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Below, we have put together a list of our customers’ most common questions. Check out the answers to see if they address your enquiry. If you don’t see the information that you are looking for, a member of our team will be happy to chat with you one-on-one.

Click to jump to questions on:
- Fire Alarms -

- Emergency Lighting Systems -

- Intruder Alarms -

- CCTV -

- Access Control -


Q. What products do Brodman service and support?

  • Fire Alarms

  • Emergency Lighting

  • Portable Fire Extinguishers

  • Fire suppression systems

  • Intruder Alarms

  • CCTV Surveillance Systems

  • Access Control Systems

  • Monitoring to our Alarm Receiving Centre

Q. How and when will I get invoiced?

Approved customers are invoiced by the Brodman accounts team as tasks are closed down, at month end and any other timescales agreed in writing on your contract with Brodman.


Q. When does a fire alarm need to be maintained?

British Standard BS5839 Part1 (2017) calls for fire alarms to be serviced and maintained at least 6 monthly. This should be more often if the risk requires.

Q. How long will a Fire Alarm last?

The environment into which the alarm system is deployed is key to its performance, but as a guide one might expect some 10 – 15 years of life from control panels and interfaces. To ensure automatic detectors provide a reliable platform, they should be considered for replacement when reaching 10 years of age.

Q. Do I need to have a service contract for a fire alarm?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) requires that the responsible person must ensure that, where appropriate, the premises is equipped with appropriate fire detectors and alarms and that these are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair by a competent person.


RRO clause 18.—(1) The responsible person must…..appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the preventive and protective measures.


RRO clause 18. – (5) A person is to be regarded as competent for the purposes of this article where he has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him properly to assist in undertaking the preventive and protective measures.  

British Standard BS 5839-1 (2017) provides guidance and recommendations as to what is considered appropriate, suitable, efficient, good and competent. It recommends that all fire alarm and detection systems are subject to a regular inspection and servicing arrangement. The period between visits by the competent person should not exceed a period of 6 months. 100% of the equipment on the system must be checked over a 12-month period. The inspection can be split into as many visits as is required to ensure that 100% of the equipment has been checked.

Q. How often should I test my fire alarm?

British Standards require a fire alarm to be tested once a week. This is done by testing one Manual Call Point (MCP) with your test key. Before doing this, and to ensure the emergency services to not attend unnecessarily, check that any monitoring links to the Alarm Receiving Centre are ‘on test’. Further make staff and any other affected persons aware of the test you are performing. Weekly tests do not require persons to evacuate.


Weekly tests should be recorded in your fire safety logbook.


Q. When do emergency lights need to be serviced & maintained?

Emergency Lights have undergone a shift in design over recent years. Now mainly using Ni-Cad batteries, British Standard BS5266 Part 1 (2016) calls for an annual ‘full’ duration test by a competent person or engineer, this is often a 3-hour test called the drain test. At the end of this period all appropriate batteries should still be capable of supporting their fittings. This annual test replaced the previously required six monthly tests for just 1-hour duration. An engineering drain test should be recorded in your logbook.

Q. When do I need to test my Emergency Lights?

The customer should test the emergency lights once a month. This is often called the ‘flash test’ and is intended to check that each of the fittings come on when tested, and then return to normal when the test is over. Such a test should be recorded in your logbook.

Q. Should I have test switches

Yes, you should be able to perform a simulation of the mains failing, rather than a mains failure itself. Test switches should be located within your premises to allow such a test to be performed. You will most likely need a special key to perform this test, called a Fish Tail key.


Q. Will the Police respond if the alarm goes off?

If you have a monitored alarm system with the option for Police Response, then the ARC will contact the Police if a ‘confirmed’ signal is transmitted from the alarm system.

 It should be noted that the Police will only visit a property when they have verification from the ARC confirming that they believe the alarm has sounded in a genuine situation, and not a fault. They will accept one of three options:


1 – Video Verification – Involves the ARC viewing alarmed areas remotely using CCTV cameras used by the system.


2-  Audio verification – For this method of verification, the police will request that the ARC listens to what is happening in the premises using microphones which may form part of the system.


3- Sequential Verification – This involves two different detectors triggering in one instance of the alarm going off. At the first trigger, the ARC will call the keyholders. When a second activation occurs the ARC can uplift this to a ‘Confirmed’ activation and contact the Police.


Most monitored intruder alarm systems use Sequential Verification.

Q. What is an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC)?

This is a secure facility that monitors all types of fire alarms, security alarms, CCTV and other monitoring devices. Brodman work closely with our friends at The Corps Monitoring in Glasgow, who provide UK wide monitoring for all types of alarms, cameras, monitoring devices, personal protection devices etc.


They monitor for activity 24/7 and then act immediately to contact keyholders, guards, Police or Fire Services. They can also interject and transmit warnings to would be criminals on your premises.

Q. What types of Intruder Alarms are there?

Intruder Alarms are often monitored by an ARC. A monitored alarm system is connected to a dedicated Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) which monitors the system. If the alarm is activated, they contact you, your keyholders and, where applicable, the Police.

Customer monitored Alarm, a system with a dialling device to contact the customer only. The system will telephone chosen names wen the alarm is triggered.


Audible only Alarms, they will simply operate a loud siren to indicate alarm, and will not notify anyone that the alarm has been triggered.

Q. Who do Insurance Companies ask for?

Insurance companies have been so impressed with the way NSI GOLD firms have raised standards among security alarm installers, that many now offer discounts to clients who purchase electronic security systems from approved and recognised installers. Brodman assures this standard countrywide.


Specifically for commercial premises, insurers now regularly insist on security systems which have been installed by NSI GOLD recognised firms before they will provide insurance cover. Brodman are ideally placed to provide this level of service to you.


The Police - The police acknowledge that NSI recognised firms comply with all the requirements set down in the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) unified policy on intruder alarms. A security system installed by such a firm will thus qualify for connection to an Alarm Receiving Centre to summon the Police should the need arise.


Non approved companies cannot make such a connection to an ARC for Police response.


Q. CCTV or Surveillance what’s the difference?

there isn’t any difference, the term CCTV meaning Closed Circuit Television has been  with us for many years. Such systems have seen an explosion of installations and are now formally referred to as Surveillance Systems. They can often now have a remote monitoring component included in their operation.

Q. Can I see my cameras from a remote PC or my Mobile phone? Can more than one person see these remote images?

Yes, both options are available. Using the Brodman remote viewing platform, one can see images from cameras and their recordings. The mobile phone app is ideal for instant access.

Yes, the primary user can choose to share the images with colleagues. For 4 or 5 users this is normally straight forward, if you wish to add more, then bandwidth performance checks will be needed.

Q. What happens if the power fails?

The CCTV will recover following a power failure. If power outages are common, a dedicated uninterruptable Power Supply may be worth considering.

Q. How fast does my internet need to be to view images?

For remote viewing, it’s important to have a decent upload speed. The footage from the cameras will be streamed onto the remote device, so an upload speed above 2mb is required.

Q. How long can recordings be saved for?

This depends on the number of cameras recording at the same time and the level of quality/detail they record at.


This will also depend on how big your hard drive is. If you require us to spec up a system to record for a certain amount of time please contact our team. Memory space can be saved recording only when motion is detected.

When a hard drive becomes full, our team will program it to continually overwrite, so the latest footage is being captured.


Q. What is Access Control ?

Being able to tell where people are and in some cases restrict their permitted access to space is at the heart of Access Control. Identity cards, fobs or passcodes might be needed to restrict access to an area for security or for health and safety reasons and such access might need management real-time reporting

Q. Where can I use it?

Turnstiles, external doors, internal doors, barriers, gates, bi-directional passage control, this list of applications is long. Its anywhere you might wish to control access or the flow of traffic.

Q. What happens in case of Emergency?

Many access control systems will include for measures to assist with the safe evacuation of the space or premises. This can include releasing selected doors in case of emergency, either by global instruction sent to those locations or by local green break glass call points. It might be the application calls for the fire alarm to be directly linked and doors released.

Q. What happens if I loose or have a card or fob stolen?

Once reported , the card or fob can be instantly removed from the system. A simple selection in the software renders that missing card/fob useless.

Q. Can temporary visitor or guest passes be generated?

Yes, you will have control over programming new or editing existing user cards. So you can create visitor cards and time and date stamp these for use over a number of days, after which they become useless. Such visitor cards can be given access to all doors, or a shorter sub section of door locations.

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