Types of keyholding and alarm response for your business

Types of keyholding/alarm response system for your business

Want to install a keyholding/alarm response system for your business? But you first want to know how they work?

Hassle not! This article is about the variety of responses you get from different alarm systems. There are three main types; Liverpool keyholder response, police response, and self-monitored responses. You will get these responses through SMS alerts, app notifications, and voice-dialer or directly from the alarm equipment.  

Keyholder response alarm

In the keyholder response system, a 3rd party known as the alarm receiving center (or ARC) monitors the response system 24/7. During alarm activations, the ARC staff responds by contacting the owner and the predefined list of keyholders.

Any business with a professionally installed grade 2, minimum, can have a keyholder response.

How does it work?

The communication equipment installed alarm system’s main control panel connects the system directly with the ARC. There are three different ways the communication equipment alerts the ARC: 

  1. PSTN(landline)
  2. GSM(mobile)
  3. IP (broadband)

When the alarm system goes off, the ARC is alerted by the communication system. The operator at ARC then contacts the list of keyholders. The keyholder must then confirm his or her identity by providing the password. In case the individual is unable to provide the password, the operator proceeds to contact the next keyholder on the list.


The Keyholder system will cost you anywhere from £250-£350 annually. The company also might ask you to pay more if they decide to include annual maintenance costs.

Police response system

In a police response system, the intruder alarm system will alert the police in alarm activation cases.

Big establishments or companies that hold valuable assets or information employ this type of system. 

How does it work?

The police response system is connected to the ARC, just like in the keyholder system. The difference is that; properties with a police response system installed require a unique reference number (URN). Like in the keyholder response system, the ARC operator will contact the keyholder list during an alarm activation. And only when the alarm system activates the second time, referred to as ‘confirmed alarm activation,’ the operator will notify the police. Emergency services will receive the URN to provide the exact location and details of the property.


It will cost you around £250-£350 plus a few pounds more if you add annual maintenance cost.

Self-monitoring response system

It is a response system in which the system notifies the owner directly.

How does it work?

In the self-monitoring alarm response system, there is no requirement for an ARC. Technology will alert you of the activation. They work over your broadband and mobile networks. You can also retrofit SMS response through GSM technology to level 2 alarm panels.

Besides the impressive app control and push notifications to arm and disarm the system remotely, you can also upgrade the system with PIR motion sensors. PIR sensors capture images in case of alarm activation and will send them to your smartphone.