Security Alarm Systems for the Home

Home security alarm systems are a good deterrent to vandalism and burglary. By having a burglar alarm, potential intruders are put off from entering a property. There are various types of home security alarm systems available. The type of system selected often depends on a property's layout and the desired level of security.

Types of Home Security Alarm Systems

The type of burglar alarm system selected will depend on the level of security desired by a property owner. Other factors that will influence the choice include budget and the physical layout of the property and how much coverage is needed.

When Remote signalling alarm systems are triggered, they automatically inform a monitoring system. A service provider will then notify police that the alarm has been set off or notify a designated person. If there is a false alarm, a homeowner provides a personalised code or password in order to cancel the alarm. There is generally a charge for the monitoring service provided with this type of home alarm system.

Audible alarm systems are also known as bells-only alarms. They are automatically set off by an intruder. These alarm systems can also be triggered by using a personal attack button, which is a small device that is carried by a homeowner or resident. A loud alarm instantly sounds when the system is triggered. Generally, these types of systems rely on someone hearing the alarm and then notifying police. Police will often need additional information when responding given the high number of false alarms, for example seeing a suspicious person, an open door or broken glass.

Home Security Alarm System Features

Most alarm only systems are not monitored, while remote signaling systems contact homeowners and service providers. Certain alarms might feature speech diallers, which texts or calls the homeowner or another designated person when the alarm is triggered. A speech dialer is a more affordable alternative to having a monitoring service. With a monitoring contract, an alarm company will call the police when an alarm goes off for a monthly or annual fee.

Home burglar alarms can be wired or wireless. Wired systems generally require professional installation. Wires are hidden from view to reduce any visual impact of installing the system. Wireless alarms provide a neater and more streamlined look. They are also easier to install and remove, and can often be installed without the help of a professional installer. Wireless alarms operate with battery-powered sensors that connect with a control panel using radio signals. Wireless alarm systems are generally more expensive, although there are no installation fees if fitted by homeowners.

Choosing an Alarm Company

Reputable home security alarm service providers are recognized by insurance companies. Homeowners should check with their insurance company to see if the alarm company is covered. The National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and the Security Systems & Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB) also provide information on certified alarm companies. Certain police services will only respond to alarms that are installed by companies that are NSI and SSAIB approved. Alarm companies should install wired alarms that meet British Standards BS 4737, while wireless systems need to comply with BS 6799. Home security alarm systems should also conform with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Intruder Alarm Policy.

You can find details of local home security companies online. Once you've found several in your area, check their address and credentials, and ask for proof of their representative's identity. Avoid buying alarms systems from cold callers and any installer that uses scare tactics, including putting pressure on you to make a purchase due to rising crime. Obtain quotes from at least three alarm companies and confirm that maintenance and monitoring fees are included. Also check whether you own or rent the alarm system, and if there are any fees for cancelling a service. A good company offers 24-hour call-out services and quick emergency response, and includes any maintenance fees in their quotes.