When a person or business buys a burglar alarm system, they do so in the expectation that it will help prevent the theft of their valuable belongings. In the event that the alarm system fails to perform a reasonable job, and financial loss is sustained as a result, it may be possible to make a professional negligence compensation claim .
The promise of peace of mind
It is typical of burglary alarm systems firms to sell their products and services on the strength of a promise of “peace of mind”. According to these companies, by investing in an alarm system, the customer is guaranteed some assurance of the security of both themselves, physically, and of their property and valuables. Implicit in these promises is a further promise of emotional and psychological peace of mind.
Monitored intruder alarms
Monitored intruder alarms promise even more in the way of peace of mind. The firms who sell these deliver the client a service which not only provides an audible warning in the event of a break-in but also a communication with their offices and, ultimately, the emergency services, providing notification of the break-in.
This kind of service should act as a considerable deterrent to any criminal, as well as an effective means to aiding the apprehension and prosecution of any criminal who attempts a break-in.
The insurance benefits
One other advantage of an alarms system is its positive impact on lowering the costs of contents insurance. Most insurers will look favourably upon any householder or business owner with an effective alarm-based deterrent – a favourable view that is likely to be reflected in the price of the owner’s insurance premium.
Bailey v HSS Alarms
The professional negligence compensation claim Bailey v HSS Alarms, Court of Appeal, 22 March 2000, was notable because the defendants, a monitoring system company, were held liable for breaching their duty of care to the claimants.
Under the terms of their contract, the defendants were obliged to inform the keyholders when an alarm had been activated. As such, when a burglary occurred at the claimants’ premises and the police arrived but were unable to gain access, they assumed it was a false alarm. The court heard that the defendants had failed in their duty to inform their customer of the break-in and, as such, the claimants had suffered financial loss for which the defendants were liable.
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