Choosing a Keyholder
If your alarm is activated out of hours it is the key holder who will be expected to attend the premises, manage the situation, take appropriate action, reset the alarms and secure the building. The police have made their requirements more stringent for the management of monitored security systems due to the increasing number of false alarms and the growing demands on their services. If your premises qualify for a Level One - immediate police response the key holder must be in attendance within twenty minutes. Level Three responses will see only the key holder in attendance with a requirement to fully manage the incident. On arrival they may be unaware intruders are present.
Trusted staff members have traditionally acted as key holders but pressure on them to attend the premises within a specific timeframe and concern for the safety of staff working alone has meant that increasingly the services of professional security firms, offering key holding services are being utilised.
Choosing a key holder can be a daunting task. There are many companies offering their services but what may appear as a cheap solution may prove to be very expensive in the long run. It is important to have confidence in the company, in the quality of their alarm response and in the ability of the key holder to manage the incident once in attendance. The key holding company should be able to certify compliance with the codes of practice for the security industry, be adequately insured, and have audited trading accounts and evidence of a sound financial backing with a secure administrative office. Employee training records should be maintained, recognised security qualifications promoted and comprehensive staff selection and vetting procedures adhered to.
ESPO have negotiated a countrywide framework agreement with Premier Seucrity Services for primary security key-holding services under contract reference 347. If you require more information please contact Chris Roberts at ESPO on 0116 305 7877.
Attendance in accordance with police guidelines may be critical. The company should operate a secure, efficient and well-managed control room. Records should be maintained to check the running of sites. A site survey of your premises should be conducted and a written report issued, including health, safety and risk assessments prior to providing the service. Assignment instructions for your site must be approved demonstrated. Key utility contacts should be noted and the ability of staff to manage and co-ordinate clean-up activities.
For more information on this and other building risk management issues please speak to your Buildings Risk Management Group representative.
Page Last Updated: 29 November 2007