Key holding

A service for commercial businesses in Aberdeen

Realm Fire & Security provides a key holding service for businesses to support the existing security and fire systems your business has invested in. We will attend your site in the event of a fire or security activation, so that you don’t have to.

We do this by providing a bespoke service, usually including being available over night and during bank and public holidays, to ensure you’re getting the optimum benefits from your systems, whether or not we have provided them. We also include a programme of education and consultation to improve employee education and understanding of your fire and security systems, to help manage any false or unwanted activations that you might experience.

Door Entry

To find out more information or book an initial meeting, contact our team on 01224 710014 or via email at with Key Holding in the subject line.

Benefits of using Realm FS for key holding:

In most businesses there are a few trusted employees who become the key holders. This means if a security or fire alarm system is activated overnight, they have to get up and drive into work to see what’s happened. This means the following day, they’re either too exhausted to be effective at work, or they’re late in. One 2 am disturbance can totally disrupt a week of work. It also puts the employee at potentially unnecessary risk and also may not lead to a full understanding of why the system was triggered.

Using Realm means your whole team gets a good night’s sleep while our fully trained response team deal with the callout. In a genuine emergency, this prevents your employees from putting themselves in harm’s way. We understand the Health & Safety issues involved and recognise that systems can triggered for several reasons, aside from a genuine security or fire emergency. There are different categories of false alarm, often triggered with good reason, that we can support your business to understand and mitigate, resulting in few false callouts and a better understanding of how your fire and/or security systems work.

Reasons for a false activation

The table shows different reasons why an alarm might be triggered. Faults are often not cause. Generally the alarm or system performs as it should but for a reason other than a genuine emergency. We take great care to educate and consult with our clients to improve your overall understand of why an alarm system might be triggered overnight.

Categories of False Alarm

Category Definition Examples Solutions
Unwanted Alarms This is the most common form of false alarm. The system has performed exactly as it should but has still produced an unintended result. Fire An incident like burning toast or steam that has produced fire-like phenomena that a fire detector has mistaken as the indication of a real fire. The system is working as it should here, so this is not a fault, but it has still caused an unwarranted activation. There may be an issue with the system design which is easily corrected. For example, the sensitivity of the system can be adjusted, detectors may need to be repositioned, or a different type of detector used, (smoke detectors may need to be replaced by heat detectors). However, in many cases, these types of false alarms can be solved through education, for example, by teaching your employees how to properly manage the system.
Intruder A window has been left open which has tripped a window sensor, or an alarm zone has not been deactivate despite being in legitimate use. A CCTV camera or beam detector has picked up legitimate activity in a yard, which it has interpreted as a threat. A detector is picking up reflections in a window that is interpreted as movement within the room.
Equipment fault alarms

This is often where the finger of blame is pointed, whenever a false alarm is reported, but these false alarms are far less common than unwanted alarms. As implied in the name they are caused by a faulty system. 

Damaged wiring which breaks the circuit. A faulty piece of detection equipment, or a faulty panel. An indication of why the system has misfunctioned can usually be found through interrogating the panel, giving the engineer an idea of where to focus their investigation. Faulty equipment can often be ‘swapped out’ under warranty. Damaged wiring will need to be replaced.
Malicious false alarms Deliberate malicious activations by a person or persons intent on causing disruption. Common in schools and colleges, prisons, or other institutions where manual call points are likely to be deliberately activated maliciously by students, inmates, or residents. This could also include deliberate alarm activations for premises outside pubs or clubs due to late night drunken antics. In very rare cases this can also involve disgruntled employees. Where appropriate various anti-tamper devices can be added to equipment.
False alarms with good intent Somebody deliberately activates an alarm in good faith, believing that there is a legitimate threat which turns out to be false Fire

Somebody activates a manual call point believing they smell smoke

There is often not a solution to these activations as in most cases it is ‘better to be safe than sorry’. However, repeat issues may be alleviated with regular employee training.

Somebody activates a ‘hold up’ alarm believing that they are in danger