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Choose an Alarm

Burglars want easy pickings and will avoid properties that have effective security. Research has shown that improvements in home security such as fitting an intruder alarm, have played a significant role in reducing burglaries.

Before you choose an alarm and then purchase an alarm, follow our advice to help you choose a suitable system.

Did you know?

  • The majority of burglaries occur when there is nobody at home; most are not planned but committed by opportunists
  • An alarm can be part-set to cover areas that you are not occupying whilst at home
  • Wire-free alarms are available if you are worried about wiring in your house
  • Systems can include a ‘Hold-Up Alarm’. Invaluable if there is an intruder in the house – a typical location for one might be in the bedroom

Audible Alarms

These sound a loud siren or bell, designed to scare an intruder and alert neighbours and passers-by.

This type of alarm does not get an automatic police response.

For the police to respond, someone at the scene would need to call the police and report that a crime is in progress.

Monitored Alarm Systems

These alarms send a signal to a commercial ‘Alarm Receiving Centre’ (ARC) who alerts a keyholder of your choice and, if required, the police. The system has to be installed, monitored and maintained in accordance with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) document; Requirements for Response to Security Systems.

DIY Alarms

Whilst DIY kits may provide a cheaper alternative, the NPCC does not recommend them as:

1. The alarm system may not be designed to meet the needs and risks of your property.

2. Problems with installation, maintenance and reliability may not become clear until a burglary has occurred.

Alarm Certification Bodies:

If you have decided your property would benefit from an alarm system, you should ensure that you use a reputable alarm company. To obtain information on reputable companies who supply and install security systems in your area, we recommend you contact the following Independent Inspectorate Bodies who will be able to supply you with these details. Both Inspectorates have search functions on their websites to help you find an appropriate installer.

NSI - Certification for security and fire protection companies 

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) is the leading certification body for the security and fire protection industries in the UK.

SSAIB (Security Systems & Alarm Inspection Board) 

A leading certification body for organisations providing security systems and services, fire detection and alarm systems, telecare systems and services, manned services, approved contractors scheme and monitoring services.

When investing in security systems for your home or business it is not advisable to deal with telesales or doorstep callers. Only deal with installers that offer you a written quotation without obligation. Turn away any company that tries to scare you into purchasing an alarm with stories of burglaries in your area. If you feel a company has tried ‘hard sell’ tactics, you should consider contacting your local police or Trading Standards office.

Do not sign up to long term monitoring contracts that require payment up front.