDATE ON MY FINAL CHOICE
Thanks to everyone who contributed ideas and experiences – that has been very useful.
The problem with both EPS and IMA – for me – was that neither would come out to see the property. Both cast (quite reasonable) doubts on whether or not their wifi system would be effective in a longère (long and narrow) with thick walls, but said that it would be the technician who would advise on any extra measures needed, at the time of the installation. I didn’t feel happy, going ahead on that basis, although it’s clear that the two companies are very good (IMA got the highest scores in a recent Que Choisir? report on télésurveillance systems).
A couple of local-ish independent firms were not very impressive and didn’t really seem to want what, to them, was no doubt a small job.
Finally hit gold with Verisure/Securitas. They are an international firm and have an impressive list of clients, including, in France, the Assemblée Nationale and most nuclear power sites.
The local adviser whom they sent was also the technician/installer and he spent over 2 hours, looking closely at the oddities of the house and advising on what permutations of their basic system would be best, including explaining why we did not actually need as many entry point sensors as we thought we did. There was absolutely no hard sell at all and, in fact, he advised us to check out ESP and IMA, while forewarning us of the difficulty that the construction of the house would probably throw up.
When we decided to sign up, he gave us a 45% discount on the material and installation which, he said, was because October/November is their least busy period (tax returns fall due, people stay in more and there is not imminent holiday etc etc); no doubt they always do this, but he did back it up by showing me his own yearly pattern of sales.
What most impressed me was his professionalism, genuine friendliness and that fact that he is very local: he gave us his personal mobile number and invited us to contact him instead of/as well as Verisure Customer Services, in the event of any concerns; furthermore, there is what seems to be a completely genuine ‘no quibble money-back if not satisfied’ guarantee for 30 days after installation.
The system involves – as I suppose they all do – a combination of intrusion sensors and movement detectors. The latter have integrated cameras with flash lighting and upload 5 colour images per second to the control centre; the quality of those taken in darkness is pretty good. Communication with the control centre is by GMS and it is clear from reviews – I looked at a lot in the UK – that they dispatch the police and their own security agent within a very very short time of determining that it is necessary. The system seems to me to combine robustness of materials and installation with ease of use and is reassuringly backed up by courteous and responsive customer service and technical support.
I feel safer now and almost wish the bad lads of the Deux-Sèvres criminal fraternity would come and have a go (relax boys – only joking!)
A final thanks to all who have contributed. If anyone has any questions about Verisure/Securitas, I’d be happy to answer honestly.
7th October 2017 at 12:02 #1796729
- This reply was modified 07 Oct 2017 10:10 by pabster.
Communication with the control centre is by GMS and it is clear from reviews – I looked at a lot in the UK – that they dispatch the police and their own security agent within a very very short time of determining that it is necessary.
I used to sell, install and maintain monitored intruder alarms in the UK, I did not contribute because my knowledge/experience stopped in 1992 so has no value in this modern connected world.
whilst in the UK the ACPO regulations will ensure a speedy response to a verified intrusion reported by an accredited monitoring centre from an approved alarm system dont expect the same in France.
The French equivalent of the Brinks Mat robbery took place at a secure cash handling depot near me in Amiens, the robbers did not even try to overcome the alarm system, they worked with impunity believing that the Police Municipale were not likely to respond on a weekend and especially a bank holiday one, they were right, they grabbed what they could and got out swiftly and waited to see what if any response there was, there was none, they then went back and had 3 full days to break into all the vaults and remove everything, CCTV footage showed that they even stopped for long lunch breaks set up cutlery food, wine etc and were toasting their good luck to the security cameras.
Normally I would say that the external bell box as a visual detterent gives you 99% of the protection but if the bad guys know that the Gendarmes/Police Municipale are not likely to respond then it becomes a great big advert saying come and rob me, there are rich pickings here.
To my knowledge despite what the alarm company sales people will say there is no obligation for the Gendarmes/Police to respond to an alarm call, happy to be proved wrong.7th October 2017 at 12:24 #1796733
They have some fairly convincing statistics (they would, obviously!) on frequency and speed of police response times and make a big thing of the fact that their operating centre calls the police ONLY when it is obvious (from the images) that an intrusion or an attempted one is taking place or that an attempt has been made to disable the system, either manually or by blocking the radio waves; apparently, they have had almost no instances of having called the police for no reason. The proof of the pudding will etc etc….. In fact, I saw something of how the system works yesterday. First time I left it activated and went out to work. Received a phone call to say that the alarm had been activated, that the images showed both doors into the area had remained closed and there was no sign of any intruder or an attempted entry at any other point. Because of that, and because the system had recently been installed, they had decided not to call the police, but were sending a guard to check (which they did); if further false alarms occur, they will send a technician to check the sensitivity and other settings.
Thanks for your thoughts, Chancer: it’s especially interesting to have them from someone who is in the know – not all knowledge goes out of date!7th October 2017 at 12:46 #1796735
The ACPO policy changed in the UK so that only verified alarms would be forwarded to the Police because of them losing resource to frequent false alarms, the Police forces for their part had to respond as a priority within 5 or 10 minutes, too long ago to recall, there will doubtless have been many changes to the policy since then.
To the best of my knowledge there is no such policy or obligation to respond to alarm calls in France verified or otherwise.
Wireless alarms were a complete nightmare for reliabilty and false alarms but I could see why the big national companies were pushing them and pushing ACPO to accept them, I sold the business and got out while the going was good. I would hope that things have improved but stuff is made down to a price and battery replacement is always going to be an issue, the things have to be on standby all the time and regularly polling with the base station which drains the batteries.
I would only have a wired alarm and even with that there is enough potential for false alarm due to environmental factors or electronics.
Are you billed each time the alarm goes off and for the guard visit? Do you have to have keyholders? That is essential for effective police response, does the system have to have an engineer reset after an alarm condition? Do you have panic buttons?
The answers to those questions will tell me if there are any measures at all in France to respond to alarm calls.7th October 2017 at 14:22 #1796740
bjslivParticipantJoined: 01 Oct 2004Location: 37Total posts: 970
Ignoring the more obvious selling aspects, I think this probably gives a pretty good indication of the French policy regarding police intervention after an alarm.
bjs7th October 2017 at 14:32 #1796741
In answer to your questions:
- re the battery life: the system does an automated check six (I think) times a day on various elements, including battery performance and the data are uploaded to the technical part of the control centre; in addition, there is an audible and visual warning, if a battery should suddenly malfunction.
- on billing for ‘false alarms’, their explanation is as follows. They say there are only three reasons an alarm goes off: a ‘real’ alert, as someone opens or causes vibration or enters at a monitored access point or if someone attempts to block the radio signal; a ‘false alarm’ caused by some technical or configuration problem. These first two are down to them, they say. The only other scenario is where the owner is at fault, by, say, leaving an alarm going. I can’t quite see how this could happen: the alarm makes a hell of a noise and you can cancel it by entering a code, physical contact with the keyfob badge or responding to the control centre – who come on the line within 30 seconds and giving them the correct password. Incidentally, when the alarm is cancelled by number code (on the unit) or by voice (to the control centre), there are two codes – a ‘real’ one, which cancels the system entirely, and an ‘under coercion one’, where an intruder threatens you if you don’t cut the alarm off. In the latter scenario, the system appears to shut down – no noises, so flash lights from cameras, but images are taken and the police are called immediately.
- Keyholders: you have to have a minimum of two and can nominate up to six, I think.
- There are 3 ‘panic buttons’, I think: one connects directly to the control centre and can be used for a quick, but non-urgent contact with them; the central one is an ‘SOS’ button, which informs them that an emergency is taking place, but you cannot talk and prompts a call to the police and an urgent intervention by Securitas; the third one is a quickdial to 112.
- There is no need for a physical reset in the case of the alarm being activated.
Hope this helps you and anyone who might be wondering (I’m sure they’d be as glad as I would of any reaction from you.)
Thanks again and best wishes
7th October 2017 at 16:28 #1796743
- This reply was modified 07 Oct 2017 14:35 by pabster. Reason: typo
Been having fun today with my new sans fil PSTN système.
Simplissimo to install as the default console configuration automatically adds each Detector in ordinal sequence starting at 1-99. The detectors each have an aerial as does the console so the sans fil range is impressive, much better than a WLAN router.
I would lie on top of the stairs and smell the cigar smoke of Castro.7th October 2017 at 16:49 #1796746
Un poquito de cristiano para refrescar la memoria !
I would lie on top of the stairs and smell the cigar smoke of Castro.7th October 2017 at 17:54 #1796747
I could see the way the market was going and mass produced modern electronics has pushed it even further, very low cost wireless stuff stuck in place with sticky pads, control unit connected to the mains by a plug in transformer like a mobile phone, all the money is in the monitoring and service charges.
No real integrity of the equipment and sounds like the major players wont even do a site survey to specify a system, money talks.7th October 2017 at 18:22 #1796748
Next one with GSM, etc.
Watching an Ebay auction that finishes in a couple of days.
I would lie on top of the stairs and smell the cigar smoke of Castro.