Keeping our homes and businesses safe is more important now than ever. In these times, where we often hear about security breaches, investing in a good burglar alarm system seems like a smart move. It’s not just about feeling safe, but also about actually deterring those unwelcome guests who might think about breaking in. But, it’s not as simple as just buying an alarm system and slapping it on the door. There’s a lot more to consider – like how to install it, what kind of maintenance it’ll need, and of course, what it’s going to cost you.
In this guide, I’m going to walk you through everything you need to know about burglar alarm systems. We’ll look at how to set them up so they’re most effective, why keeping them serviced and maintained is crucial, and what kind of budget you should be prepared for to keep your property safe. By the time we’re done, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to make your space not just feel safer, but actually be more secure.
What is a Burglar Alarm System?
A burglar alarm system is a comprehensive, electronic security mechanism specifically designed to detect unauthorised entry or intrusion into a building or area. It serves as a critical component in home and business security, offering both protection and deterrence against potential break-ins.
How Do Burglar Alarms Work?
At its core, the system comprises several integral elements: sensors placed at strategic locations such as doors and windows, a central control panel that interprets sensor signals, and an audible alarm that sounds in the event of a breach. These sensors are highly sensitive to movements or actions that signify an intrusion, such as the opening of a door or window or the detection of motion within a protected space.
Once a potential security breach is detected, the system triggers an alarm that not only alerts the occupants of the building but also has the potential to scare off the intruder. In more sophisticated setups, the system can be connected to a monitoring service, providing an additional layer of security by ensuring that any alarm activation is promptly communicated to law enforcement or security personnel.
The Basic Setup
- Control Panel: This is the system’s command centre. It monitors the signals from all sensors and decides when to sound the alarm.
- Sensors: Placed on doors, windows, and key areas, these are the eyes of the system. They detect any unauthorised entry.
- Alarm: When the system senses something’s amiss, it triggers a loud alarm to alert you and scare off the intruder.
How it Springs into Action
- Activation: You turn on the system using a keypad or a remote device.
- Monitoring: The sensors keep a vigilant watch over your property.
- Detection: If a sensor picks up something unusual, like a door opening unexpectedly, it sends a signal to the control panel.
- Alarm: The control panel assesses the signal and, if it’s a genuine threat, sets off the alarm.
What About False Alarms?
False alarms can happen, but modern systems are smart. They can often tell the difference between a real threat and, say, your cat jumping on the windowsill.
What are the Uses of a Burglar Alarm System?
A burglar alarm system isn’t just a fancy bell that rings during a break-in. It’s a multi-functional guardian that plays several roles in protecting your property and giving you peace of mind. Let’s dive into its diverse uses:
Protects Your Home or Business
First and foremost, it’s like a shield for your property. Whether you’re tucked in bed or away on vacation, it’s always on guard, ready to alert you of any suspicious activity.
Deters Potential Intruders
Burglars tend to think twice before targeting a home with an alarm system. It’s like having a big, “You’re not welcome here!” sign that’s visible to anyone with bad intentions.
Provides Peace of Mind
Knowing that your property is under constant watch helps you relax and focus on other important things in your life. It’s like having a vigilant friend who’s always looking out for you.
Lowers Insurance Costs
Many insurance companies offer discounts on home insurance premiums if you have a burglar alarm system. It’s like getting a pat on the back for being extra cautious.
Increases Property Value
A home with a state-of-the-art security system is more attractive to potential buyers or renters. It adds an extra layer of appeal to your property.
Helps in Emergency Response
In case of a break-in, monitored systems ensure that the authorities are notified immediately. It’s like having a direct line to the police or fire department.
What is the Purpose of a Burglar Alarm?
The big question: why bother with a burglar alarm? It’s all about protection and peace of mind.
Scare Off Intruders
First and foremost, it’s a warning to burglars. The loud alarm can send them running before they even get a chance to snoop around.
Detect Unwanted Guests
These systems are like having eyes and ears all over your place. If someone does try to break in, you’ll know right away.
Notify You and the Authorities
Whether it’s a loud bell or a call to a monitoring service, you get the heads-up to take action. In monitored systems, the pros can even call the cops for you.
Peace of Mind
Knowing your home or business is under watch 24/7 can take a load off your mind. It’s like having a guard that never sleeps.
Having a burglar alarm can up the value of your property. It’s an extra perk for potential buyers or renters. Plus, some insurance companies might give you a break on premiums because your place is safer.
Works with Other Security Gear
In a nutshell, a burglar alarm system is your frontline defence against break-ins. It’s not just about the loud noise; it’s about the sense of security and protection it provides.
Types of Burglar Alarms
Let’s take a look at burglar alarms – they come in all sorts, from simple ones to really fancy systems, all to keep your place safe.
Wired vs. Wireless
Wired Systems: These guys are connected with physical wires. They’re like the old-school, reliable type. But, installing them can be a bit of a project.
Wireless Systems: These are the modern, hassle-free cousins. They use wireless signals, making installation a breeze. Just keep an eye on their batteries!
Monitored vs. Unmonitored
Monitored Systems: These are connected to a security service. If your alarm goes off, they get notified and can call for help. It’s like having a personal security team on standby.
Unmonitored Systems: These systems rely on loud alarms to alert you and your neighbours. There’s no middleman involved.
Smart Alarm Systems
Smart alarm systems provide enhanced security through smartphone-controlled features, integration with smart home devices, and real-time alerts. They include motion detectors, cameras, and can be customised for specific needs.
Handy Comparison Table
|Reliable; No batteries
|Easy setup; Portable
|No ongoing costs
|No automatic police call
|Remote access; Tech-savvy
|Needs internet; Pricier
What do Burglar Alarms Detect?
You might wonder, what exactly sets off a burglar alarm? Here’s the scoop:
The Usual Suspects
Opened Doors and Windows: The most common triggers are when a door or window is opened unexpectedly.
Motion Inside the House: Got movement in the house when there shouldn’t be any? The alarm will know.
Not Just for Burglaries
Fire and Smoke Detection: Some systems are equipped to detect smoke or heat, doubling as a fire alarm.
Carbon Monoxide Detection: A lifesaver in itself, certain alarms can also warn you of dangerous CO levels.
Some advanced systems can even alert you to flooding or freezing temperatures in your home, preventing other types of disasters.
Burglar Alarm Installation
Why Install a Burglar Alarm?
Installing a burglar alarm is a key measure in safeguarding your home or business. It’s not just about deterring potential intruders but also about providing peace of mind and enhancing safety. Especially in areas prone to break-ins or if your property has been targeted before, an alarm system can significantly increase your sense of security.
Burglar Alarm Installation Costs
|Type of burglar alarm
|Starting prices (Supply and install)
|Bell Only Wireless Alarm System
|2 sensors, 1 door contact
|Bell Only Wired System
|2 sensors, 1 door contact
|Smart Alarm system
|2 sensors, 1 door contact, token required
|Supply (excl. labour)
|Burglar alarm technician hourly rate
These costs are averages for domestic and small commercial projects, with larger commercial properties likely incurring higher fees. The costs mentioned do not include any additional work required for installation, and prices can vary depending on technology, level of protection, and property size. High specification installations offering maximum security can exceed £1,000+
Burglar Alarm Fitting Cost
The cost of fitting a burglar alarm varies depending on the system type and complexity. A basic wired system’s installation starts at around £500, including supply and installation. Wireless systems, offering more flexibility and ease of installation, start slightly higher, around £525.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Burglar Alarm Installation
Several factors can influence installation costs, including the system type (wired or wireless), property size, and system sophistication. High-spec systems providing maximum security can exceed £1,000+.
House Alarm Installation Cost
The average cost for a standard house alarm installation, particularly the popular wireless sensor systems, begins at £500 – £525.
How Much Does a Home Burglar Alarm System Cost?
For a basic setup, expect costs in the range of £500 – £525. Advanced features or larger systems will increase the price.
Is It Worth Installing a Burglar Alarm?
Yes, installing a burglar alarm can be a worthwhile investment for several reasons:
Deterrence: A visible burglar alarm system can serve as a powerful deterrent. Potential intruders are less likely to target a property that has an alarm in place.
Immediate Notification: Modern burglar alarm systems are connected to monitoring centers or your smartphone, providing instant notifications in case of a breach.
Peace of Mind: Knowing that your property is equipped with a reliable burglar alarm can provide peace of mind.
Insurance Benefits: Many insurance providers offer reduced premiums for properties with burglar alarm systems.
Integration with Other Systems: Burglar alarms can be integrated with other security systems, such as CCTV cameras and access control systems.
Can I Install a Burglar Alarm Myself?
DIY installation is possible if you’re experienced with home security and electronics. However, professional installation is recommended for optimal setup and functionality.
How Long Does It Take to Install a Burglar Alarm?
Typically, installation takes about one to two days, depending on the system’s complexity and the property size.
Burglar Alarm Installation Hourly Rates
Burglar alarm technicians generally charge between £60 and £80 per hour. The total cost depends on the installation duration and the technician’s experience.
Burglar Alarm Installation Cost Overview
Expect starting costs around £500 + VAT, with variations based on property size and system sophistication. Installation usually takes 1-2 days, and professional installation is recommended unless you have relevant experience.
Burglar Alarm Cost Calculator
To calculate the cost of your burglar alarm installation, consider the number of alarm units required, the system’s make and model, and the installation time. The cost will increase with a larger property requiring more units.
Burglar Alarm Service Cost
Maintaining a burglar alarm system is as crucial as installing one. Regular servicing ensures your system functions optimally, offering uninterrupted security for your property. Let’s explore the costs involved in keeping your burglar alarm in top shape.
Burglar Alarm Service Hourly Rates
Professional servicing of a burglar alarm system typically involves an hourly rate. The average hourly rate for a burglar alarm service is between £60 and £80. This rate can vary based on the technician’s expertise and your location.
How Often Should a Burglar Alarm Be Serviced?
For optimal performance, it is recommended to service your burglar alarm system annually. Regular servicing helps in identifying and fixing any potential issues before they become major problems. For systems with more complex features or those in high-risk areas, a bi-annual check might be more appropriate.
How Much Is an Alarm Maintenance Contract?
An alarm maintenance contract is an agreement with a service provider for regular maintenance of your burglar alarm system. The cost of such a contract can vary depending on the complexity of your system, the frequency of services, and the extent of coverage provided. On average, these contracts can range from £100 to £1000+ per year. These contracts often include regular checks, emergency call-outs, and sometimes, parts and labour for repairs.
Service Cost Table
To give you a clearer picture, here’s a breakdown of the potential costs:
|Hourly Rate for Servicing
|£60 – £80 per hour
|Annual Maintenance Contract
|£100 – £1000+ per year
Regular servicing of your burglar alarm system is a small price to pay for the security and peace of mind it provides. It ensures that your system is always ready to protect your property and can also save you money in the long run by preventing major repairs. Remember, a well-maintained burglar alarm system is an effective burglar alarm system.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Burglar Alarm Systems
Let’s See What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Burglar Alarm Systems
Advantages of Burglar Alarm Systems
Burglar Alarm Systems offer numerous benefits that contribute to the safety and security of your property:
- Deterrence: A burglar alarm system serves as a visual and auditory deterrent to potential intruders. The sight of an alarm system can discourage burglars from attempting a break-in.
- Immediate Alert: When a breach is detected, modern burglar alarm systems can trigger immediate alerts to monitoring centres or authorities, ensuring a swift response to the threat.
- Peace of Mind: Knowing that your property is equipped with a burglar alarm system can provide peace of mind, especially when you’re away from home or your business.
- Remote Monitoring: Many burglar alarm systems can be remotely monitored using smartphones or computers, allowing you to keep an eye on your property even when you’re not there physically.
- Integration: Burglar alarm systems can be seamlessly integrated with other security components, such as CCTV cameras and access control systems, creating a comprehensive security network.
Disadvantages of Burglar Alarm Systems
Despite their many advantages, burglar alarm systems have some potential downsides:
- False Alarms: Burglar alarm systems can sometimes trigger false alarms due to various reasons, such as pets, environmental factors, or technical glitches. These false alarms can be inconvenient and may lead to fines in some cases.
- Initial Cost: The initial investment for purchasing and installing a burglar alarm system can be relatively high, including the cost of equipment, sensors, and professional installation.
- Ongoing Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential to ensure that the system functions correctly. This may include replacing batteries, updating software, and occasional system upgrades, which can add to the overall cost.
- Limited Effectiveness: While burglar alarms can deter many potential burglars, determined intruders may still attempt a break-in, especially if they believe they can disable or avoid the system.
- Vulnerable to Tampering: Intruders with knowledge of burglar alarm systems can attempt to disable or tamper with them, potentially compromising security.
How Foxmoor Can Assist
For those considering a burglar alarm system, Foxmoor Fire and Security offers comprehensive solutions. With our expertise in designing, installing, and maintaining a range of security products, tailored to meet both domestic and commercial premises.
We’re excited to present our current Winter offer: a fully installed professional alarm with two PIR sensors, a door contact, and a free tablet linked to the alarm for just £450+VAT. Moreover, for a small monthly fee, you can control your alarm via your smartphone, offering you full control and convenience. This package is a testament to our commitment to providing sophisticated, affordable, yet user-friendly security solutions. Learn more about their offers here.
In today’s world, where security is paramount, a well-designed and properly maintained burglar alarm system is an invaluable asset. It provides you with the confidence that your home or business is safeguarded against potential threats. We have embarked on a journey through the intricacies of burglar alarm systems, from installation to servicing and cost considerations.
By investing in a burglar alarm system, you are not just safeguarding your property; you are investing on your home or business security. Regular servicing ensures that your system remains reliable, while understanding the costs involved allows you to make informed decisions. As we conclude this guide, remember that knowledge is the key to effective security. By staying informed and taking the necessary steps, you can fortify your surroundings and create a safer environment for yourself, your loved ones, and your assets.
In this section, we’ll address some common questions and queries related to burglar alarm systems to help you gain a comprehensive understanding of their functionality and usage.
What is a Burglar Alarm in a Car?
A burglar alarm in a car is a security system designed to protect vehicles from theft and unauthorised access. These systems typically incorporate sensors that detect movement or attempts to open doors or windows. When triggered, they can activate loud sirens, flashing lights, or even immobilise the vehicle to deter potential thieves.
What is the Difference Between a Fire Alarm and a Burglar Alarm?
Fire alarms and burglar alarms serve distinct purposes. A fire alarm is specifically designed to detect the presence of smoke, heat, or fire within a property and alert occupants to evacuate safely. In contrast, a burglar alarm focuses on detecting unauthorised entry or intrusion into a property, typically through sensors on doors, windows, or motion detectors. While both alarms enhance security, they serve different functions.
Can a Burglar Alarm be Used as a Fire Alarm?
No, burglar alarm systems are not suitable for fire detection. Fire alarms are equipped with specialised sensors to detect the presence of smoke or elevated temperatures associated with fires.
How Long do Burglar Alarms Last?
On average, a well-maintained burglar alarm system can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years or more. The lifespan of burglar alarm systems can vary depending on factors such as the quality of equipment, maintenance, and technological advancements. However, it’s essential to keep the system up to date and perform regular maintenance to ensure it continues to function effectively.
Do Burglar Alarms Use a Lot of Electricity?
Burglar alarm systems are designed to be energy-efficient and do not consume a significant amount of electricity. Most modern burglar alarms use low-power components, and their energy consumption is minimal compared to household appliances. This efficiency ensures that they can operate continuously without causing a significant increase in energy bills.
Who Invented the Burglar Alarm?
The concept of burglar alarms dates back to the early 19th century, but the credit for the first patented burglar alarm system goes to Edwin Holmes in 1858. Edwin Holmes founded the first alarm monitoring company in the United States, pioneering the development of early security systems.
How Much Electricity Does a Burglar Alarm Use?
Burglar alarm systems typically use less than 10 watts of electricity. Their power consumption is relatively low, making them energy-efficient and cost-effective to operate. This minimal electricity usage ensures that the alarm system can function without imposing a substantial financial burden.