Intruder Alarms: Frequently Asked Questions Answered
By Martin Cooper
Aug 18, 2016
The benefits of intruder alarms are many and we readily recommend alarms in both domestic and commercial settings, especially as part of a multi-layered approach to security alongside CCTV and motion detectors.
We are not going to attempt to disguise the fact that installing an alarm can be quite a significant investment, albeit most worthwhile. Precisely why when you are planning a purchase, you need to be in full possession of all the facts and clear that what you are buying will suit your individual needs.
One way of doing this is to engage a security company that is National Security Inspectorate accredited. This way, you will be assured that a certain level of standards will be met, including those required by the police for a police response, if that is required. You will also be guaranteed a high standard of workmanship; compliance with industry codes of practice; a certificate of compliance for insurance providers and up to date systems that deliver the very best modern features. A comprehensive security survey will also be undertaken.
So that’s your ‘need to know’ on choosing a company to install your intruder alarm. But there is still a lot more you no doubt want answers to. So here is our selection of the most commonly asked questions about buying an intruder alarm to help you in your research.
Question: What different types of intruder alarm are available?
Answer: There are two main categories of intruder alarm: wired and wireless. Wired alarms are integrated into the wiring of a property either during its build, or when it is renovated. Wireless alarms on the other hand work via sensors that are connected to a control panel through radio signals. Wireless alarms are ideal for retrospective fits and where you don’t want to go to the trouble of channelling cabling into walls.
Both types of alarm work through sensors. These could be for example a vibration, door contact or passive infra-red detector. Once the sensor is initiated it sends a signal to the control panel which then in turn activates an alarm. The alarm itself can take different forms: it may emit an audible tone, or it may be both audible and visual, i.e. a bell and a flashing light. There are also alarms that send signals to remote alarm receiving centres which then go on to inform your choice of personnel, such as a keyholder or the police.
Which type of alarm you choose should be something you discuss with your security consultant, as they will be able to guide you as to the right model for your particular property and level of risk.
Question: Will my contents insurance premium drop if I have an alarm installed?
Answer: In some cases you will be offered a discount for having an alarm, but there will usually be conditions imposed. These may include having to have the alarm installed by a professional installer with stipulated accreditations, and ensuring that the alarm is always set when you are not in the property or during the night whilst you sleep. It is best to look into the precise requirements of your particular insurer before you proceed.
Question: How do I prevent the alarm going off when it shouldn’t?
Answer: False alarms are a common concern, but there are a number of steps you can take to avoid them. Firstly, ensure the alarm system is professionally maintained. This will ensure that any potential issues that may activate the alarm outside of its normal operation will be identified and dealt with. Secondly, make sure the back-up battery is fully functional. Next, check that all your doors and windows are secure and properly fitted otherwise they may activate the alarm when they are agitated, for example during strong winds. And of course you’ll need to make sure you only enter the premises through the entry route that has been designated during the set-up of the alarm system.
If you are concerned about whether your pets will set the alarm off, opt for a special pet tolerant model. Be sure to discuss this with your alarm installer during the consultation stage so that they take it into consideration when designing your system.
Barry Bros Security is National Security Inspectorate (NSI) Gold and BS EN ISO9001 accredited. All our approved alarm systems meet European and British standards EN50131, PD6662 & BS8243 as well as the exacting requirements of insurers. If you are considering having an intruder alarm fitted, get in touch. One of our experts will visit your property and undertake a thorough assessment before designing a bespoke alarm system that gives you the most comprehensive protection possible.