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Fake Burglar Alarms. Do They work?

Rule # 1 of home security: Never undermine the potential of a burglar. If you keep that in mind and make all your security decisions based on that, we guarantee that you’ll never face any issues.

Burglars look for opportunities and those that do this for a living case a property for days, even weeks at a time, to single out all the weaknesses.

These include any unlocked doors and windows or points of entry that are easy to bypass. While scanning their target, burglars also look for signs of any security measures in place that might put them at risk of getting caught.

These include security lights, good quality locks, a dog, CCTV cameras, and of course, burglar alarms. According to statistics, burglars are less likely to target houses with these security systems and look for properties that don’t use them.

As is obvious, none of these security measures come free of cost and have some sort of a price attached to them. If you look at the bigger picture and focus on the ways these systems protect you and your property, you wouldn’t look at them as costs but rather as investments for you and your family.

Sadly, some people don’t understand that and, instead of investing in good quality security systems, opt for cheap knockoffs and dummy systems.

Fake burglar alarms have a huge market in the country with many homeowners installing them on their properties. These ‘alarms’ are just empty boxes that have no sirens inside them and are not attached to any sensors.

Do fake alarms work? No, they don’t and they can easily be spotted by experienced burglars. Then why do homeowners use them? Well, because they are cheap with some costing less than £20. Read on to find out more:


Fake burglar alarms are not a substitute for real burglar alarms. Period.

A real burglar alarm is an effective deterrent against burglaries and intrusions, and if a potential burglar even makes the mistake of trying to break into your house that has been alarmed, they’ll have themselves scared and running away as soon as the system detects their activity and sounds a blaring alarm to alert everyone.

For this reason, burglars case a house so intently to find out all the weaknesses along with spotting any risks that might put a damper on their plans, such as an alarm.

But how can burglars tell a fake burglar alarm from a real one? Burglars don’t just look at how strong your home security is, they study it. This is their job and they take it very seriously.

You might think that you have them fooled by placing a fake system, but the truth is far from in. If anything, it just makes you look irresponsible and non-serious about your home security, and for them, a fake burglar alarm might mean that none of the other safety measures is legit either, even if they are.

Burglars know all about burglar alarms, the different types, and brands, and it is very difficult, nearly impossible we’d say, to trick them into believing that your fake system is real.

The made-up names used for these fake systems are all too familiar for them. Also, don’t even bother putting up a legit brand sticker on your dummy alarm since that won’t help either.

You might think installing a flashing LED light might work, but maybe only for the amateur burglars who don’t know what they’re doing. There’s no chance a little light would fool an experienced criminal.

While dummy alarms are super cheap, they don’t offer many of the benefits of a real system, including a reduction in your insurance premiums.

The bottom line is that fake burglar alarms, no matter how cheap, are not worth putting you, your family, and your property at risk.


With so many burglar alarm options in the market, there is an option for everyone. Every property owner can choose a system based on their budget and preferences.

You can easily get a basic burglar alarm system without burning a hole in your pocket. Not only will these systems act as effective deterrents against burglaries and break-ins, but also be considered legitimate security measures by your insurance company.

Depending on the level of security you require, and of course your budget, here are some of the most common burglar alarms to choose from to burgle-proof your home:

Bells-only burglar alarms

Bells-only burglar alarms are the most basic stripped down, albeit effective, version of burglar alarms that are a great option for properties in low-risk areas and individuals on a budget.

On being triggered, they emit a loud noise 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 property and rely on the noise to scare off the intruders.

They also do not alert the police, and rely on someone – the homeowners, neighbours, or passers-by – to call them and report the incident.

Dialler burglar alarms

Dialler burglar alarm systems work exactly like the bells-only alarm with the additional feature of the system automatically dialling your phone number, or that of your nominated friends or keyholders, in the event of an alarm trigger.

You can either have the system linked to your phone line, in which case it’ll use your landline to call the emergency contacts, or to your GSM mobile network, in which case you would require a sim card topped with credit all the time.

The risk involved with dialler systems is that sometimes the people contacted might be unavailable or that weak mobile signals might affect the system’s performance in the case of GSM connectivity.

Monitored burglar alarms

Monitored burglar alarms provide the highest level of security for your property and are one of the most reliable systems when it comes to home security.

These systems 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.

Depending on the monitoring contract, this includes notifying the keyholders, property owners, or the police, as well as panic alarms to be used in emergencies.

Burglar alarm monitoring is ideal for high-risk properties, especially during the nighttime when they are uninhabited. It not only makes sure that no alarm goes missed or unnoticed but also eliminates the risk of false alarms.

Wired and wireless burglar alarms

Wired burglar alarms, as the name suggests, use wires and cables to connect the components to the main control panel. Since these systems require some cables to run through walls, they require a bit more installation work. However, as compared to wireless systems, they are much quicker to set up.

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 or 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 for them to keep working as they should.


Dummy burglar alarms aren’t the only fake burglary deterrents used by people. Several home and business owners resort to such practices to save money and trick potential burglars which, as we discussed, is not a good idea.

Other than burglar alarms, some of the most common fake burglary deterrents include:

  • Fake CCTV cameras
  • ‘Beware of dog’ signs
  • Warning yard signs
  • Security company stickers


Most people are under the impression that security systems and devices are very expensive and not affordable for the general public.

While this was true till a couple of years back, things have changed now. With technological advancements and an increase in the demand for security devices, security systems such as burglar alarms and CCTV cameras have become extremely common and affordable.

Considering how effective and affordable actual security systems are, we don’t see any reason for you to rely on fake ones and risk your safety in the process.

Here are some additional ways to burgle-proof your home without breaking the bank:

Keep doors and windows locked

Home security begins with keeping your doors and windows locked. When looking for ways to break into your home, the first thing that a potential burglar looks for is weaknesses in the main entry points, aka. the doors and windows.

Make it a habit to always keep them locked, even when you are inside. This goes for all the front, back, and side doors and windows, including the patio doors.

Invest in good quality anti-snap locks that cannot be broken by a bit of brute force. Some of the best types of front door locks include mortice, rim, lever, cylinder/Euro, and smart locks.

You can choose the best one depending on the door you want to install them on and, of course, the level of security you require.

Hide your valuables

Avoid leaving cash, keys, expensive gadgets, and other high-value items near the doors and windows since they become easy to access and steal.

Look at it this way: if a burglar can’t see anything worth stealing in your house, chances are that they won’t target your property and risk breaking in.

Keeping that in mind, you must always hide your valuables from plain view since leaving them out in the open might attract unwanted attention.

Try to keep the curtains drawn and the blinds closed to avoid stalkers and potential burglars from peeking inside your home and targeting specific items of value, such as your laptop left on the table near the window or the television in the living room.

Don’t leave expensive tools and equipment out in the garden and make sure to securely lock them in the shed after you’re done using them.

Also, to be on the safe side, if and when you buy valuable items, make sure to dispose of the boxes securely by breaking down the packaging and putting it in the recycling bin.

A brand-new box dumped outside your house is like telling everyone, including potential burglars, that there are expensive gadgets inside.

Light it up

Burglars thrive in the darkness because it gives them just the right amount of cover that they need to sneak in. For this reason, they are attracted to properties that are not well-lit.

If you want to deter burglars, one of the best things that you can do is properly illuminate your property. This includes all areas of the house, including the garden, shed, and garage.

You can install motion-activated security lights around the house that turn on as soon as someone sets foot under them, alerting the homeowners instantly.

You can also use timers on the security lights that enable them to automatically turn on at a set time every day and allow you to control them remotely via a mobile phone app.

These features can be extremely useful, especially when you are away from your home and want to make it appear as if you are inside.

Get a dog

What’s better than getting a dog? Nothing! Dogs have always stood by their humans and there’s a reason why they are called man’s best friend.

They can be trained to pick up on any unusual activity and are great at keeping criminals away from you and your property. A ‘beware of dog’ sign is great at deterring away burglars, and an actual dog is enough to send them running away to safety.

Some of the best dog breeds, specifically to be used for security purposes, are German Shephard, Rottweiler, Doberman, Akita, and Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Although dogs are great in terms of security, they are not a fool-proof solution, which is why it is always best to invest in practical security arrangements such as burglar alarms, CCTV cameras, secure locks, and security lighting in addition to keeping a dog for maximising home security.

CCTV cameras

CCTV (Closed-Circuit Television) cameras are one of the most effective burglary deterrents available in the market today that not only deter criminals but also provide valuable evidence in the form of recorded CCTV footage.

The reason that burglars avoid targeting homes under CCTV surveillance is that they fear being recorded on camera and getting identified and caught.

There are many different types of CCTV cameras to choose from for all kinds of budgets and a wide range of requirements.

You must never invest in fake CCTV cameras because, as with fake burglar alarms, they are extremely easy to spot by experienced criminals and might do you more harm than good.


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 understand that everyone has a set budget and unique requirements, and for that, we have tailored solutions for all kinds of individuals and property owners.

We urge you to not use fake burglar alarms and CCTV cameras and can help you find effective and legitimate systems for your home and business security, all within your budget!

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 equipment.

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 Matt Jones on Unsplash