Blake Fire and Security Systems

Burglar Alarm Installation - Avoiding the Cowboys

Date: 22 September 2021

Your burglar alarm installation should always be carried out by a suitably qualified security company. If not, you could be playing with fire!

Read on to discover:

  1. The problems you will face by choosing the wrong installer
  2. How to choose a reputable one

The full horror of choosing the wrong installer is highlighted in the Fake Britain video further down in this post. You have to ask yourself this question:

Do you really know who is fitting your home burglar alarm?

Trouble-free Burglar Alarm Installation

Choose a reputable security installation company to fit your burglar alarm and everything will go according to plan. It's the only way to guarantee your home will be protected for years to come! Here's how a trouble-free installation should proceed:

  • You select and contact a reputable, established security company - NSI or SSAIB approved
  • They arrange a survey of your home to assess what system you need
  • A quote will be sent and you agree to it
  • An engineer is booked to install your burglar alarm
  • You will be offered a maintenance contract, to ensure your system is maintained and working correctly - essential for monitored alarm systems
  • You're issued with a genuine certificate of compliance to keep your insurance company happy

Your burglar alarm system should be maintained annually. This will ensure false alarms are kept to a bare minimum - a fault or discharged battery can trigger these, so regular maintenance is a good idea.

False alarms are not only irritating for your neighbours, like the boy who cried wolf they can leave you vulnerable when it really matters. If you choose a monitored system, it is essential to avoid them, too many and the emergency services will cease to respond! Maintenance is critical!

Burglar Alarm Installation - the dangers...

You would think that burglar alarm companies are beyond reproach. Sadly, as with any trade, there are plenty of excellent companies but all too many frauds.

In the following video, from the National Security Inspectorate YouTube channel, you will see a prime example of a home security installation cowboy in action. In the Fake Britain report, the bad guy is winning business and fitting burglar alarms under false pretences. He is trading fraudulently in two ways:

  1. Fake compliance certificates
  2. Falsely trading as a reputable company

Watch the report, it's only nine minutes long. Your jaw will be left hanging open at the barefaced cheek of this particular criminal.

So the dodgy trading of the fraudulent security alarm fitter in the video had two outcomes:

  1. Fake certificates invalidated the victim's insurance
  2. Trading under a false name harmed the reputation of a good company and stole contracts from them

Not all small security companies without NSI or SSAIB approval are fraudulent. Many will do a good job, but... how do you know before you buy?

If the security company you're considering for your install is not approved (NSI or SSAIB) they are at best in a grey area and at worst a cowboy! It's as simple as that. And if they say they are approved, you need to check.

Why choose an approved company for your alarm installation?

If you want a trouble-free installation that won't come back to bite you, choose an approved installer - and the Police agree. On their website, Essex Police suggest using an accredited company registered with NSI or SSAIB.

Essentially, you're getting a better service with an approved security system installer. NSI are concerned with separating "the strong (performers) from the weak". They check that installed security alarm systems are of the highest quality and reliability and comply with all relevant British Standards.

Burglar Alarm Installation - checking approvals

It only takes a few minutes to check if a the security company you're considering using is genuinely approved by SSAIB or NSI, here's how.

SSAIB approved installers search

SSAIB CertificatedVerify at

Go to the Security Provider Search page and select the appropriate item in the dropdown, in this case Intruder Alarm Systems. Then add the company details and click search. Easy!

Be aware that you need to enter the name of the company exactly as it is in the SSAIB database!

We suggest you try the full postcode or town if the company doesn't come up first time. It's unfair to write a company off as a cowboy just because a website's search function is very precise.

Here's an example of an SSAIB approved security company - Blake Fire & Security

For more detailed instructions finding SSAIB accredited companies, click here.

NSI approved installers search


In the top right corner of any page on the NSI website, you'll find a box to search from. It's called Find NSI Approved Companies - click Find A Company.

Type in the company name, filter your search by Medal and Service and press search.

Again, if the company name you enter is different to what's in the database it won't show up.

You can search by postcode or town to make sure!

EXAMPLE: - To find Blake Fire & Security you need to include the ampersand (&) or search by our postcode SS2 5PQ or Southend-on-Sea. Either will show us as the first entry.

For more detailed instructions on finding NSI accredited companies, click here.

NSI Gold or Silver

NSI have a 2 tier system, silver and gold. Here's the lowdown:

Silver - product certification against security sector standards

Gold - product certification (i.e. Silver level) and Quality Management System Certification for policies, procedures and processes, to internationally recognised ISO standards.

In layman's terms, that means Silver approved companies are certified to design and install the equipment. Gold approved companies are also tested on the Quality Management of the service they provide.

Choose an NSI Gold or SSAIB registered company and you can be sure they will provide an outstanding service across the board!

Rounding up

The short report from Fake Britain highlights some of the lengths unscrupulous security cowboys out there. Security companies without the relevant installation approval are NOT necessarily fraudulent but... how can you possibly know?

The simple truth is you should ALWAYS use an approved company to install your home security system. It is straight forward to check the validity of the approvals a security system installer is claiming. So don't take it on face value, do your research!

For more information about the excellent experience you will receive from Blake's, click the image below:

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This blog post is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. Call Blake's on 01702 447800 to speak to one of our professionals for specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site.

Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information on our site, we make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up to date.

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