Graded Alarm Systems: EN 50131 Standard

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Graded Alarm Systems: EN 50131 Standard

When it comes to buying, consumers today begin with conducting research online. This is especially true where owning an intrusion alarm systems is a long investment. For years, you’ll be counting on your home security system to protect your property and family safety. 

You have crawled through multiple home security companies and their product information. Features, specs, pricing, and customer reviews just to name a few. Above all, grading is the core to intrusion alarm systems selection. 

Assessment is not a new thing. It has been around throughout our life. Academic qualifications, job applications, and even dating. Generally, good grades achiever standouts in a competitive environment.


What Is EN 50131?

EN 50131 standard specifies performance requirements for intrusion alarm systems. To a large degree, it is a technical guideline to be satisfied by material, design, product, or service. 

The standard is there to help manufacturers, installers, users, and procurers to ensure that an alarm system is fit for purpose and meets the risk assessment criteria. For more than two decades, EN 50131 standard widely adopted in the UK and European countries.


How The Alarm Systems Graded?

Grading process starts with the manufacturers send the security equipment to accredited laboratories. A structured risk analysis will be put through. For example, general test (on product features), anti-tampering test, power supply test, and so on. Recorded test results will then examined by certification body. Lastly, assign a grade to the individual device.


What Are The Grading Tiers?

There are 4 tiers of grades in EN 50131 standard – Grade 1 to Grade 4. Grade 4 systems are extremely rare in the market due to the utmost standards required. And the highest tier for wireless intruder alarm is Grade 2.

EN 50131 grade

Something else worth noting is that the lowest grade component within the system determine the whole security system grade. Although grades are assigned to individual devices, but security systems are evaluated as a unit. Lower-grade components potentially creating vulnerabilities within the whole system, thus bringing down the overall level of security.

As in the case here, the intruder security system included a Grade 3 panel, Grade 3 shock sensor, and Grade 2 motion sensor. Due to one device that was Grade 2, the overall grade for that system would be Grade 2.


What Intruder Alarm Systems Grade Do I Need?

The following grades specify the system is protecting against:

  • Grade1: opportunistic intruders with little/no knowledge of alarm systems and small hand tools.
  • Grade2: intruders that have basic knowledge of alarm systems and more tools. 
  • Grade3: intruders will have both good knowledge and specialized tools (including portable electronic equipment). 
  • Grade4: group of professional criminals with complete knowledge, well-planned intrusion, equipped with multiple equipments.

If the risk of crime to your property is high, you will require a higher grade or a more sophisticated security system.


Why Aren’t All Alarm Systems Graded?

Not compulsory and cost-consuming. Applying an EN standard is not mandatory. Manufacturers required to comply with stringent rules in creating a truly reliable system to get a device graded. Such a system must cover all aspects of quality assurance. In particular – organization, planning, configuration management, quality tests, quality control, and corrective actions. All those stacks up the cost of quality.

In contrast, ungraded devices often not obliged to the standards. And the cost savings often reflected in the RRP. Nevertheless, the flip side will be its reliability. When an emergency happen, the alarm system may fail to perform. In fact, you counting on your home security system to protect your property and family safety. 


We hope this article has shown you that, over all aspects, grade criteria is the golden rule to easy selection process.


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