The Metropolitan Police Office says that studies have shown a well-fitted and maintained burglar alarm system makes you less likely to become a victim of burglary. But how do you choose the right one for you and your home?

Types of burglar alarm systems

The best type of alarm for your home depends on your personal preferences, budget, what your home is like and what level of protection you need. A key consideration is what you would prefer to happen when your alarm goes off. Bells-only alarms make a noise, but do not contact anyone (such as the police or the homeowner). Speech diallers, a device built inside an alarm, automatically contacts you or other nominated friends and family when the alarm is triggered. Alternatively, you could get a monitoring contract, whereby you would pay a company monthly or annually to take action or call the police if the alarm goes off.

Costs vary between the different alarm types

Wireless or wired burglar alarm

White burglar alarmAlarms can be either wired or wireless. Wireless alarms look nicer, are generally easier to install and can be removed more easily if you move house. They use battery-powered sensors that communicate with a control panel using radio signals. While this type of alarm tends to be cheaper the alarms themselves can be more expensive. Wired systems usually need to have the wires hidden and labour charges can be higher.

Bells-only burglar alarm

When a bells-only (also called audible) alarm is triggered, it makes a loud noise, which will hopefully alert someone in the area to the situation and/or scare off an intruder. However, unlike a monitored alarm or one with a speech dialler, it won’t automatically contact a named person or the police, so there is no guarantee that anything will be done.

It’s worth thinking about the kind of area you live in before deciding to get a bells-only alarm. Is there an active neighbourhood watch giving you confidence that someone will call the police? Or perhaps you have friends and relatives who live very close by who you could count on to take action?

Maintaining your Intruder alarm

Regular maintenance should highlight and reduce defects, give you peace of mind and give you more redress if something goes wrong If you get an Intruder alarm maintenance contract, your alarm will be checked once a year (twice a year if you want a police-monitoring contract).

Having your alarm system professionally maintained can help tackle any problems with false alarms. It is also a requirement of some insurance companies and a requirement if you want a monitoring contract in addition.

What exactly is a central monitoring station?

Lady on phoneTypically security systems send their signals over a telephone line to a central monitoring station or by sim card GSM We’re there when you need us most! Homeowners and business owners install security systems to protect their families, their homes and properties. The monitoring station, we will monitor your location for intruder and fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the event of an emergency, trained professionals will dispatch the proper authorities to your location.

Using the most sophisticated equipment, Dorset Fire & Security will customize a security system to fit your needs and budget.  We install and service most all brands of security detection.

With monitored systems, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing our Central Station is always monitoring your home or business 24 hours a day, every day.  Remember your alarm system is not complete unless it is monitored.  Each and every day, our trained operators are on the job round-the-clock and are prepared to respond to any need that you may have.

Peace of mind in this day and time is a commodity that is not easy to come by. Knowing that you’re loved ones, home & property is being looked after when you are away or asleep is a feeling that cannot be described. Once you experience it, you will not want to be without it. Alarm Specialists can provide you with the comfort that comes from knowing your family is in good hands.

Intruder alarm monitoring

There are three options if you would like to have your Intruder alarm monitored, so someone will be alerted if it goes off: a speech dialler, a keyholder contract or a police contract.

You can get a monitoring contract for a wired or wireless alarm, but the alarm itself and the installation does need to conform to certain standards.

There are two types of monitoring contract: keyholder and police response. With both types, you pay extra per month or annually to have your alarm system monitored, which means the nominated keyholder or the police will be alerted when the alarm goes off.

The idea is that the alarm system connects to a receiving centre, so if your alarm is triggered, they will be notified. The receiving centre will first of all ring your home asking for your password identification. If this is incorrect or no one answers, either they will take action, inform the keyholder(s), or call the police, depending on what type of contract you have.

Speech dialer

A speech dialler (also called text alert), is a device built into or connected to a wired or wireless alarm. The idea is that when the alarm goes off, the speech dialler will call or text a set of phone numbers of your choice, for example family members or your mobile, until it gets an answer or can leave an automated message.

This can be a good alternative to a professional monitoring service (see below), as a professional service involves monthly fees. Speech diallers are usually free as they are built into the alarm, so they just need to be activated or connected to the phone line.

Key holder monitoring

Key holder monitoring is done through the monitoring company (the ‘receiving centre’), which will either respond itself when the alarm is triggered, or will contact your nominated keyholders.

Nominated key holders must be within 20 minutes of the house, be able to drive and have access to the house. It’s your responsibility to keep the alarm company up to date with their details, and suggest alternatives if they are away.

There’s an annual cost involved. However, the 24-hour service offered by monitoring, as well as knowing there is a dedicated company which is liable if action isn’t taken, may offer you peace of mind.

Police monitoring

In addition to a receiving centre being made aware your alarm going off, this type of contract means the police will also be contacted by the receiving centre.

When your alarm goes off, two indicators within the house, such as a door contact and a sensor, must both have been triggered to warrant police call out. This is to avoid false alarms wasting police time. The Metropolitan Police says that a massive 92% of all alarm activations nationally in recent years have been false alarms.

If your system has three false alarms (four in Scotland) in 12 months, you’re struck off the police register, and they won’t respond if the alarm goes off.

What next?

If you would like a free no obligation discussion on your current and or future Intruder Alarm requirements, feel free to contact us and we would be happy to have that conversation with you.

Contact Us About Your Intruder Alarm Requirements