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Best Home Alarm Systems UK

Best Home Alarm Systems UK

10 things to know before you buy a home Security System

(A buyers guide to home alarms)

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Best Home Alarm Systems UKHome security systems have become a virtual necessity over the last few years given the incidences of breaking & entering or opportunist thievery.

Fortunately, there have been a lot of improvements to security systems over the same period and the availability of effective and affordable home security systems in the UK also keeps increasing.

However, when choosing the right home security system for your home, you really need to take some time to make the right decision.

In this article we will identify the primary types of home security systems in the UK market and give an overview of the main feature & benefits of each. To finish with, we will include a quick price guide for some of the more popular burglar alarms in the current market.

So here are the 10 things (we think) you need to know before you buy a home Security System.

  1. What types of home security systems are there?

This is really simple – there are Wired or Wireless systems.

Basically, this is about the installation itself. One uses cables to connect all the components of the system, the other does not. The advantage of wireless is that there are no holes to drill in your walls to run cables around the house. Also, if there is no cable, an intruder cannot cut it to disable the alarm.

To be frank, a basic audible only alarm is not what I would call a “home security system”.

  1. What are the different alarm options?

  • Basic audible alarms – a bell or siren will sound when the alarm is triggered
  • Hybrid or Auto-diallers – you get an audible alarm and a phone message from the system when it is triggered. It will use either a landline or the GSM (mobile network) to contact one of the pre-set contact numbers.
  • Remotely monitored – this is where your alarm is connected to a remote 3rd party who will respond to your alarm when triggered.
  1. What about “Smart Home” security systems?

With the advent of the “Internet of things” ( ) connected devices are everywhere. So it’s becoming a trend to not only be able to set your alarm & remotely monitor your own home, but also use the same system to remotely control things like heating, lighting and accessibility to friends or family.

  1. Your alarm will work even when the power supply is cut.

All alarm systems have battery back up to some extent or another. But if you want to take it one step further, you could run it all from solar panels.

  1. You can use a “smart” device to protect specific individual parts of your home.

A good smart system can feature components that allow you to isolate individual parts of your property. Sensors could tell you if a particular door or even a drawer is opened. Or you can even let someone into the house (children or forgetful spouse) if you are not there and they don’t have a key.

  1. “one size does not fit all”

You should take the time to go around your property and see what areas you need to protect and then decide upon the system that suits your circumstances (and your budget). For example, f you have rear access and all you do is fit a PIR (passive infra-red sensor) behind the front door, then that’s really a waste of time.

  1. You can extend the protection to you as an individual

Not only can your house have an alarm, you can too. Individual “panic buttons” in the form of pendants can be linked to a smart system – and if you have a monitored alarm it will connect with a 3rd party to respond.

  1. If you install an approved alarm, you can get a reduction on your home insurance premium.

There a quite a few insurance providers that allow for discounted premiums for properties that have home security – check with yours to see if this is the case.

  1. You can see, hear and verbally respond to what is going on in your home.

CCTV Cameras have long been part of building security, but again, due to the high levels of connectivity via mobiles & the internet, cameras can be fitted that allow you to remotely control them from your laptop, tablet, phone or PC. If the cameras are fitted with sound you can also hear or even speak using them.

  1. You can start off with a decent DIY home alarm

There are many DIY alarm kits that you can find even in your local home improvement store and they are not that expensive. DIY kits work fine and if you are on a restricted budget but worry about home security they can be a great way to start.

How much do home security alarms cost?

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Well, it’s going to be no surprise that the more “bells & whistles” you add, the more the higher the cost of a home security system will be.

An audible only, unmonitored alarm system can be found for as little as under £100 to £150 if you can fit it yourself.

And for a wired alarm fitted professionally you could expect to get it installed for between £300 to £500 depending on the components you choose.

A typical cost for a monitored system is going to charge for the installation plus a monthly fee for the monitoring and you could expect to pay around £300 to £500 for the system and anything around just under £20 upwards for the monthly monitoring fee.

In summary

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The basic alarm is just that – basic. It will make a noise (which according to some surveys, will be ignored by most folks) that can disturb a burglar and stop them from robbing you and the big visible alarm box on the wall has been known to be a deterrent in its own right.

If you want to have comprehensive protection, then you need a monitored alarm. One that will either alert you or a 3rd party to a break-in or a problem at the property.

At the end of the day, you get the protection that you are prepared to pay for.

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John Francis James
John has been around the building industry since he was a child. With a degree in civil engineering, John is a highly valued contributor to our website.