A house burglar alarm is usually fitted externally to a property. They are regarded as one of the most common forms of visual security deterrent. House alarm systems can come in many different types, including wireless burglar alarms or wired into the mains. Prices may vary by the type of intruder alarm you buy and can provide differing results.

Many people consider that house burglar alarms are the only form of deterrent they will need, but this is a very naive outlook on home security. With an increase of 2% of burglary offences recorded by the police [ref] it is important to not view a burglar alarm in isolation from the rest of your home security. Consider also any physical aspects such as door and window security. It is also wise to assess any potential access points around the property.

Good quality house burglar alarms should compliment your home security assessment. Consider your budget and what you can afford, will you be able to supplement a monthly outlay for a police response alarm?

Burglar Alarm Standards

There are two main types of burglar alarm available on the market, these are wired and wireless alarms. A good quality house alarm must ideally conform to BS EN 50131 and BS 4737 standards. These standards are split into various grades to measure how resilient the alarm system is if an intruder attempts to compromise the system. Different insurance companies will require different grades of alarm to qualify for options of insurance cover if required.

It is essential when having a wired alarm fitted that you use a qualified house alarm installer, no matter how competent you may feel your ability is. The two main Government backed regulatory bodies for home alarms are the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB). Both of these organisations have installer directories where you can find an accredited installer in your area.

Wireless burglar alarms are sometimes a cheaper alternative and do not have any wires associated with them. Some wireless burglar alarms conform to BS EN 50131 standard and utilise narrowband radio frequency (RF) signals. It is quicker to install a wireless alarm and will not require holes drilling or wires potentially trailing through the house. The downside to a wireless alarm is that the batteries will need to be changed periodically in the sensor units and potentially the bell box externally on the property.

Police Response

There is a common misconception that police monitored alarms are actually monitored by the police. This in unfortunately untrue. An Alarm Receiving Center (ARC) will monitor the alarm for activation 24 hours a day. If the ARC is alerted to an intruder they will create a Unique Reference Number (URN) that is then passed to the local area police force by the ARC if it is considered that the police need to attend.