Burglar Alarms – Why bother?

Burglar alarms are an integral part of any effective security system.

Since burglar alarms became more widely available in the 1980s and 90s they have played an important role in reducing the number of burglaries committed. An overall correlation can be seen between the introduction of burglar alarms and the reduction in burglaries.

However, there are still over 400,0001 burglaries a year reported to the police and the most recent crime survey for England and Wales (CSEW)estimated 650,0002 domestic burglaries took place in a year. (Year ending March 2017 – ONS2 ).

Do I really need a burglar alarm?

When it comes to protecting your home or business, installing a burglar alarm is an absolute must. Simply having a burglar alarm will act as a visible deterrent and begin to reduce the chances of being burgled.

You may feel your property is fairly secure already but a key fact to consider is that the more layers of security you have, the more difficult you make the criminal’s job. Each layer of security you introduce protects you and your property further.

Burglar alarms can be used to protect not just your house or business but your whole property. Even making your garden secure can help keep thieves away.

According to a survey commissioned by Churchill Insurance 3 burglary victims have a 1 in 4 chance of being revisited by burglars. It is always best to take preventative measures before you are affected to avoid being targeted.

The cost of burglar alarms

The cost of a burglar alarm is a small investment when you compare it to the cost of replacing your belongings, safeguarding your personal details or protecting valuable business information.

As an individual, being burgled not only has a financial cost but can have a significant emotional cost, which is also often overlooked.

As a business, mitigating losses play an important role in keeping a business healthy. The financial loss is compounded by enforced downtime whilst replacing equipment and the possible theft of competitive information can be both worrying and potentially very harmful to the business.

The police advise a combination of good physical security and an effective alarm system to reduce the risk of being burgled. Insurance companies may also see the addition of a burglar alarm as a reason to reduce the cost of your policy.

There are several types of alarm systems to suit different budgets and security requirements.

Which Burglar alarm should I choose?

It is important to carefully consider what you require before you have a security system installed and choosing the best burglar alarm is an important part of this. The best burglar alarm for you will depend on your budget, the security already in place and the level of protection you require.

There are a wide variety of alarms on the market but the four main types of burglar alarm installed are:

-Bell only

-Bell only with remote notification

-Key holder monitored

-Response alarm set up

These alarms can be wired or wireless, both of which have their advantages.

Putting in place a security system and burglar alarm is a long-term investment. It is worth taking advice as to which would be the best alarm to fit into your security system. This will help to ensure you get the most cost-effective and long-lasting solution.

Bells only system

The traditional type of burglar alarm, known as a bells only system, simply sounds a siren in the event of an intruder being detected. Burglars will be put off by the alarm itself as well as it giving the impression that the building is well secured throughout.

A bells only burglar alarm is the cheapest and least sophisticated type of alarm systems Depending upon the neighbours and the general attitude to alarms, sounding this is likely to have a limited impact on a burglar.

Bell system with remote notification

Adding the option of remote notification means that you can be immediately informed if your alarm is sounding. Notifications can often be received by SMS or even via a smartphone app.

This is a more sophisticated system that allows you to investigate as soon as the burglar alarm is triggered and it does give you a level of control when remote. However, it does not give you any information or assistance other than the knowledge that the alarm has been activated.

Keyholder monitoring system

A Keyholder monitoring system allows you to nominate keyholders who may be easier to reach and closer to the property, allowing them to get to and secure it more quickly.

Response Alarm System

The next level up from a system with remote notification is a response alarm system. This is a much more reliable way of dealing with intruders. The monitored alarm system communicates with an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) which in turn triggers a response from the police.

This system is more expensive but the best way of protecting your possessions. It is invaluable if you are often away or have property in a remote area, where an alarm on its own may have a less of an impact.

Wireless or wired?

Each type of system, wired or wireless, has advantages and disadvantages. There are also a number of hybrid products which can be used both wired and wirelessly.

Hardwired systems can be more reliable if you are in an area with frequent power outages or internet issues. The installation of these systems can, however, be more disruptive. Wired security sensors are controlled using an analogue phone line which is becoming less common with wireless products becoming the norm.

Wireless systems are becoming more sophisticated and tend to use more up to date technology. They can often be backed up in case of internet or power issues. The installation of wireless systems is less disruptive and faster. A wireless system can be updated more easily.

In summary

Installing a burglar alarm is an important part of protecting your property. Choosing the right product and level of protection from the outset is key.

According to to the Police, homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures.

BM security and their team are happy to discuss your requirements in detail before you commit to one of their alarm systems and you can contact them via their website or by phone on 01932 584950.


1. CSEW Crime Survey England and Wales

2. Office of National Statistics https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/overviewofburglaryandotherhouseholdtheft/englandandwales

3. www.churchill.com/press-office/releases/2017/burglary-victims-chance-of-being-burgled-again