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Are Burglar Alarms Still Effective?

When it comes to security, there are a few common practices that you all have probably heard of. They include keeping the doors and windows locked, keeping valuables out of sight, and lighting up your property to eliminate hiding spots.

In addition to the precautionary measures, you must also be familiar with security systems such as burglar alarms.

Burglar alarms can be commonly found in many homes across the UK, with many believing that they significantly reduce the risk of break-ins and burglaries.

Is that really the case? Are burglar alarms still effective and do they help keep your home safe and secure? Read on to find out:


Before we talk about the effectiveness of burglar alarms and whether they are a reliable choice when it comes to securing your property from intrusions, you must understand what burglar alarms are and how they work.

Burglar alarms are security devices used to send alerts in the event of an intrusion or break-in. They work using a series of sensors that sound an alarm when some sort of suspicious activity is detected on your property.

These systems can use different types of sensors such as door and window sensors, vibration sensors, motion sensors, and glass-break sensors to alert you and the people nearby of a potential intrusion.

It is very important to place these sensors in areas where potential burglars are more likely to try to break in, such as all the front, back, and side doors and windows.


There are several types of burglar alarms available for home security and choosing the right one depends on your requirements and the level of protection you require.

Regardless of the type of system you choose, you must never do it without consulting with a security professional for a better understanding of what might be best suited to your needs.

We strictly advise against DIY alarms since you can never be sure about their effectiveness and whether they will be reliable in the event of an intrusion or break-in.

In addition to that, DIY systems do not come with a manufacturer’s warranty and may render your home insurance void.

To ensure the best operation of your burglar alarm system, you must always have a professional company install the system and have it regularly maintained and serviced to ensure it remains fault-free.

The most common types of burglar alarms are:

Bells-only burglar alarms

Bells-only burglar alarms are the most common type of alarm system that emits a loud noise on being triggered to ward off potential intruders and alert the homeowners, neighbours, and passers-by of the intrusion.

Since bells-only systems are not monitored, they provide the bare minimum protection to your home and rely on the noise to scare off the intruders.

You need to keep in mind that these systems do not alert the police and rely on someone (the homeowners or neighbours) to call them and report the incident.

Monitored burglar alarms

Monitored burglar alarms are the optimal solution when it comes to providing the highest level of security for your property.

There are various types of monitoring contracts that include keyholder response and full police response, as well as panic alarms to be used in emergencies.

The concept behind these systems is that they are connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre manned by trained professionals who check and verify every alarm that they receive and take the necessary action, such as notifying the keyholders, the property owners, or the police, depending on the monitoring plan.

Burglar alarm monitoring not only ensures that no alarm goes missed or unnoticed, especially when the property is empty, uninhabited, or in a secluded area, but also eliminates the risk of false alarms.

False alarms can be a serious nuisance adding to the noise pollution of the neighbourhood and wasting resources in terms of police time and effort.

In the UK, the police can withdraw their responses from your property if they receive more than 3 false alarm activations within 12 months. For this reason, it is very important to verify the alarms once they are triggered and dispatch the authorities only after a confirmed emergency.

Wired and wireless burglar alarms

Wired burglar alarms use wires and cables to connect the main control panel to the sensors installed throughout your property.

Since some cables need to run through walls, wired systems require a bit more installation work. They are, however, much quicker to be set than wireless systems.

Wireless burglar alarms, on the other hand, eliminate the use of wires and make use of strategically placed sensors throughout the property that communicate wirelessly with the control panel.

If you do not have the option of running wires through your property and wish to go for a cleaner look, then a wireless burglar alarm system would be the perfect choice for you.

Just keep in mind that these systems may need a battery replacement every 1 to 2 years in order for them to keep working as they should.

Dummy alarms – a big no!

A dummy burglar alarm may seem like a good idea, especially since it comes at a fraction of the cost of a good quality system. The truth, however, is far from it.

Getting a fake burglar alarm can be the worst decision you can make for your home security and, sadly, most homeowners do not realise that.

They install fake burglar alarms in the hopes of deterring opportunistic burglars away from their property. This is a futile attempt at securing your property since most burglars can easily spot a dummy burglar alarm from a fake one.

Dummy burglar alarms can cause you more harm than good since once the criminals figure out it’s a fake one, it gives them the idea that your house doesn’t have any real burglary prevention measures at all, putting your property on their target list.

Even if you can’t afford a good burglar alarm system for your property, do not, under any circumstances, install a dummy alarm. You can look at other options that fall under your budget and consult with a professional to help you out in the matter.


It is often thought that burglar alarm systems act as an effective deterrent against burglaries and intrusions as they alert the owners and neighbours of any suspicious incidents taking place. Are they really effective and worth it? Let’s find out.

There is plenty of discussion regarding burglar alarms and whether they actually prevent burglars from entering your home, or at least minimise the risk.

According to statistics and recent research, if a burglar came across a house with a burglar alarm and one without it, they would be more likely to target the one without a burglar alarm since it would be a less risky option for them and less likely to raise any alerts, and here is where they can be proved beneficial and effective.

However, with the increase in these systems and the increase in noise pollution around the world in general, house alarms may sometimes be ignored by most people.

Let’s face it. How many times have you heard a car alarm in the middle of the day or night and went out to investigate, let alone inform the owners or the authorities? You most likely just waited for it to stop so that you could carry on with your day.

This phenomenon is referred to as alarm/alert fatigue and is caused due to overexposure to a large number of frequent alarms, to the point of desensitising people.

For times when you are not at home and if you do not live in a very close-knit neighbourhood, you can easily expect your burglar alarm alerts to go unnoticed.

To solve that issue, there are 2 proposed solutions: be friendly with your neighbours so that you can rely on them to respond to any alarms emitting from your property, or opt for professional burglar alarm monitoring services where trained professionals will be monitoring your system 24/7 to ensure all alerts are responded to in a necessary manner.

To make your burglar alarm system more effective, it is important to make it a visible deterrent and place it right out in the front to make it visible to everyone, including potential intruders.

You must do your research and invest in a system from a reputable brand and have it installed by a professional service instead of attempting a DIY.

You can make your burglar alarms even more effective by using them alongside other security measures such as CCTV cameras and security lights.


As discussed above, investing in a good burglar alarm is an important part of security. For it to be effective, you need to focus on 3 things: the hardware, professional installation, and regular maintenance.

The hardware refers to the burglar alarm and its components, the quality of which must be top-notch to be considered an effective security option.

With so many options out there, it might be difficult to choose the right one, especially since the market is filled with cheap knock-offs that promise quality but rarely fulfil it.

Refrain from getting the cheapest alarm system just to save a little money because trust us, it’ll cost you even more than a pricier system in the long run.

Run a thorough risk assessment of your property to determine all the areas at risk and the level of security that is required. Make sure to consult with a professional company for a better understanding of the systems and best practices when it comes to using them.

Apart from the quality of the burglar alarm, another important factor to consider is the expertise with which it is installed.

Having a professional service install your burglar alarm system can significantly reduce the risk of faults and issues since they are experts in the field and know what they are doing.

The placement of the alarm and the positioning of the sensors must be done in a way to facilitate keeping intruders out of your property.

All the at-risk areas, including all the doors and windows, including the ones rarely used, must be equipped with sensors to detect any unusual activity.

Also, objects that might act as obstructions to the sensors must be kept away such as moving objects, fans, and curtains.

If you have a pet, it may be worth considering getting a system with pet-friendly features that don’t get triggered every time your precious pet walks in front of it.

The control panel and keypad are what operate the burglar alarm and must be installed away from a criminal’s line of sight. Easy access to the two might allow potential intruders to tamper with the system and even disarm it.

Now, coming towards burglar alarm maintenance, you need to take the necessary preventive measures to ensure that the system can rely upon 24/7, 365 days a year to work effectively and without fail.

It is, after all, an electronic device and susceptible to faults and general wear and tear. One way to make sure these issues never arise is to have your burglar alarm regularly maintained and serviced by a trained professional.

Why is burglar alarm servicing so important? Faults are inevitable and, with prolonged use, some issues with the burglar alarm system are expected.

It may develop faults that might cause it to not work as it should, consequently and adversely affecting the safety and security of your property.

The good news is that servicing the system and keeping all the components in check can prevent these faults from manifesting at all and, with regular inspections, the issues can be fixed before they even start to affect the system.

Since servicing includes cleaning the system of dust, dirt, pollution, and rust, it doesn’t just fix potential faults and issues but also increases its lifespan.

In addition to providing security and safety benefits, well-maintained burglar alarms can affect the cost of home insurance in the form of reduced premiums.

Insurance companies just want to be sure that you have done all that you are required to do to make your home secure and deter such criminal activities, which is why they encourage the idea by offering deductions on home insurance premiums for people having such systems in place.

As a general rule of thumb, it is best to test the burglar alarm every six months and get professional maintenance services set up annually.


At Calder Security, we provide a comprehensive range of security solutions that include not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services.

We are professionals working in the security industry for over 40 years and have extensive knowledge regarding all kinds of security systems.

Here’s why you should choose Calder Security to get an effective burglar alarm system for your property:

  • We offer professional installation, maintenance, monitoring, and repair services for all kinds of burglar alarms, along with professional keyholding services.
  • We are SSAIB approved installers and all of our burglar alarm installations are carried out by qualified, experienced engineers that comply with standards: PD6662: 2010, DD243, and BS8243, required to qualify for police assistance.
  • Our systems meet the stringent requirements of BS4737 and European Standard EN50131 (Intruder Alarm Systems in Buildings).
  • We have both wired and wireless systems and can also advise you on the best burglar alarm for your property.
  • Our expert installers guide and train users before leaving the site, making sure they are comfortable with the system and understand how it works.
  • We offer a 24-hour emergency call-out service and can help you even if your alarm goes off at 3 am if needed.
  • We also offer telephonic consultations where we can talk you through fault fixes over the phone.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts right away!

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