Firstly, let’s answer a common question that we are asked: “What is a Remote Video Receiving Centre or RVRC?”
The term Remote Video Receiving Centre (RVRC) is often confused with an Alarm Receiving Centre. 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.
A Remote Video Receiving Centre (RVRC) is essentially a physical remote monitoring centre that can securely receive and process 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).
An Alarm Receiving Centre or ARC is a remote monitoring facility where security operators receive data, signals and alarms from security systems. An ARC typically performs 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.
Accreditation standards are crucial to effective CCTV monitoring
Modern RVRCs reflect the convergence of the latest technologies used within the security industry.
However, the effective of CCTV monitoring is made up of three constituent parts:
- The equipment installed at the monitored site
- The physical remote monitoring station facility
- The equipment and technology that enables the two way transmission of video, audio and data signals between the two.
The quality of each of these is crucial to the effectiveness of a Monitored CCTV system. That is why the industry benchmark accreditation to look out for is BS 8418:2015+A1:2017 – Installation and remote monitoring of detector-activated CCTV systems (Code of Practice). This is designed to ensure minimum standards are met and provides essential design, installation, commissioning and operational guidelines.
Accreditation is a crucial factor to consider when choosing a Remote Video Receiving Centre partner as BS 8418 accredited monitoring stations, like Farsight boast specifically-trained, Security Industry Authority (SIA)-licensed operators, 24/7 monitoring 365 days a year and a comprehensive back-up system in case of network or power failure.
BS 8418 standards are also endorsed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) in recognition of the fact that it will help to drastically reduce false alarms and prevent unnecessary police call-outs. As such, ACPO has extended the issuance of Unique Reference Numbers (URNs) , previously only issued to intruder alarm system installations, to include detector-activated CCTV systems that are BS 8418-compliant.
Insurers generally insist on using CCTV security providers who are accredited by leading industry bodies such as the SSAIB or NSI for example.
What makes a Remote Video Response Centre (RVRC) stand out from its competitors?
It’s a combination of factors, which are equally important in ensuring site security is maintained.
In order to provide excellent security services to customers and technical support to installers, a remote video response centre must go beyond minimum requirements and industry averages. We’ve put together six key ‘must have’ factors to help you choose the right Remote Video Response Centre partner – below:
1. A fast alarm response rate
A monitoring station should always respond to alarms quickly. To be compliant with the British Security Industry Association, specifically the British Standard BS8418, an alarm-receiving centre must respond to alarms in under 90 seconds, at least 80% of the time. Responding to an alarm quickly means that the cause can be identified and a remedy put into action as soon as possible. This will reduce the impact of damage caused, and if necessary the police can be contacted.
2. Site security experience
A remote video response centre should have experience in providing the type of services you’re looking for – and in setting up an installation for similar sites. Responding effectively to alarms relies upon the skills and trained judgment of the people behind the cameras. This often depends upon their experience, confidence and knowledge of the type of site they are monitoring. Ask your chosen remote video response centre for the number of sites they monitor, which are similar to yours.
3. Transparency and trustworthiness
It’s essential that you trust the quality of service you’re receiving from a monitoring station. For that trust to happen, you’ll need to understand how the remote video response centre works. They should happily supply you with the following information:
- The amount of alarm activations/incidents from your site, and when they happened
- Who dealt with each alarm and what action they decided to take
- How quickly they answer each alarm
- How they dealt with the discovery of any equipment or communication problems
- A real-time update of the connection between your site and them, as well as an agreed procedure for letting you know about the loss of a connection.
4. Customer service
You will have questions about your security system, particularly whilst it’s new and the installation is taking place. Look for a remote video response centre that has personnel dedicated to ongoing liaison with customers. This is not only essential for answering your questions but also for keeping information and contact details up-to-date, so you can be notified quickly when necessary.
5. A Great alarm to operator ratio
The more operators there are available to answer alarms, the more time they will be able to spend finding the cause of alarms. When an alarm goes off, you want a dedicated team member to quickly and diligently find the cause of that alarm. Ask your chosen remote video response centre for the number of operators on shift, and the total number of alarms they can expect to receive on that shift.
6. Confident and effective handling of alarms
To make sure the cause of an alarm is properly assessed the operator should be looking at different images taken when the alarm was first raised. The initial alarm image may not show the cause of the alarm, so dismissing it without looking at further images could mean an incident is missed and not acted upon.
Why Choose Farsight as your Remote Video Response Centre (RVRC) partner?
Following the above key six points will help you choose a Remote Video Response Centre that will offer the security monitoring services that you can count on. Here at Farsight we’re proud to say we excel in offering all six factors to our customers with exceptional standards. The most important factor, however, is that you feel comfortable and confident in the services you’re receiving.
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. You can read some of our clients reviews here.
Choosing the right Remote Video Response Centre partner to protect your premises, assets and people is a big decision. Farsight want to help you get clarity on what you should consider to ensure you get the peace of mind you have chosen the best partner. The following article is a must read if you are considering a monitored CCTV security solution or re-assessing the value of your current monitoring partner:
In recent years monitored CCTV surveillance has become an essential pillar of security delivering the ability to proactively prevent many crimes from progressing as well as retrospectively enabling crucial investigation of incidents that do progress despite the presence of the preventative security measures.
Proactive CCTV security: Deterrence through the presence of CCTV surveillance and prevention of incident progression with ‘front footed’ CCTV operator response which includes audio deterrent warnings and real-time escalation to keyholders and blue light first responders.
Retrospective CCTV security: CCTV footage can provide crucial evidence to support police and other emergency services in gathering evidence relating to an incident. This evidence can, under certain circumstances, be used in court to support prosecution.
Want Farsight to be your remote Video Receiving Partner or have some questions?
The team at Farsight would love to hear from you if you have questions, want us to help protect what’s yours or would lime a quote. Feel free to give us a call on 0845 371 0101, request a call back or drop us a line in the contact form below: