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Important Information from your Local Community Broker – Leading Alarm Signalling Service to Cease Operation

BT Redcare Alarm Signalling Service Stopping from 1st August 2025

Leading alarm signalling system, BT Redcare are ceasing all operations with effect from 1st August 2025. The BT remote monitoring intruder alarm system has been widely used for around 30 years, with the system sending an alert to the key holder and/or the police if the alarm is activated. Their withdrawal will impact over 100,000 private and commercial customers, who now need to find a suitable alternative.

Why has BT decided to quit the alarms market?

BT are phasing out the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and are upgrading analogue phones to digital lines. This switch over effects alarm signalling systems that rely on traditional analogue telephone services to carry the signals, which need to convert to a digital Internet Protocol (IP) network.

AddSecure come to the rescue

Since this announcement however, AddSecure, a leading European provider of secure IoT connectivity, end-to-end solutions and alarm signalling, announced in June that they are collaborating with BT Redcare to continue its Next Generation fire and security alarm signalling services in the UK.

They will step in as a partner to take on the responsibility of managing customer relationships with alarm receiving centres currently using BT Redcare’s Next Generation portfolio of alarm signalling devices.

The All-IP based solutions offered will connect over both fibre and 4G mobile.

Seamless transition

AddSecure and BT aim to ensure a seamless transition for BT Redcare customers who choose to migrate over to AddSecure. These customers can benefit from service continuity provided by an industry-leading expert in alarm signalling. AddSecure and BT Redcare will prioritise the transition from legacy alarm platforms to digital ones, offering customers high quality service and support throughout the process.

Whilst AddSecure have come on board to take the strain, they will still need to guide clients through system transitions and facilitating seamless migration, potentially entailing the replacement of obsolete equipment with IP-compatible devices.

Challenges to consider

The primary challenges of transitioning to an IP system include:

  1. Reliability: IP-based systems depend on consistent internet connectivity, making them vulnerable to network outages or disruptions that could impact alarm signalling.
  2. Security: Ensuring the security of IP-based communication is paramount, necessitating robust encryption and authentication mechanisms.
  3. Compatibility: Existing alarm systems may need upgrades or replacements to integrate with IP networks effectively.
  4. Monitoring centres: These centres must evolve to receive and process IP-based alarm signals, adapting their infrastructure accordingly.

Transitioning to a comparable alternative

That means existing BT Redcare customers will need to find alternative solutions, that meet the technological specifications delivered through Redcare, in order to find a like-for-like solution and performance level to satisfy the requirements of insurers.

Most insurers require a dual path Alarm Transmission System with performance level DP3 certificated to BSEN50136-1:2012.

The replacement service chosen must meet the following specifications;-

  • Installed by a company overseen by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), which includes the National Approval Council for Security Systems (NACOSS), or a company regulated by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB).
  • Must be kept in optimal condition through an annual maintenance contract with a suitable alarm maintenance company or installer regulated by the NSI, including the NACOSS, or a company regulated by SSAIB. Proof of the maintenance agreement may be requested in the event of a claim.

UK Grading Systems For Alarms

In the UK, intruder alarm systems are graded according to their level of security and risk. The four grades are1:
Grade 1: This grade is for systems installed in properties with a low risk of intrusion, such as small shops or residential properties where there is minimal risk of theft or intrusion.
Grade 2: Suitable for properties with a higher risk of intrusion, such as medium-sized shops or offices. Grade 2 alarm systems typically include additional features compared to Grade 1, providing increased security.
Grade 3: Designed for properties with a significant risk of intrusion, such as larger commercial premises or buildings housing valuable assets. Grade 3 alarm systems offer enhanced security features and are often required by insurers for higher-risk properties.
Grade 4: This grade is reserved for properties with the highest risk of intrusion, such as banks, jewellery stores, or critical infrastructure facilities. Grade 4 alarm systems provide the highest level of security and may include features such security measures for redundant systems and additional security measures to prevent tampering or sabotage.

These grades are approved by underwriters and are used to determine the appropriate level of security required for different types of properties and risks.

Performance level is key

BT Redcare provides various systems, including BT Redcare GSM, which employs a continuously monitored PSTN line, achieving Grade 4 signalling, the highest grade outlined by BS EN 50131. Insurers may require a dual path (DP) signal for clients facing elevated theft risks.

Replacing a BT Redcare system will probably entail clients opting for a Grade 3 alarm system featuring a dual path (DP) signalling system. They can choose between Grade 3 (DP3) or Grade 4 (DP4) signalling, as specified in BS EN 50131.

In certain instances, a Grade 2 alarm might suffice, provided it incorporates Grade DP3 or DP4 signalling. However, for exceptionally high-risk theft areas, insurers might mandate a Grade 4 alarm system.

Many insurance policies mandate the installation of the appropriate alarm and monitoring system before the commencement of the policy and prior to any potential loss, depending upon sums insured. Failure to adhere to this alarm condition may result in the insurer being unable to assess a claim.

Talk to us now

There are not many potential alternative suppliers able to supply the required performance levels moving to an all-IP system, so demand will be tight. Given the need for large numbers of installations required to be done before 1st August, and possible product shortages, it is wise to act now to avoid potential delays and issues.

Please feel free to contact us with any insurance related enquiries and we will be happy to help in any way we can.

  1. Intruder alarms explained https://clarionuk.com/resources/intruder-alarm-grades/#:~:text=Grade%204%20Intruder%20Alarms%20%E2%80%93%20for,of%20floors%2C%20walls%20and%20ceilings. ↩︎

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