Online quotation

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Following this on-line enquiry,we trust that you will invite us to follow-up with a formal quotation and a visit to site. However, we expect you to follow normal practice by seeking another opinion and a comparative price.

To be helpful here are some tips - things to look out for and things to be aware of during the sales/quotation phase.

You will be planning appointments for the 'obligatory' three quotations and by all means arrange for three firms to call but may we suggest that you arrange these visits one at a time. You never know, the first to call might offer exactly what you had in mind and for the price expected (in today-speak 'tick all of the boxes') and if this happens you might wish to be spared the repetition. If in any doubt, though, always opt for a second or third opinion.

You should consider carefully who it is you will be inviting into your property to discuss security matters. Isn't protecting your home and business a serious and sensitive issue; should you not be dealing with vetted security professionals even if it is 'only' a house or just a small business?

Some electricians install alarms but even these highly skilled tradesmen are unlikely to know our industry and install to the correct Standards. The old British Standard was withdrawn some years ago and the current document is European. PD6662 is the UK's interpretation of European Standard BS EN 50131 and the one demanded by insurance companies, the police and other agencies.

So, you should ask which installation standard is being followed. If you are presented with a specification to British Standard 4737, this is a less sophisticated, out-of-date Standard, one that would not be offered by an accredited security company.

A word about price. There are ways of cutting corners so be suspicious of a suprising low price. We frequently 'takeover' systems installed by others only to discover that tamper circuits have not been connected, power supplies are inadequate, SAB Modules have been left out.

Time and labour is the largest price ingredient so by reducing the installation time you lower costs and the result is a winning quotation. That's the theory at least but, as a businessman and a tradesman, I know that a fast installation usually equates to a poor installation. So, if you are told that one man will install a wired system in just one day, there is cause for concern.

What else should you look out for:

The benefits and disadvantages between a wired, a wireless and a hybrid system should be fully explained by the surveyor or sales person. If only a wireless system is offered, you are being given less than the full picture.

Some companies offer as part of the 'initial package' a system without an external sounder. Even if the system is monitored, even if a police-calling system, this is not something you should contemplate.

Judge the helpfulness and friendliness of the staff you speak to as this will give you a feel for the ethos of the firm. Trust your instincts, we all like dealing with pleasant, fair-minded people.

All this chatter about professionals you might think is preparing you for a high price - not at all. Although NSI-Gold accredited, Audible Security is a small company with commensurate operating costs. You will find us competitive.

You will be entering into a long-term relationship with your alarm company - this decision matters.

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