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Burglar Alarms: Cost vs. Benefit Analysis for Businesses

Want to install a burglar alarm system for your business but don’t know the benefits and costs associated with it? Then you are at the right place!

Burglar alarms are an excellent investment since they don’t cost as much as other comprehensive security measures and are good at deterring crime. While there are several types of burglar alarms (more on this below), installing even the most basic alarm can help you secure your business and even bring you closer to getting a potential decrease in your insurance premium.

Read below to learn more about the cost and benefits of burglar alarms, a short analysis, and how you can secure your business using this simple but ingenious security hardware.


Burglar alarms come in many forms. There was a time when the bells-only alarm reigned supreme but, thanks to modern technology, we have evolved the humble burglar alarm into a formidable force that has a track record of deterring crime for businesses around the globe.

However, before we begin on the cost and benefit analysis, let’s look at some of these alarm systems and the size of the business that can benefit from them the most.

Here are some of the most popular burglar alarms for different-sized businesses:

Bells-Only Burglar Alarms (Small-Sized Businesses)

Bells-only alarm burglar alarm systems can be called the grandfather of modern burglar alarm systems. Before there was IoT and advanced gait sensing technology, there was the bells-only alarm that did exactly what it was named for, ringing a loud bell.

This system employs the use of a simple bell mechanism that can be triggered when the system detects movement through sensors. Bell-only alarms are excellent for all types of businesses and are frequently the most economical choice for small-sized businesses.

Dialler Burglar Alarms (Small and Medium-Sized Businesses)

Dialler alarm systems work in the same way as bells-only alarms, except they also send out a call or SMS to specific contacts in the system. This system is excellent for people who don’t want a fancy alarm but want the ability to receive notifications from their alarm in the event of a potential break-in.

For example, when triggered, the alarm will ring loudly and the system will send a notification via call or SMS to a list of people notifying them of the break-in.

Monitored Burglar Alarms (Large or Enterprise Businesses)

Monitored alarm systems are comprehensive burglar alarms that provide the benefit of being remotely monitored by a professional team.

Security companies, like Calder Security, offer dedicated alarm monitoring services where security personnel remotely monitor the status of the alarm and take necessary action in real time. This way, you don’t have to call the authorities since the company will manage the threat automatically on your behalf.

There are two types of burglar alarm monitoring services: keyholder monitoring and police monitoring.

In keyholder monitoring, the keyholders of your business are nominated to be notified by a burglar alarm monitoring service in the event of an alarm trigger.

In police monitoring, the monitoring service directly alerts the police instead of contacting keyholders.

Smart Burglar Alarms (all Business Sizes)

Smart burglar alarms are touted as the future of security – and for good reason!

These systems use Artificial Intelligence and advanced algorithms to detect movement and choose the best route to deal with the threat. Essentially, your burglar alarm is automated and acts on your behalf.

Smart alarms collect sensor data and process it online. If the alarm detects movement, then the system can immediately alert the authorities and also notify the business stakeholders via a mobile application.

Furthermore, due to machine learning, cloud computing, and Artificial Intelligence, multiple types of security hardware like gate locks, CCTVs, etc can be integrated to provide comprehensive security!


Now that you know the types of alarms, let’s get the costs out of the way!

The cost of burglar alarms depends on their type. There are wired, wireless, bells-only, monitored, and smart alarms, and each has its own initial and running costs.

Furthermore, the number of alarms you install naturally also increases the overall costs. The bigger the premises, the more burglar alarms you will need.

Although you can contact an experienced security company like Calder Security for a consultation, to know the exact costs for your needs, here are some of the typical costs that you can expect:

Installation costs

The average installation cost for a burglar alarm system for a small business can start anywhere from £500-£800. This cost includes materials, labour, and sometimes the alarm cost as well.

Maintenance costs

Burglar alarms need regular maintenance! Maintenance costs will depend on the number and type of devices, as well as on how complex the system is.

On average, a maintenance visit would cost you around £75-£125 but this figure can vary from one security company to the next.

The charges will also differ if you have a maintenance contract which is a lump sum contract that secures you for a year. Common maintenance activities include checking and changing batteries and detecting any possible issues with wiring or the hardware.

Monitoring costs

Monitored burglar alarm costs depend on the level of security appropriate for your business. Monitored alarms come in three forms:

  • digital monitoring using a standard telephone line,
  • DualCom GPRS operates via a phone line and GPRS,
  • and BT Redcare GSM operates via a phone line and GSM.

When alerted, the Alarm Response Centre (ACR) performs a check to confirm the alarm, notifies stakeholders and, if appropriate, alerts the police. The monthly charges for burglar alarm system monitoring range from £15-£45.

Keyholding is an add-on to burglar alarm monitoring services, where an SIA (Security Industry Authority) approved guard would check your premises in the event of an alarm trigger.

Repairing costs (Apart from Maintenance)

When your burglar alarm stops working even after resetting it, the problem may be beyond mere maintenance since this signals that the alarm most likely needs to be repaired. A burglar alarm repair service would cost you around £92.00. The total charges may vary depending on the nature of the fault.


The installation time for each type of burglar alarm is different and depends on several factors such as the number of alarms, the hardware type, and the skills of the installer.

Generally, a wired system takes longer to configure and install than a smart or wireless burglar alarm. Furthermore, a monitored burglar alarm has more components attached to it which is why it takes longer than a bells-only alarm. On average, the burglar alarm installation might take at least 2-3 days. However, if you are installing just one or two alarms, you could be looking at just a one-day installation.

Needless to say, burglar alarm installation is technical and requires best practices and guidelines that need to be followed to the tee to get the most out of the alarm.

The installation process begins with a survey. A professional will survey your property to identify places that need burglar alarms such as the doors, windows, and areas outside such as the parking or backdoor entrance.

The positioning of the sensors must be done very strategically and requires knowledge and experience!

The experts will show you how to use the system and make sure you are trained to understand the basic workings of the system, such as how to arm and unarm the alarm or how to immediately diagnose a fault. The installation process usually finishes after the technician runs and reruns several tests.


Here are some benefits of burglar alarms for businesses and things to keep in mind when picking the right security system:

Securing the Business Thoroughly

Burglar alarms do more than just secure businesses, they also help build goodwill and boost the brand image of the business. Security has become paramount, and many people enter into a business not even thinking that it is monitored since security is inherent and expected.

However, many businesses can land in trouble if they don’t offer basic security for their employees and customers. When anyone visits your business, their security becomes your responsibility.

Small businesses can benefit a lot from a singular alarm since they usually only need an alarm at the front door or near windows (if any). Medium and large businesses may require quite a lot of security and with an increase in footfall, especially at odd hours, you would require a comprehensive burglar alarm system.

Apart from goodwill and brand image, burglar alarms also impact insurance premiums! That’s right, insurance companies calculate their profits based on statistics and if your business is more likely to incur a loss due to security, then you will likely be charged a higher premium.

However, if you have a burglar alarm system installed and have followed all the security best practices, then the insurance company might be inclined to offer you a discount on your premium since then the overall risk of theft for your business would go down significantly.

It is important to note that the discount will always be dependent on the type of alarm you install for your business since, as explained above, not all alarms are built equal. For example, for a simple bells-only alarm, you might not get any discount or a very small one.

If you have a complex system installed on top of a comprehensive burglar alarm system, then you might be able to secure a better business insurance rate.

While burglar alarms are excellent deterrents, criminals can find ways to circumvent simpler burglar alarms. This is why complex systems are ideal for every business.

For larger businesses, a monitored burglar alarm system that alerts a security company of any threat or break-in will make more business sense since the system will reduce reaction time and the likelihood of damage and losses.

Consider Smart Systems

Smart security systems are quickly replacing analogue security hardware. Many businesses, including large multinationals, are now moving towards comprehensive security to secure low and high-risk businesses.

The benefit of smart systems is that they can work in tandem to provide you with real-time security. While monitored burglar alarms are excellent, if you integrate the alarm with other security hardware like CCTV, keypad locks, or motion sensors, then you can get a bigger bang for your buck.

If you own a high-risk business like a jewellery store, then it would be wise for you to install multiple security measures. Since these stores are more likely to be robbed at night, a smart burglar alarm system can provide way more security than a simple bells-only alarm.

Of course, as mentioned above, comprehensive security also adds to the overall brand image and insurance of your business!

Keep in mind that having a poor track record of safety will not only impact customer and employee trust, but your insurance company might even put a conditional renewal on your contract.

However, we are being a tad bit dramatic here since this is the worst-case scenario and many businesses are likely to improve their business security before things get worse. Regardless, it is important to keep in mind that even minor incidents impact the stakeholders of your business. So, why not go for a solution that secures you from all ends?

Maintain All Alarms

Security hardware, just like any other electronic device, requires maintenance. Whether you install a state-of-the-art system or a simple bells-only alarm, you will always have to pay attention to the components of the system.

During a maintenance visit, the hardware is inspected for potential faults or errors, which is a crucial step that ensures that the system runs smoothly. For example, outdoor alarms are subject to environmental damage, and over time, the hardware, especially the wires, can deteriorate.

Even with wireless or solar-powered alarms, you would need scheduled maintenance to make sure that the system is functioning 24/7.

Alarm-based hardware like alarms, smoke detectors, motion sensors, etc also needs to be checked for battery and wiring issues. Wireless hardware works using external batteries that need to be replaced. A professional can not only change the batteries of the sensors but can also make sure that the alarm and sensor are calibrated properly.

Smart burglar alarms also require maintenance. Except that these systems require hardware and software maintenance.

Software issues, although rare, can occur in improperly configured burglar alarms. Furthermore, new security software usually also brings added features that can help you get the most out of the alarm for your business.


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 members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), approved members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and also conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards.

We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security systems.

We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.

We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain security systems since the inability to do so might result in serious faults and consequent vulnerabilities in your property’s security.

We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.

We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair systems not installed by us. Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore faulty systems to full working order in one visit.

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

Photo by Adrian Sulyok on Unsplash


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