Alert for Homeowners and Landlords!

BT has recently announced that they will be closing all BT Redcare Alarm Transmission System (ATS) operations on 1st August 2025. An ATS supports intruder alarms and fire systems by signalling alarms to assistance providers or the police. In this case, the signalling systems Redcare Classic and Redcare GSM will be deactivated.

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) estimates that there are 120,000 BT Redcare connections in the UK. Customers now have just over a year to upgrade their home and fire security systems or have NO PROTECTION.

What does it mean for your home insurance?

Home insurance often requires an intruder alarm system, a fire alarm system or both as a condition of cover. The system then needs to be maintained in full and efficient working order with an ongoing maintenance contract provided by an alarm company. It also requires registration with an alarm response centre. Changes to the system initially specified and agreed with the insurer should be notified to the insurer to ensure they accept the revised system to be as good or better protection than the original.

What should you do if you currently use BT Redcare ATS?

Customers should contact their alarm providers to arrange for an alternative. Remember, it’s the alarm signalling method (ATS) that is affected, not the actual alarm system itself.

An upgrade should also be installed by a company regulated by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) which incorporates the National Approval Council for Security Systems (NACOSS), or a company regulated by the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB). The upgraded system will also require a maintenance contract from a similarly regulated company.

What alternatives are there to BT Redcare?

Check with your alarm company to determine if your system currently uses a BT Redcare product as you may not even know. If so, make sure a DP3-level alternative (see below) is going to be installed well before August 2025.

In the UK, alarm installations should be compliant with BSEN 50136-1:2012. Under this standard, ATS can be either a single path or a dual path. The existing BT Redcare products, BT Redcare Classic (single path) and BT Redcare GSM (dual path) are graded as DP3-level Alarm Transmission Systems.

Therefore, it’s important to ensure that updates to replace BT Redcare are also DP3-level Alarm Transmission System. Alternative products such as CSL Dualcom Gradeshift Pro DP3 and Texecom Monitor DP3 meet these criteria.

You could also take this opportunity to review what protection you have for you and our home, at a time when technology is rapidly AND the impact of claims is becoming more severe. The time to repair homes is extended due to a lack of qualified tradespeople leading to prolonged periods of personal disruption. And the costs are very high which then gets translated into your future insurance premiums as policyholders who have had significant claims pay much higher premiums for years to come.

What are the new trends in Home Protection?

There are a lot of new trends in home protection, from Smart Home Protection to Surveillance Systems. Below we talk about both and the benefits they come with.

Smart Protection.

Characterised as digital and remote controlled, the key features of this type of home protection are activation and monitoring carried out away from the premises, using customised apps and internet systems. The latest remote systems can also allow checks to see if anyone is actually at home, before setting alarms and sensors, as well as remote alerts to designated persons, in the event of sensors being activated. smart security products include:

  • Connected cameras (including those with features such as face recognition).
  • Digital Locks.
  • Motion sensors.
  • Digitally controlled lighting systems.
  • Online, hazard prevention devices, such as leak sensors, smoke, water and gas sensors.
  • Speaker systems with security properties, like Kevin from Swiss innovators Mitipi.

Surveillance Systems.

Private CCTV systems act as the basis for most surveillance systems but these are evolving to include;

  • Integrated systems – one system which seamlessly integrates access control, video surveillance, physical security (eg gates), intruder sensors and sensor lighting. This makes the protection more effective, easier to use and easier to maintain.
  • Infrared and thermal cameras – the costs of this technology has fallen significantly so investing in thermal camera systems which enhance low-light and night-time security is now a highly affordable option for residential homeowners and landlords.
  • Drone detection and protection – smaller drones known as ‘pocket drones’ can offer protection as surveillance devices. Pocket drones can be remotely deployed to check for intruders, respond to alarms, monitor access points and perimeters. As well as surveillance, drones can capture visual data which is then available for the identification and prosecution of intruders or for establishing the cause of a fire or flood etc.

What are the consequences of doing nothing?

The consequences of not upgrading your alarm system to replace the BT Redcare signalling component could be extreme.

Firstly, your home is no longer effectively protected by the alarm/fire systems as no signals will be transmitted to notify you or others of a break-in or fire.

Secondly, where your insurance policy specifically requires you to have an alarm and monitoring system in place, failure to update your system may lead your insurer to void claims and pay out nothing.

How can Elevate help you?

At Elevate, we are experts in insuring high-value homes so please get in contact with us if you need any help or advice on how to best protect your home.

Let’s Talk

Posted on 23 May 2024 in Home Insurance