Your Home - Burglar Alarms

Left AlignYou don't need to break the bank to get a burglar alarm installed in your home. And it might make you feel a little bit more secure.

Government statistics have shown that around 60% of burglaries carried out on homes fitted with burglar alarms are unsuccessful. This suggests that burglar alarms are a useful deterrent for prospective criminals, but before you rush out and buy a brand new security system follow a few of our tips on security devices for your home.

Only speak to installers that offer you a free survey and written quotation without obligation, and turn away companies that try to shock you with stories or statistics about burglary. Burglaries are less common than most people think and violent attacks on people in their homes are extremely rare. You should consider reporting any firms that use shock tactics to your local police or trading standards.

There are a few different types of alarm system. The first, and most common, is the traditional "bells only" system. When professionally fitted these cost around £500 to install plus another £65 per year for a maintenance contract.

If this is too expensive for you, fit a DIY system. Although the DIY type may not be as reliable as a professional system, simply having an alarm can be a deterrent, as most burglars tend to choose the easy option. Take a look around your area, and if most homes have an alarm and yours doesn't, you probably stand more chance of being burgled. Of course, this does depend on many other factors, such as having a dog, or how good the other security features of your home are.

The more expensive option is a "monitored alarm", which may be worth thinking about if you have a lot of valuable property, or you live somewhere isolated. Monitored alarms are connected to an "alarm receiving centre" where someone will alert the police if an intruder is detected. They cost between £800 and £900 to install and around £200 each year for monitoring and maintenance.

The big difference between a bells-only and a monitored burglar alarm is police response. You need to know that the police will not respond to a bells only alarm unless they receive confirmation from you, your family, or someone else nearby, that there is a burglary in progress.

Before deciding on the type of alarm to install check with your insurance company first. They may offer discounts off your premium depending on the type you have fitted and the kind of installer you use. This could help make your choice a little easier. If installing your own alarm, make sure it meets BS6707 requirements. And if you get a professional to install it, ensure they meet BS4737 standards.