Burglar alarms

preventing and detecting intrusion into your property

A burglar alarm is an extremely efficient mechanism for preventing potential intruders from breaking into your home. Many burglars will simply view a property with a burglar alarm system as too risky a proposition when there will be numerous other homes in the area that will have no obvious alarm system in place.

Burglar alarm costs

There are a large number of burglar alarms on the market at the moment, which can cater from a small budget and can be fitted yourself up to models costing several hundreds of pounds for a sophisticated system set up by a security system professional. In fact, it is also possible to buy dummy burglar alarms. These are composed of the burglar alarm box to be fitted externally to the property, but there is no actual alarm system attached. This is the ultimate in low cost security, however, it will not help if a determined criminal has spotted that the system is a fake and has broken into your property. Furthermore, it should be noted that the less expensive burglar alarm systems can prove to be less reliable and more easily defeated than the more expensive models. A consequence of this is that you could be faced with numerous false alarms, which is not only annoying for you as the householder, but also for you neighbours!

Types of burglar alarm

There are three main types of burglar alarm available on the market today.

There is the dummy alarm, which essentially consists of an empty box that resembles an alarm that is fixed on the exterior of your property. This obviously can only be used as a preventative measure and will not help in the event of a break in.

Of the main alarm systems available you can opt for an audible only alarm or a monitored alarm. The audible alarms will set off a siren when tripped, whereas the monitored alarm will set off an alert at a central monitoring station, which can then alert the police immediately (it is also possible for a monitored alarm to emit a siren to scare the intruder as well as sending the alert to the monitoring station).

Due to the frequency of audible only alarms being set off accidentally, the UK police force will only respond to burglar alarm sirens if there is also suspicious activity reported at the property such as intruders spotted or broken glass.

Monitored burglar alarm systems are the more reliable option (if not more expensive) as they will send an alert to a monitoring company that should be able to verify if the alarm was set off by accident. For example, they will be able to check their logs to see if the householder had attempted to input the alarm code a number of times, but entered an incorrect digit by mistake. Monitored systems are important when the property is in a remote area where neighbours will not be able to assist and the monitoring company can inform the police almost immediately.

When purchasing an alarm system you should ensure that they meet the British Standard BS6707 or BS4737 (wire free) for professionally installed systems, or that they meet the European Standard EN50131-1.

Also in this section:

Security Overview

Securing windows and doors

External security measures