Choosing a burglar alarm for your home
You should have a burglar alarm fitted on your house. An alarm puts off thieves and gets them to leave without exploring the rest of the house. There are two types of alarm systems:
Remote signalling alarms (Type A alarms)
- The alarm automatically informs a monitoring station who notify the police.
- You can give a password to stop a false alarm.
- Always enquire about any additional annual charge for the monitoring service.
- We will only attend alarms installed by companies approved by the two main regulatory bodies: National Security Inspectorate (NSI) and the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB)
Audible only alarms (Type B alarms)
If a thief sets off the alarm - or you press a personal attack button – the alarm instantly rings.
- This system then relies on someone hearing the noise and calling the police.
- Due to the number of false alarms, there needs to be additional information that a burglary is taking place to get police attendance. This could be the sound of breaking glass, seeing a suspicious person or an unusual light. We do not rely just on the alarm system itself.
Which alarm company?
Most people choose an alarm company recognised by their insurance company. You should also check the NSI and SSAIB websites before making a decision. Make sure you ask the following questions:
- Is alarm installation a requirement of my insurance company? Is the company acceptable to my insurer?
- Before disclosing personal security details: have I checked the address and credentials of the company? Have I seen proof of identity from their representative?
- Is the company approved by an independent inspector? By which organisation?
- Have I got written quotes from at least three alarm installers?
- Do the quotes include the terms of maintenance and monitoring contracts?
- Can the company provide me with a list of police rules for occupiers of premises with alarms?
- Remote signalling alarms: can the company provide written confirmation that the alarm and the company are acceptable to the local police for the transmission of alarm messages from new installations?
- Does the quote specify that the installation will be to British Standards BS 4737 or BS 7042 (high security systems) standard?
- Do they operate a 24-hour call-out service and emergency attendance within four hours?
Personal attack buttons
Personal attack buttons in the home shouldn’t be used as an easy way to summon police unless you are unable to get to the phone without putting yourself in danger.
Check your contract
Check whether you own or rent the system. Also see how much the system costs to maintain.
False calls will result in the alarm response being withdrawn by the police. This may affect your insurance cover. False calls can cause a loss of credibility with neighbours who may stop taking any notice of your alarm.