Intruder alarms are much more widespread now than they used to be. Response alarm systems are often fitted at commercial premises and, increasingly, in private homes. Systems range from cheap, off-the-shelf DIY to sophisticated monitored alarm systems installed and maintained by professionals.
Studies by the Metropolitan Police show that a well-maintained intruder alarm system makes you far less likely to become a victim of a burglar or prowler.
But how do you choose the right warning system to meet your needs as well as fit your budget? Here are a few things to consider when picking a burglar deterrent.
The most fundamental trespasser alarm is a simple electric circuit that is either open or closed. In an open circuit system, an alarm signal goes off when the circuit is made, as when a door is closed. In a closed circuit system, alarms are triggered if the security circuit is broken, for example, if a window opens.
Types of trespasser detection
A closed circuit warning system is designed to guard the perimeter of a building where an intruder might enter. They can also be used as motion detectors to warn off trespassers inside a building. Many intruder alarm systems use a photo-sensor motion indicator that detects when a light beam is interrupted. More advanced security systems use passive infrared (PIR) motion detectors that recognize infrared radiated body heat. Various types of response alarm system may be triggered by an intruder alert.
Audible or bells only alarm
A siren, bell or flashing light is used to alert neighbours or passers-by. Although this is a simple, cheap and efficient deterrent, there is no guarantee that any action will be taken once the signal, bell or horn goes off.
Monitored alarms come in several flavours. A monitored warning system typically connects to a receiving centre that takes appropriate action. If you opt for a monitoring contract, your alarm installation should conform to minimum standards, and so experienced professionals are best employed to install it. The 24-hour service offered by dedicated monitoring provides the greater reassurance, but it will be the most expensive. Alternatively, a telephone auto-dialer can play a pre-recorded message to nominated keyholders, a monitoring company, the police, or even all three
Wireless or wired burglar alarm
Intruder alarm systems may be wired or wireless. Wireless alerts are less intrusive, are easier to install and maintain and relatively simple to reinstall if you move home or office. Battery-powered sensors communicate with a control panel using radio signals. Wired warning systems are usually more expensive to install than wireless ones. The cables usually need to be hidden, making wired installation costs higher.
Maintaining your burglar alarm
Regular maintenance is highly recommended for any burglar alarm system and regular alarm system checks are vital to highlight defects early and give greater peace of mind. A maintenance contract can include regular personal inspections or remote testing of your response system. Costs will vary according to the level of support. A professionally maintained alarm system could also be required by some insurance companies. At the very least you should have an emergency call-out number to contact should your alarm system prove faulty.
New and improved alert systems appear on the market all the time. Advances in microelectronics and the growth of internet cloud services means efficient and sophisticated intruder alarm systems can be installed and maintained at a very reasonable cost. You can even buy pet-friendly alarms that keep your home safe without triggering faulty warnings. Security systems can now be activated using a smartphone while built-in cameras can record trespassers in real time, and even detect false alarms.
Experts at Crown Securities will carry out an evaluation for free and give expert advice on the most appropriate type of burglar alarm security installation to suit your needs and budget. Call us now on 0800 019 1131.