– Act Now

The National Emergency Communications Working Group – Australia and New Zealand (NECWG-A/NZ) will implement new national Guidelines 1 July 2019. These guidelines relate to monitored security alarms and police responses.

The Guidelines divide alarm types into Categories A, B, C and D. Category A encompass Hold-up Alarms (commercial premises only), High Risk Premises Alarms and Monitored Personal Safety Alarms (MPSA).

Categories B, C and D contain a number of alarm types, including Duress Alarms (Category B).

The Guideline’s stated purposes:

  • national consistency in the way in which Australian policing jurisdictions and registered security companies define and respond to alarm activations
  • processes and procedures for the handling of alarm responses, and
  • efficient use of police resources.

The Guideline’s stated objectives:

  • provide a consistent categorisation of alarm types
  • provide a consistent alarm activation response priority
  • identify those alarm types policy may not respond to
  • reduce the number of non-genuine alarm activations that police respond to, and
  • Define Alarm Monitoring Providers (AMP) requirements for confirmation of genuine alarm activations.

A few key requirements of Category A alarms are:

Hold-Up Alarms

  • The system must be maintained to Australian Standards.
  • The system must be monitored by an approved AMP (i.e. approved by the authority in the jurisdiction that the system is installed).
  • All devices capable of generating a Hold-up alarm must be programmed to a separate, individual alarm zone on the alarm panel.
  • Written procedures for the activation and reset of the device must be supplied and kept on the premises where the device is installed. Note: responding police may request to see these written procedures and take legal or procedural action if not available. This includes fines and suspension of police response.
  • Mandatory for premises requiring this service to send open and close events when the alarm system is armed and disarmed.
  • Must be a dual press device in a fixed location, and only used for the purpose of robbery.

Duress Alarms

  • A key requirement for Duress Alarms is that the AMP must be able the identify the precise location of the alarm activation of the point within the premises.

Monitored Personal Safety Alarms (MPSA)

  • Key requirement – the AMP must be able to validate the MPSA and identify the current indicated location of the alarm activation, a street address (including latitude and longitude) of the MPSA device and verification of the emergency.
  • On validation the AMP must continue tracking the location of the MPSA at regular intervals (minimum polling 60 seconds) and report any changes to police.


The Guidelines come with a policy relating to unwarranted alarms. For example, under certain criteria, police responses to alarm activations may be downgraded.

Recommended Action: Ensure that your system maintainer validates your system’s full compliance with the Guidelines, this must be conducted competently and objectively. This assurance process should not be delayed – the implementation date is fast approaching. Should you require an independent audit, please do not hesitate to contact us.

For more inforation read the official guidelines.