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Types of burglar alarm systems

There are several types of burglar alarm systems on the market today and, as the technology improves, so does the service they provide.
According to police and security experts, you are less likely to be a victim of a burglary or break-in if you have a properly installed and maintained security alarm system.
Making the right choice is not always easy and not helped by the number of available options when getting a new burglar alarm installed.
If you are thinking of having a burglar alarm system installed there are some things you need to look first at before coming to a decision about which is the home or business security system that is best suited to your needs. Several factors influence the best alarm system for your property, including your desired level of protection, your budget and personal preference.
Talking to an expert will help you decide, and Crown Securities (UK) Ltd can offer free expert help in choosing a burglar alarm system that best fits your needs.
Give us a call on 0800 019 1131 for free advice and a no-obligation quote on burglar alarm installation for your home or business premises.

Different types of alarm systems

One factor to consider is what you want to happen when the security alert is triggered. Here there are three options.

Audible systems
Noise alarms do just that and little else. A bell or siren call can be enough to distract or deter and an intruder, but only the burglar and the neighbours will be the ones to hear it.
They can be useful, however for those who live or work in an active neighbourhood watch area or in a location where neighbours can be counted on to take some action.

Dialler systems

Dialler alarms can sound an alarm and also auto-dial your phone, or those of friends and family when an intruder is detected. They can also auto-dial a monitoring company for a small monthly fee, and they will take action if the alarm goes off.
Many dialler alarms allow you to create a priority ordered list of telephone numbers, and it will work through the list until it gets a response. More sophisticated models can also detect a fire or flood.
Speech diallers use a landline telephone while others connect to a mobile network. They need a current SIM card and a decent signal to work.

Smart security systems
Smart home security systems have become very popular recently. They connect to a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
These systems use apps to control security from your device even when you're away from the property. Smart home security systems offer lots of options but need a central hub to connect compatible devices through a wi-fi router.
Smart security systems can be used to control much more than alarms. They can be used for remote control of gates, CCTV cameras, lighting, heating and so on.
A professional installer such as Crown Securities UK will be able to help choose the best add-ons and install sensors in the right positions.
Smart systems can be expensive, and the cost can rise if you add lots of extra components. Basic operations are much more affordable as technology improves and prices come down.

Alarm system set-up and installation

The three main burglar alarm systems are hard-wired, wireless and smart.

Hardwired systems
These are what they sound like and have physical wire connections between sensors and a control unit.
Wired security systems can be cheaper to buy but more expensive to install as wires need to be hidden away if they are not to be unsightly. They can also be challenging to reconfigure if ever you want an upgrade.

Wireless alarms
These use no wires at all and rely on battery-powered sensors that use radio signals to 'talk to' a central control panel.
They are easy to install with no messy wires to connect, and upgrading is just a case of updating the software. Extra sensors are also easy to add and, if you move home, you can unplug the system and take it with you. The downside is they tend to be more expensive to buy.

Smart alarms
Some home security systems use local wi-fi to run the system and can connect to a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or even your smartphone.
Smart systems allow you to configure the network remotely and control security from your phone or laptop even when you are away, even when abroad on holiday.
Linking in CCTV cameras, motion sensors, lighting and heating systems and other devices give you complete control of your property wherever you are in the world.
You can install smart systems yourself, but a professional installer will choose the best security system setup and configuration.
Smart systems are more expensive, and prices rise with the number of add-on services. However, the cost of a basic system is very reasonable and prices are falling as technology improves and smart security stems become more popular.

Types of monitoring systems

Burglar alarm monitoring contracts are for those who prefer peace of mind. If a warning is triggered, the problem is dealt with by professionals.
Monitoring contracts are available for all types of alarm systems, wired, wireless alarms or smart but contract conditions often include conformity to specific standards.
It may be challenging to get a monitoring contract fora system installed yourself as firms usually require installation by a qualified professional security system installer like Crown Securities UK Ltd.
Under this system, the owner pays a monthly or annual fee, and the monitoring company alerts a nominated key holder (or list of key holders) or the police if the security alarm is triggered.
The alarm system is connected directly to a receiving centre, The standard procedure is for the centre to call the property's landline and if no-one answers or if they are given the wrong identifying password they inform register keyholder or the police.
Monitoring companies often offer other services such as maintenance contracts or remotely checking of systems.
Nominated keyholders can be family, friends or neighbours. They usually need to get to the property within 20 minutes and have access to the keys to get in.
The advantages over simple autodialers are the 24-hour monitoring and the fact that the company is liable if no action is taken during a burglary.
Some monitoring contracts include contacting the local police if an alarm is triggered. To avoid call-outs to false alarms police usually require two sensors to be triggered such as a door and a motion sensor.

False alarms and system maintenance

False alarms have wasted a lot of police time. In the past, with more than 90% of callouts to burglar alarms turning out to be incorrect.
Repeated false alarms callouts can lead to properties being removed from the police register and they won't respond at all.
Payment for police response does not guarantee that the police will act on the information. It depends on the time of day (or night) and if officers are available to deal with an incident.
Maintaining your burglar alarm should be a top priority in an event. Regular servicing will highlight problems, cut defects and greater redress if something does go wrong.
Most alarm maintenance contracts offer a six or 12-month check either remotely or by an installer physically testing the system.
Costs for this vary with the level of maintenance, and it is often a requirement for some insurance companies.

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