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Burglar Alarm Buyers’ Guide

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When deciding upon a home security system which will be suited to your house and needs, people often ask ‘which burglar alarm is best?’. This is not, however, a straightforward question as there are many different types of burglar alarm system to consider. In this burglar alarm buying guide we'll weigh up the different options out there to help you find the ideal system for your property.

Wireless vs wired burglar alarms

Of the many types of burglar alarm, one of the biggest defining factors for a system is whether the alarm is wired or wireless. With a wired system, all your sensors are physically connected to the alarm panel via wiring. In contrast, with a wireless system, the sensors relay information to the alarm panel via radio signals meaning cables are unnecessary. There are unique benefits and drawbacks for each kind of system which can influence their suitability for a property.

Wireless burglar alarms

Wired burglar alarms pros and cons

  • More reliable than wireless systems, particularly in larger properties
  • Parts for wired systems are generally cheaper than for wireless
  • Initial installation is more complex and invasive than with wireless systems
  • Decor can be damaged when installing new sensors

Wireless burglar alarms pros and cons

  • Since wires aren’t needed, the installation of a wireless system is relatively simple and quick
  • System is flexible and easy to expand and update
  • You can take the system with you if you move house/property
  • More expensive than wired systems
  • To make sure sensors work properly in larger properties, range expanders - an extra cost - can be needed to ensure all sensors can connect to the alarm panel
  • Components of the wireless system rely on batteries which, when they run low, can negatively impact the effectiveness and reliability of the system

Burglar alarm features

Nowadays, there are many innovative security features that can be incorporated into your alarm system to help keep your property as safe as possible. It can be difficult to decide which features you want so we have put together some of the most prevalent kinds to consider to assist you in your choice.

Burglar alarms with text alerts

A burglar alarm with text alerts enabled will send a designated mobile number text updates according to the preferences you set. For example, if your alarm is activated or motion sensors detect movement, you can receive an immediate update.

Burglar alarms with text alerts

Burglar alarms with phone call/autodialer alerts

As well as as text alerts, you can choose a burglar alarm that calls you when there is cause for concern. The burglar alarm will have a built in autodial function which will call a set number if your alarm is activated.

Burglar alarms with panic buttons

A comprehensive alarm system can help protect your home or business if it is targeted whilst you are away. However, intruders can strike at any time. A burglar alarm with a panic button can provide you with an extra level of security from criminals when you are in the building.

Burglar alarms with remotes

Some security systems comprise of a burglar alarm with a remote control of sorts. With these systems, the alarm remote can be used to conveniently arm and disarm your system. The remote tends to include a panic button too. This means, wherever you are in the home, you can control the alarm system. So, for example, if you keep your alarm fob on your nightstand, you can arm your system before you go to sleep from the comfort of your bed.

Which type of burglar alarm?

When you are selecting your burglar alarm system, you will have to decide what kind of sensors you want. The average buyer won’t know much about the options available or how burglar alarm sensors work, so in this section we will cover both of these points.

Burglar alarm with motion detection

Burglar alarms with motion detection

Motion detecting sensors are a top choice for burglar alarm systems. Burglar alarm PIR (passive infrared) detectors are a common form of sensor which work by passively detecting radiated infrared - for all intents and purposes here, this is equivalent to body heat. When someone passes through the PIR covered area, the sensor picks this up and relays the information to your alarm panel, triggering your burglar alarm if it is set.

By strategically placing such motion detectors around your home - such as near entryways and hallways - any intruder movements will be caught.

Burglar alarms with window/door sensors

The windows and doors of your property are weak points when it comes to security and window/door sensors have been designed with this in mind. Most window/door sensors work using two parts: a magnet and component with two electrical connectors. When the entryway is closed, the magnet pulls the connectors together; when the entryway is opened the connectors spring apart which breaks a circuit and triggers your alarm.

By placing such sensors at your windows and doors - or any other locations you want to keep monitored such as a home office or safe - you will know if your home or business is broken into. As well as sounding an alarm, such sensors can easily be a part of a burglar alarm with text or phone alerts.

Burglar alarm with video surveillance

For an extra level of security, video surveillance can be incorporated into your burglar alarm system. CCTV cameras can be tactically placed to cover potential points of entry. The benefit of installing video surveillance is twofold: not only can cameras deter criminals from targeting your property in the first place, the footage can also help the authorities catch burglars should you be a victim of a break-in.

Burglar alarms with CCTV

Monitored burglar alarms

Another distinction between types of burglar alarm is whether they are monitored or not. A non-monitored burglar alarm system operates on a ‘bells only’ basis - in other words, when triggered, its only function is sounding an alarm to alert neighbours and hopefully scare off the intruder. A monitored alarm, on the other hand, notifies a monitoring service if your alarm is set off.

Burglar alarm monitoring

With a monitored system, you are connected to a response centre and pay a fee for their services. If your alarm is activated, this sends an alert to the centre. The centre will then immediately try to verify the alarm by calling you and requesting your name and alarm pass code - this is done in case of a false alarm. If there is no response or the pass code given is incorrect, the response centre will contact the police for you.

Burglar alarm maintenance and repair

To ensure that your burglar alarm is kept fully functioning and can be relied upon in the event of an emergency, it is important to keep it well-maintained. An annual service of your alarm system, which is carried out by a professional, will ensure all the components of your system are in good condition. Should any issues develop, it is vital you get them fixed by a trusted, qualified operative so as to keep your alarm system in working order and protecting your home.

Burglar alarm service and maintenance

Lynx Security are experts in burglar alarm systems and can help you find a system that is perfect for protecting your property - domestic or commercial. Get in touch with our knowledgeable team today to discuss your requirements - we serve customers throughout Northamptonshire and the surrounding areas.

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