Intruder alarms – all you need to know
Despite all the technological advances, the best way to secure your commercial or residential property is still an alarm. The simple fact is that an intruder is less likely to attempt to break into a property if there is a visible alarm, and will flee the scene if an alarm sounds.
Having an alarm will also help to protect yourself and your loved ones from possible physical harm (as intruders tend to panic if they are discovered), and it will also lower your insurance premiums.
Basic information – wired or wireless?
There are two mains types of intruder alarm.
Wired intruder alarms are a series of electronic sensors that are connected via wiring to a control panel. Such systems are usually installed into new builds, or into properties that are having substantial renovations made to them, for convenience.
Wireless systems use battery-powered sensors that transmit data to the control panel via radio signals. They are ideal for installation in houses that do not have a wired alarm system, as they are extremely simple to install.
With both systems, when a sensor is triggered it sends a signal back to the control panel. Depending on the signal, the control panel may trip both an audible and visual alarm. Signals can also be sent to an ‘alarm receiving centre’ (ARC) which is a manned, external monitoring service. The ARC will act in accordance with the severity of the alarm, and your instructions.
Type ‘A’ and Type ‘B’ intruder alarms.
A Type ‘A’ alarm is an alarm with a police response. A Type ‘B’ alarm is one without a police response.
Type ‘A’ alarms must be installed by an approved installer, and must conform to official-recognised standards. It must be connected to an ARC (see above), who will trigger either a Level 1 alert (in which the police attend depending on their current available resources) or a Level 3 alert (where a key-holder will be alerted). Note that if you trigger three Level 1 false alarms in any twelve month period you will lose your rights to Level 1 responses. Your monitoring company will need to check your alarm at least twice a year.
Type ‘B’ alarms can be installed by anyone. They can be connected to an ARC, but on triggering they will only ever contact your key-holders, and not the police.
Type ‘A’ alarms cost from around £400 upwards, and subscribing to an ARC costs around £20 a month. Type ‘B’ alarms cost anything from £100 to £300 and beyond.
Your alarm company – making the right choice
It’s always best to go with an alarm installer or supplier who are members of a professional body. Two organisations to look out for are the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB).
It’s always best to receive a few quotes when you are thinking about purchasing an alarm. Hunt around for customer testimonials as well. It’s also never a good idea to buy from cold callers. Follow these tips to install a suitable intruder alarm that will help keep you and what’s precious to you safe.
If you would like to speak with us regarding any security systems for your home or business, please do not hesitate to give DNA Security a call on