How To Choose The Right Burglar Alarm For You
Jun 27, 2017
Studies suggest that your home is better protected if you have a burglar alarm installed.
And for good reason…
As well as providing a deterrent that can warn off opportunistic criminals, you get peace of mind that you’ll be alerted – should the worse happen.
But what alarm system should you choose?
There are a number of options and the right one for you will depend on your budget, the amount of protection you want, and the community in which you live.
So to help you decide, here’s a handy overview of the key choices.
Wired or wireless
Your first choice is between a wired and wireless system.
A wired system needs to be professionally installed for your safety and for the aesthetics of your home. You’ll want the wires hidden so your house stays neat and tidy.
In comparison, a wireless alarm uses the power of radio signals. A series of battery-powered sensors talk to the alarm’s control panel. A wireless system is easier to install and also has the added benefit that it can be removed if you move house. While we always recommend professional installation, DIY-ers can install wireless alarms.
It is worth pointing out that systems you can install yourself are often manufactured to meet a DIY budget, which means they may not be the same quality as a professionally installed system. In addition they are not usually recognised by insurance companies and won’t be recognised by the police for police response.
As the name suggests, if this type of alarm is triggered it makes an audible sound which can be heard inside and outside your home.
The effectiveness of this option will depend on the neighbourhood that you live in. That’s because no one will be notified in the event that your alarm sounds. This deterrent relies on a neighbour or passer-by investigating.
Again these alarms can be self-installed, however for peace of mind we’d always recommend that you opt for professional installation.
Modern tech means you can add extra protection to a bells-only alarm for a little extra cost.
With a built in speech dialler (or text alert), your alarm can be programmed to automatically call or send a text message to you (or your nominated contacts). You can even have images sent to your phone so you can see where and what triggered your alarm.
This is a cheaper alternative to monitored alarms and gives you the added peace of mind that someone will be alerted should something activate your alarm.
If you want to guarantee that someone will investigate an activated alarm, choose to have your alarm monitored.
This option does incur an ongoing fee, but the additional peace of mind it offers is an essential for some people. For example, an elderly person living alone may feel more secure with a monitored system.
If you go down this route, you have two options:
- Keyholder monitoring
Your alarm will be connected to a receiving centre that will monitor your alarm – around the clock. This means somebody is always ready to respond should your alarm ever be set off. If the alarm is activated (or the receiving centre notices a problem), they’ll either ring your nominated keyholders to take a look – or they’ll investigate themselves.
- Police monitoring
If you opt for police monitoring, the police will be alerted as well as your receiving centre if your alarm is activated. There’s no guarantee that police will attend (it depends on what other priorities they’re dealing with at the time), but for some people this additional level of protection is worth the additional cost.
Which system is right for you?
It can be a minefield deciding which security system is suitable for your home and your needs. This is one of the reasons that we offer free Security Surveys. As well as helping you to understand your specific risk, we can talk you through the pros and cons of each system type – so that you can make an informed choice.