In 1971 The NSCIA (National Supervisory Council for Intruder Alarms) was formed under the leadership of Rear Admiral Desmond Callaghan. Industry leaders through the auspices of the BSIA (British Security Industry Association) along with the Insurance Industry and the Police supported the NSCIA and the then new British Standards 4731 for the Installation and Maintenance of Intruder Alarms. This new era saw a boom in the number of “false alarms” and the police and insurers were eager to see this trend reversed. Some cynics thought the NSCIA was backed by the major installers in order to keep the so called “cowboy” element out of the industry.The NSCIA were to undertake technical inspections of systems installed by member organisations, the insurers agreed to only recommend NSCIA members and the police would not provide a response to an alarm with remote signalling fitted by a non member.
The restricting of membership did not work out quite as some hoped as many small installers being ex large company employees had the expertise and qualified for membership of the NSCIA. Also there was no significant reduction in false alarms for several years until the technical improvement of manufactured equipment eventually saw the levels begin to drop. However the integrity of the Alarm Industry (compared to that of the Manned Guarding Industry) was maintained due to the requirement by the NSCIA to vet employees as later defined in BS 7858.
Many small installers especially in the north saw the NSCIA as a club and were rightly concerned with the competition aspect. Several banded together to form their own regulatory body, the SSAIB (Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board), under the leadership of David Hinge. Geoff Tate (ex Securicor Granley) took over as CEO in 1999. After the merger of AISC and Security 2000 (two other regulatory bodies) with the SSAIB in early 2001 it significantly expand its remit within the various sectors of the security industry and is now on equal footing with the NSI (previously NSCIA/NACOSS) The SSAIB Chairman Brigadier Alan Needham was also Chairman at NSCIA.
On the 28 November 1990, NACOSS, a new inspectorate, reconstituted from the SSI (the BSIA inspectorate) and NSCIA, commenced operations. There was one just tier of registered installers who were all to be compelled to obtain BS 5750 Quality Management Systems (now ISO 9000) certification regardless of their size or inclination. However the SSAIB continued to provide a choice,Technical Inspection plus the option of adding BS5750.
Through the good work of the SSAIB, NSI (previously NACOSS), BSIA, Insurers, Police, BT and several independent experts the British Standard for Intruder Alarms and Alarm Receiving Centres were improved to such an extent that false alarms are no longer the problem they once were.