The Farsight Observatory

Farsight’s Observatory is the largest purpose-built Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and Remote Video Receiving Centre (RVRC) in Europe.

Alarm Receiving Centre


The Observatory is the centre of our remote monitoring operation allowing Farsight to consistently deliver unrivalled vigilance and service excellence for clients of all shapes and sizes across the UK. Because it’s so integral to the job we do, we invest heavily in ensuring the Observatory is at the cutting edge of industry technology, whilst also making it a safe and functional environment for our team of security operators.

Discover what an Alarm Receiving Centre is, why it needs to be secure and how the high-tech Observatory impacts on how we remotely monitor sites:

What is an Alarm Receiving Centre and Remote Video Receiving Centre?

The term Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) is often confused with an a Remote Video Receiving Centre (RVRC) . Although these often work in unison at remote monitoring central stations, they are different and require different standards, codes of practice and industry recognised accreditations.

An Alarm Receiving Centre or ARC is a remote monitoring facility where security operators receive data, signals and alarms from security systems all over the UK.

ARCs perform a central and critical role in the fire, intruder and social alarm sectors. Activations from monitored systems must be routed through an ARC for verification prior to being passed to the relevant authority for a response.

A Remote Video Receiving Centre or RVRC is essentially a physical remote monitoring centre that can securely receive live video streams and data from detector activated CCTV camera systems.

Security operators at the RVRC can view CCTV footage, issue audio warnings to sites and remotely manage building facilities (for example, opening gates to verified visitors via access control).

What is in the Observatory?

The Observatory is equipped with all the technology our team needs to be able to remotely monitor security systems at our client’s sites. That means the Observatory has:

  • An operator node per operator: Each operator has a set of monitors to view footage on. This allows them to focus on the sites they are monitoring; hugely improving alarm response speed and the operator’s ability to identify threats.
  • Industry leading Alarm to Operator Ratio: With enough operators in place at any one time to be able to monitor incoming alarms 24/7, 365 days a year, there is always someone ready to swiftly react to an incident. All of our security operators at the Observatory are vetted to BS 7858:2019 – Screening of individuals working in a secure environment – Code of practice, have had public space CCTV training and hold SIA licences.
  • LED lighting: Lighting is a surprisingly important factor for alarm receiving centres. At the Observatory, the LED lighting, careful placement of lights and covered windows ensures that there is no glare on monitor screens, which would risk the operator missing crucial footage. In addition, the covered windows also prevent individuals from looking into the Observatory and viewing secure footage.
  • Specialist Software: Bespoke software at our alarm receiving and remote monitoring station allows security operators to monitor the signals from a wide range of major manufacturer’s equipment. The operators do not need to juggle different types of software. Instead they focus on efficiently answering alarms via one interface.
  • Industry Accreditations:  Farsight’s Observatory is regularly audited by the leading certification body within the security industry – SSAIB. Our British Standards accreditations and codes of practice includes:

BS 8418:2015+A1:2017 – Installation and remote monitoring of detector-activated CCTV systems. 

BS 7858:2019 – Screening of individuals working in a secure environment. 

BS 5979:2007 – Remote centres receiving signals from fire and security systems. 

BS 8484:2016 – Provision of lone worker services. 

Farsight Accreditations Standards


You can find out more about the security standards our remote security station and alarm receiving centre complies with here.

Is the Observatory secure?

As a leading remote monitoring station with Category II Alarm Receiving Centre status, we take our security very seriously – with an efficient multi-layered security approach.

data centre security planning


Our purpose built facility is resistant to smoke, vandalism, floods, explosions, ram raids, gas attacks, power failure, and even lightning strikes. With access control,  secure perimeter with security fencing,  protected windows and it’s own interior and exterior CCTV systems, the Observatory is fully protected by extensive security measures.

Why Choose Farsight as your remote monitoring partner?

If you are in the process of considering the services provided by a leading ARC or RVRC to protect your premises, assets and people or looking to change your existing monitoring partner, Farsight would love to talk help. We understand that choosing the right remote monitoring partner to protect what’s yours is a big decision.

Farsight is a leading Remote Video Response Centre and our renowned ‘Commitment to Vigilance’ is trusted to premises, assets and people across the UK.

Farsight were recognised as the ‘Best Remote CCTV monitoring Specialists -UK’ in 2021 and ‘Best Security Service Provider – UK’ in 2020. However, as nice as receiving awards is, what our clients say about us is what’s important to us.

Farsight Customer Reviews

> You can read some of our clients reviews here.

The following articles is a must read if you are considering a monitored alarm or CCTV security solution or re-assessing the value of your current monitoring partner:

> 15 tips on finding the right Remote Monitoring partner for you

> How easy is it to bring your site to Farsight for remote monitoring?