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About ECHO

ECHO is an alarm transfer service provider facilitating greater effectiveness in police response to emergency alarms. It’s fully automated electronic alarm transmission service between alarm receiving centres (ARCs) and the police means alarm signals can be transferred to police control rooms in an instant - once identified and verified. 

Funded by the private sector, and developed in 2019/20, the ECHO platform offers its service to any blue light services ready to accept transmissions. These multiplied significantly since 2021 and will continue to do so as police forces express interest - in line with National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) SSG requirements for Intruder and Hold Up alarms. ECHO delivers time savings in circumstances where ‘every second counts’ in blue light services responding to emergency alarms.

Alarms on police response, installed by approved installers and monitored by approved ARCs / monitoring centres become ECHO-connected as soon as police forces are able: the Metropolitan Police, and Essex Police being the first forces to be ECHO-connected in 2021. Find an approved installer by searching the company finders of the UKAS-accredited certification bodies NSI and SSAIB.

Who is ECHO for?

ECHO speeds up police response to every Intruder and Hold-up alarm signals received from ECHO-connected alarmed premises. When ‘every second counts’ in some emergency circumstances premises owners and occupiers are assured of a faster response by ECHO-connected blue light services, providing more effective deployment and greater deterrence.

ECHO connects Intruder and Hold-up Alarms on police response. 

Looking to the future, there is potential opportunity to apply ECHO technology to enhance fire alarm transmission and reduce false alarms in areas with critical infrastructures such as care homes and hospitals, increase security for people and property, and improve cost effectiveness of deployment by emergency services.

See the ECHO-connected tab on the Home page for current ECHO-connected police force areas.

Talk to your approved security installer to find out if the ECHO-connected service is available to you in those areas.

What are the benefits of ECHO?

ECHO offers a range of benefits for all aspects of alarm monitoring and alarm signalling to assist ARCs and their blue light service collaborators, to better manage risk while operating in more efficient and sustainable ways.

Fast alarm signalling to the police

Alarm signalling to the police via the ECHO hub replaces traditional manual handling of alarm calls (by voice calls) between the ARC and the blue light responder. This can save up to between 1 and 4 minutes in response times by the police.

Accurate Incident Information

Despite being well trained and dedicated call handlers under pressure know mistakes can happen. ECHO eliminates potential for human error - such as the mishearing of an address or transliterating an incident type, and ensures information is transmitted accurately, automatically.

Automatic event incident acknowledgment from “Blue light” service to ARC

ARC’s signalling alarm activations to the police record the police incident number in their event log for future reference if follow up is needed. ECHO delivers this in seconds, so that in the event all parties have the information at their fingertips saving time and enabling operatives to focus on more pressing tasks.

Improved Keyholder response from ARC to Blue light responder

Blue light responders to an incident value receiving premises keyholder details and their ETA at the site in question. ECHO has plans to include keyholder details into the alarms transmission process.

Possibility to let ARC have close down code automatically

To improve services for property owners and occupiers, ARCs value feedback about responder experience at the site e.g. was the alarm genuine or false? Having this information helps the ARC work with the system maintenance provider and/or premises owner to reduce unwanted alarms. ECHO will facilitate the sharing of feedback with the ARC and help increase effectiveness of alarms, and avoidance of false alarms which divert blue light resources away from genuine alarms.

Will enable URN status machine-to-machine checks to be updated regularly

The Police occasionally withdraw or suspend URNs which enable police response. ECHO informs the ARC of withdrawn police response in these instances, reducing unnecessary calls.  

Additional situation information traffic may be passed

In future often valuable additional information about an event from an alarm system e.g. “roller shutter door rear premises open" or “fire 3rd floor temperature 80 degrees“, may be part of the alarm transmission service, improving outcomes for property owners, occupiers and blue light responders.

Faster automated URN applications

The URN application and payment system is slow and manually intensive for all parties. ECHO anticipates future collaboration with the various players to automate this service for the benefit of all concerned.

Further development may see the ability to pass live audio/video to the responder

As technology progresses ECHO envisages live streaming video images from premises with activated alarms to the responder through secure networks, again improving outcomes for all concerned.