What to Look for in a Burglar Alarm System
By Chris Barry
Sep 19, 2020
Many people consider a burglar alarm system an essential home security measure. Not only does an intruder alarm prove a deterrent for burglars, it also provides a sophisticated level of protection for any property.
There are however many different types of burglar alarm to choose from. From dummy siren boxes right up to monitored alarms connected to a receiving centre, the choice is vast. Read on to discover the top considerations when buying a burglar alarm system.
1. Which type of burglar alarm system?
There are four main types of intruder alarm to choose from:
- Bells-only alarms – these make an audible sound when activated, but do not contact anyone.
- Dialler burglar alarms – these automatically call nominated phone numbers when activated.
- Monitored intruder alarms – these are alarms connected to a response centre or the police.
- Smart home security systems – these are fully connected systems that alert you via an app in real time when a sensor detects movement in your property. These systems can also integrate with other devices, such as CCTV cameras, fire alarms, lighting and thermostats.
2. Wired or wireless?
Wired burglar alarm systems run off mains electricity and work via wires running to each of the sensors. Wireless alarms on the other hand run off battery-powered sensors, which communicate with a control panel via radio signals.
Whilst wired alarm systems tend to be more competitively priced, they do cost more to install as the wires have to be routed through the property. Wireless alarms are neater and easier to install. They can also be easily taken with you should you move home.
3. What features to go for?
There are various features that you may wish to consider when choosing your burglar alarm system.
Pet-friendly sensors: if you have pets, you’ll need a pet-friendly alarm system that’s specially designed to ignore floor-level body heat, the type that’s associated with pets. A pet-immune PIR sensor will ignore weight or mass less than 35 kilos, so even if an intruder tries to enter a room by crawling, they will still be detected, as they will generally weigh more than that. There are also solutions for households with larger animals.
Remote maintenance: it’s always reassuring to know that if you have a problem with your intruder alarm, someone can rectify it remotely without having to visit your property. Remote maintenance usually comes as part of a monitoring or servicing contract, but with a fast response guaranteed in the event of any issues, it can prove a worthwhile investment.
Zone control: certain burglar alarm systems can be set up to function only in allocated parts of a home as required. For example, if you are doing the housework upstairs, you could activate only the alarm downstairs and leave upstairs unalarmed.
Panic button: older or vulnerable people, or those with mobility issues, can really benefit from a panic alarm system that activates a home alarm system. Whether it summons emergency services help, or alerts a relative, is up to the user. Some panic alarm systems have connected sensors that are able to detect other hazards, for example fires or floods. In other words, they provide complete peace of mind.
Key fobs and tags: for enhanced convenience and control, key fobs or tags can be used to activate or deactivate an alarm remotely without having to enter a PIN into a control panel. Whilst you do need to be in close proximity to the burglar alarm system to use the fobs or tags, they do tend to be a lot easier to use than a keypad. If however you are looking for full remote control, then you’ll need to opt for a smart home security system. This will allow you to arm and disarm your system from any location over a WiFi or data connection.
For a burglar alarm system that meets your individual needs, talk to Barry Bros Security
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. Our experience in alarm supply, installation, servicing and maintenance spans several decades.
If you are considering installing an intruder alarm, you are welcome to get in touch with our team of home security specialists. One of our experts will visit your property and carry out a full assessment, before designing a bespoke alarm system that gives you the most thorough protection possible.