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Did you know that the average cost of a robbery greatly outweighs the cost of any security system?
What’s the point of working so hard to build and furnish a home, or set up a business, and not have it properly secured?
It’s all your life’s hard work and it deserves the utmost safety and security!
According to statistics, one burglary happens every 108 seconds in the UK. That means there are on average 34 burglaries committed every hour. When you add it all up, that’s 816 burglaries in a day! As surprising as that is, it is 100% true.
In the UK, burglaries are one of the most common crimes committed and can happen to anyone. Thankfully, taking the right security measures, such as having burglar alarm monitoring services, can help you immensely in that regard.
WHAT IS BURGLAR ALARM MONITORING?
In a nutshell, burglar alarm monitoring employs the use of specialized sensors/alarms that are connected to a central monitoring station.
Meaning that a professional alarm monitoring centre would be notified, should your burglar alarm ever be triggered. When the system detects a break-in, it notifies the security team and, in some cases, emergency responders such as the police.
A monitored alarm is connected to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) which is operated by experts who check and verify every alarm “instance” they receive.
This checking and verification process ensures that no alarm goes unnoticed, even when the owners are away. The system is also equipped to detect and verify false alarms, which can be caused by improper arming and disarming of the system, weak batteries, and even wandering pets.
TYPES OF BURGLAR ALARMS
There are two main types of burglar alarms; bells-only and monitored burglar alarms.
Bells-only burglar alarm
The bells-only burglar alarm uses sounds, and sometimes flashing lights, to activate the sensor. Since these burglar alarms aren’t monitored by a third-party, they rely on the owners and people nearby to take action as soon as the alarm is triggered, which is why they aren’t particularly effective for properties in secluded and isolated areas.
Monitored burglar alarm
These burglar alarms work exactly like the bells-only alarm with the additional feature of them being monitored 24/7 by a professional burglar alarm monitoring service. In the event of the alarm being triggered, the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) contacts you, your family, someone trustworthy that you’d like to be notified, or sometimes even the police in case of a break-in.
These alarms offer great peace of mind knowing that your house is being monitored even when you’re away.
There are other ‘in-between’ burglar alarms as well, such as the dialler burglar alarm system. With these alarms, in the case of an event, the dialler calls or texts you or your nominated friends and family alerting you of a break-in. You can then call the authorities or investigate the issue yourself.
Another relatively new variant of burglar alarms is the smart burglar alarm. They are managed via an app with notifications on your phone. Like monitored burglar alarms, they alert someone in case of a break-in, but it is usually integrated with your phone and other smart devices such as CCTV cameras and lights.
For instance, when the burglar alarm is triggered, the smart lights in your home would turn on to intimidate any intruder. The alarm can also be turned on and off from your phone. It’s extra beneficial when you’re away and need to keep an eye on what’s happening back home. The system is usually hack-proof as well, so your connection with the security company will always be encrypted.
The various types of burglar alarms mentioned above are also available in wired and wireless versions.
Wired burglar alarm systems, as the name suggests, use wires to connect to the sensors. These burglar alarms take longer to install since there is more work involved and the cables and wires need to be properly set up. They generally have a higher installation cost due to high labour costs. However, they are cheaper to maintain due to less reliance on batteries. In conclusion, wired burglar alarms have a higher initial cost, but are easier to maintain.
As opposed to their wired counterpart, wireless burglar alarm systems use Wi-Fi or radio frequency to connect to the sensors. They are easier to install due to the absence of cable and wires, which results in low labour costs, and therefore, low installation costs.
However, their maintenance cost is relatively higher because of batteries needing to be replaced every couple of years. Another thing to consider when installing a wireless burglar alarm system is that they are not suited for areas that experience too much electrical interference. A weakened or interrupted signal can cause the wireless components to work improperly. In conclusion, wireless burglar alarms have a lower initial cost but are relatively costlier to maintain.
TYPES OF BURGLAR ALARM MONITORING
If you are opting for burglar alarm monitoring services, you should know that there are two types:
Keyholders are trustworthy people, such as family and friends, who have keys to your property and are nominated to be notified by a burglar alarm monitoring service in the event of an alarm trigger.
You must carefully choose your keyholders. They must be responsible, live within 20 minutes of your monitored property, and know-how to drive so that they can reach the premises ASAP.
There are professional keyholding services available as well where a professional SIA guard is sent to your property to check the situation.
You may want to use a key holding service if your property is unoccupied or for when you’re away on holiday. This option will give you the peace of mind of having all alarm calls checked out by a professional.
In this type of burglar alarm monitoring service, as the name suggests, the monitoring service directly alerts the police instead of contacting keyholders. The police arrive at the premises and take control of everything from there.
The alarm must be verified before calling the police to avoid it being flagged as a false alarm. In the UK, if you accumulate three or more false alarm activations within a year, the police will withdraw their response for your burglar alarm, as per policy. You will then have to take rectifying actions to achieve a reinstatement status.
A professional burglar alarm monitoring service such as the one offered by Calder Security ensures that the risk is eliminated and the police are called only for verified alarm activations, thus maintaining your credibility and ensuring your response privileges.
BURGLAR ALARM MONITORING COSTS
A burglar alarm will deter potential intruders from breaking into your property and a burglar alarm monitoring system will ensure they get caught if they even try.
If you’re using burglar alarm monitoring services, you will be expected to pay a monthly fee ranging from £15-£45. When alerted, the Alarm Response Centre (ACR) performs a check to confirm the alarm, notifies the person-in-charge, and if appropriate, alerts the police.
In the case of police monitoring, the cost is likely to go up a bit.
There are other costs involved with burglar alarm monitoring such as installation, maintenance, and repair. The average starting cost for a domestic burglar alarm security system including all the above-mentioned services would be around £980, whereas a commercial system would cost you around £1800.
The cost of a burglar alarm installation varies from property to property depending on a range of factors. A very general idea of the cost for domestic burglar alarm installation for a house with 3 bedrooms, 2 external doors, a kitchen, lounge, and hallway would be in the region of £780 including VAT. The average price range for commercial burglar alarm installation would be anywhere in between £800-£2000. The total cost depends on the size of the property as well as the type of burglar alarm installed.
Domestic burglar alarm maintenance services cost around £86.40 including VAT. This includes full testing of the entire alarm system including the control panel, bell box, sensors, as well as the engineer’s time on site. Similar commercial burglar alarm maintenance services cost around £92 including VAT.
Domestic burglar alarm repair services cost around £86.40 including VAT, whereas commercial burglar alarm repair services cost around £92 including VAT. Remember, these are average costs and they may vary depending on the nature of the fault. When your burglar alarm shows signs of an issue, it is time to have it repaired. It must be done ASAP to prevent false alarms or, in a worst-case scenario, prevent it from triggering in the event of a break-in.
How long it takes to install a burglar alarm depends on the type of system.
A wired burglar alarm takes longer to install than a wireless one. Similarly, since a monitored burglar alarm has more components attached to it, it takes longer than a bells-only alarm. On average, the burglar alarm installation might take at least 2-3 days.
The burglar alarm installation process is a pretty technical one. What might seem like very easy steps; they require expertise and utmost precision.
The installation process begins with the experts thoroughly surveying your property to identify places that need burglar alarms such as the doors, windows, and areas outside such as the garage and shed.
The positioning of the sensors must be done very strategically and requires knowledge and experience. It is not ideal to simply install one alarm in every room or place them at key entry points. Thorough investigation and precision are required to determine the best spots to install the alarms.
The experts will also show you how to use the system and make sure you are trained to understand the basic working of the system, such as how to set and unset the alarm. The installation process ends with comprehensive testing of the system to ensure everything is working as it should.
At Calder Security, we take pride in our burglar alarm services for both domestic and commercial purposes. We have SSAIB approved and specialist security system installers operating in the security industry since 1976.
BENEFITS OF BURGLAR ALARM MONITORING
When you think of the benefits burglar alarm monitoring provides you, your home and business; the costs involved seem very minuscule.
After all, you can’t put a price tag on your safety. A safe home and business are bound to flourish!
The name burglar alarm “monitoring” speaks for itself. It means an extra pair of eyes, monitoring, and protecting your property, keeping it away from threats such as burglars and intruders.
Let’s look at the benefits of burglar alarm monitoring in detail:
Burglar alarm monitoring guarantees response. Whether it’s to contact you, your family, your keyholders, or the police; burglar alarm monitoring centres will always notify the relevant people and take action.In the case of unmonitored burglar alarms, a lot is left to chance.
What if you’re not in the vicinity? Or what if your neighbours or passers-by just ignore the alarm? With professional burglar alarm monitoring services, your safety is in the hands of professionals trained to do their job instead of random passers-by, which is a pretty reassuring thought.
Bigger deterrent for burglars
A burglar alarm itself is a huge deterrent for burglars. When you couple it with monitoring services, it packs quite a punch.
Most burglars closely monitor the area they choose to break into and make sure there aren’t any deterrents that get in the way of their burglary. Burglar alarm monitoring is sure to send them far away!
When the alarm is triggered, experts at the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) monitoring the situation will first try and warn the intruders verbally. This is enough to scare them away. After all, nothing is scarier to a burglar than being caught in the act. If they don’t stop, the police are alerted and action is taken almost instantaneously.
According to UK law, your burglar alarm can be triggered for a maximum of 20 minutes. After that time, it is considered a nuisance and you run the risk of the police visiting you and you having to pay heavy fines.
With burglar alarm monitoring, the operator at the ARC will identify the intrusion ASAP and deactivate the alarm stopping it from creating noise pollution and saving you from annoying fines.
Knowing that the police will be on their way as soon as the ARC operator identifies something fishy going on at your property has a sense of relief to it.
Normally, it might take someone longer to call the police. Even long enough for the burglars to have burgled your property and escape. With professional burglar alarm monitoring, the police will be on their way within minutes.
Peace of mind
Probably the biggest benefit of burglar alarm monitoring is the peace of mind that you get in return. You can’t monitor your property all the time.
It is bound to be in a vulnerable state now and then. Knowing that someone is watching over your precious home and business is the best advantage of burglar alarm monitoring. This is especially true for when the owners are away and the premises are unoccupied. Burglar alarm monitoring will help you put your mind at ease at home or when you are away.
OTHER SECURITY MEASURES TO TAKE
In addition to having burglar alarm monitoring, there are other security measures you can take to keep intruders far away from your property.
- You must keep your doors and windows locked at all times. The most common entry point for burglars to break into your property is through the door. Leaving the doors and windows unlocked is like giving an invitation to intruders to enter your premises. Make sure to get all the back and side doors as well since that’s where most burglars look for vulnerabilities.
- Locks must be updated to anti-snap ones to ensure intruders don’t break them and gain access. In the event of you losing your keys, it is recommended that you change your door locks as a security measure. This is also considered a general best practice and is recommended by the UK police as well.
- Another thing to take note of is the quality of your door. A high-security lock can’t keep you safe if your door is of subpar quality. Your door needs to be as solid as your security system to work hand-in-hand.
- Integrate other security systems with your burglar alarm monitoring service such as CCTV and access control systems to make your security system impenetrable.
Reach out to us for your security and safety needs and make your home and business safe today!