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What is the NSI and what does it mean?

In any industry, there needs to be a body that sits apart from the general throng, observing the members of the community and setting the best practices that will ensure a consistent service from accredited members. In the security system sector, that body is the NSI.

The National Security Inspectorate is recognised as the leading certification body for all providers of both security and fire protection services in the UK. This includes not only intruder alarms and smoke/fire systems but CCTV and access control systems too.

The NSI has existed in one form or another for almost 50 years, protecting businesses and homeowners alike by auditing the providers of home and business security and fire safety solutions – setting, and making sure they comply with industry standards.

Initially founded as the National Supervisory Council for Intruder Alarms (NSCIA) in 1971, the body was set up to deal with the ‘rogue traders’ who were taking advantage of the then fledgeling intruder alarm market. Over the ensuing 40 years, the service evolved to involve not only the guarding sector but fire safety as well.

An NSI approved security company will have been fully vetted by the NSI as a business that conforms to the best practices demanded by the emergency services and the insurance industry. As such, any customers using a company with NSI certification should be assured they are getting a quality and reliable service.

NSI Standards

In order to be NSI approved, security companies must be able to demonstrate that their services comply with the stated required standards. Representatives of the body will also audit every approved company on an annual basis to make sure they are continuing to meet those standards.

Gold and Silver

When a company is approved by the NSI, it will be given either a Gold or a Silver NSI certification. This 2 tier system ensures that companies have room to grow and that they can enter at either level.

The silver certificate verifies that all products and services being offered are meeting applicable British Standards, whereas the gold certificate verifies that the company also operates a Quality Management System. Together, this represents a Gold standard which is held by the best security system suppliers in the country.

Insurance

You might have heard that installing a security system in your home or place of business could significantly reduce your insurance premiums, as you are far less likely to be broken into with an efficient system in place.

This is true, however, if the company that installed and maintains that system is NSI approved (particularly if they are a Gold standard security company) then the premiums could be even lower.

This is simply because insurers set their premiums based on how likely it is that your home or office will be broken into and an NSI approved system will be that much more reliable than a non-approved system.

The NSI Logo

If you see an NSI logo on the company website or on the products themselves then you can rest assured that they are NSI approved. The logo itself is made up of either a silver or gold owl emblem with the NSI initials in blue font above it.

Look for this logo whenever you’re in the market for new security solutions. Or, if you want to be certain, you can check the NSI Directory online, which lists off successful NSI approved companies.