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How to choose the best type of security alarm

A security alarm is designed to detect burglaries and intrusions and to send alerts when an unauthorised entry or activity is detected. In addition to burglaries, it can also be used to detect fires, gas leaks, and other emergencies.

These systems can be installed in both residential and commercial properties and can include a variety of sensors and detectors placed in key locations around the property.

Security alarms can be connected to a central monitoring station where trained professionals can monitor the activity and dispatch the police or appropriate responders if necessary.

Some systems also have the ability to send alerts directly to the property owners or designated contacts via a smartphone app.

The type of security alarm you choose for your property depends on the level of security you require and how much you wish to pay for it.

Read on for a detailed guide on the different types of security alarms and how to choose the best one for your property:

WIRED OR WIRELESS SECURITY ALARMS

When choosing the right security alarm, your first choice must be between a wired and wireless system. It has to do with how the components are connected to each other and each has its own set of pros and cons. Let’s look at them in detail:

Wired security alarms

Wired security alarms are a type of security alarm that uses physical wires to connect the various components and devices to the control panel.

Since the wires need to be hidden behind the walls, floors, and ceiling, wired systems are typically installed during the construction of the building.

They offer several advantages over their wireless counterparts and are a great option for a number of residential and commercial properties.

Wired security alarms are less susceptible to interference from external sources such as radio frequency and electromagnetic interference. They also have a longer lifespan and do not rely on batteries that need to be replaced.

There are also a few drawbacks to using wired systems. For example, they are more complex and expensive to install as the wires need to run throughout the building. In addition to that, the wires can be damaged by pests, water, and other hazards, which can disrupt the operation and efficiency of the system.

Wireless security alarms

Wireless security alarms are a type of security alarm that uses wireless technology to transmit signals between the various components of the system.

Like wired systems, they typically include sensors placed in key locations throughout the property. When one of these sensors is triggered, a signal is sent to the system’s control panel which then sounds an alarm to alert the property owners or the authorities of the potential security breach.

One of the biggest advantages of wireless security alarms is that they are easy to install and can be set up without the need for wires and cables. This makes them ideal for properties where it may be difficult to run cables and where aesthetics are important.

Wireless systems are also more flexible and can easily be expanded according to your requirements.

In terms of security, wireless systems are considered to be just as reliable as hardwired systems. However, it is very important to make sure they are properly installed and maintained and that the signals are strong and secure.

To prevent any potential interference or tampering, it may be a good idea to use encrypted wireless signals.

TYPES OF SECURITY ALARMS

There are several types of security alarms based on what happens when the alarm is triggered. You can choose the best one depending on the level of protection you require.

Bells-only security alarms

Bells-only security alarms, also called audible-only alarms, are a type of security system designed to alert the occupants of a building of a potential security breach by sounding a loud alarm.

These systems are relatively simple and inexpensive to install and use as they do not require a central control panel or monitoring service.

One of the biggest drawbacks of these systems is that they do not send any direct notification to the property owners or authorities and rely solely on someone hearing the alarm and responding to it.

Due to this, if the property is empty and the alarm isn’t heard by anyone, it may go unnoticed and there may be a delay in the response. This can leave the property and its occupants in a vulnerable state.

In addition to that, bells-only alarms can also be prone to false alarms, which can be a nuisance and an inconvenience to the people residing nearby.

To reduce the risk of false alarms, it is important that the sensors are properly installed and maintained and the occupants of the property are familiar with the operation of the system.

Overall, bells-only security alarms can be a useful security device for alerting the occupants of a building to a potential security or safety threat. However, compared to other advanced alarm systems that offer direct notifications, they may not provide the same level of protection.

Monitored security alarms

A monitored security alarm works just like a bells-only alarm in that it detects unusual activity and sounds an alarm to alert everyone.

The difference is that, while bells-only alarms rely on someone to hear the alarm, monitored systems are connected to an external security company with security specialists who monitor the signals from the alarm for a fee.

The biggest advantage of monitored systems is that when the alarm is triggered, the alerts are sent directly to the monitoring service which sends a notification to the authorities or property owners. This allows a quicker response to a security breach, which can help minimise the risk of theft or further damage.

Monitored security alarms also provide added peace of mind to the property owners as there is always someone watching over the property and ready to take action in case of an emergency or security or safety threat.

These systems also often come with additional features such as the ability to remotely arm and disarm the alarm or to receive alerts on your phone when the alarm is triggered. These features make it much easier to control and manage the security of your property.

In terms of drawbacks, monitored security alarms require a subscription to a monitoring service, which can add to the total cost of the system. However, if you weigh the added cost against the benefits that it provides, it’s worth it.Top of Form

Smart security alarms

Smart security alarms work using the same principle of detecting intrusions and sending alerts, with the addition of allowing you to monitor, manage, and control the system from anywhere, at any time, using your smartphone.

This allows property owners to stay connected with the security of their homes even when they are away. They can arm and disarm the system, receive alerts, and view real-time footage from security cameras.

Smart security alarms may also include additional features such as the ability to integrate with other smart home devices such as smart lights, locks, and thermostats. This allows the users to create a more integrated and automated home security system that can be customised according to their specific needs.

WHAT ARE DUMMY SECURITY ALARMS?

A dummy security alarm, also called a fake or decoy security alarm, is a device that looks like a real security alarm but isn’t actually one.

It is often used as an inexpensive way to deter burglars and other intruders as the presence of an alarm system may make them think twice before targeting the property.

These alarms do not provide any actual security since they can’t detect intrusions or sound an alarm. They basically rely on the psychological effect of the alarm’s presence to deter potential criminals.

It is very important to note that while fake security alarms may be effective at deterring some burglars, they are certainly not a replacement for an actual security alarm.

An actual security alarm includes sensors, alarms, and other devices designed to detect and prevent intrusions. It may also include surveillance cameras and other monitoring devices to help identify and apprehend the burglars.

Dummy security alarms may give people a false sense of security, leading them to be less serious and vigilant about protecting their homes and commercial properties. In addition to that, seasoned criminals may be able to distinguish between a real and fake security alarm, which could leave your house vulnerable and on their target list.

That being said, if you are serious about protecting your home or business from burglars or other safety and security threats, it is very important to invest in a real and reliable professional security alarm system that can effectively detect and deter intrusions.Top of Form

HOW ARE SECURITY ALARMS INSTALLED?

In the UK, the installation of security alarms is regulated by the British Standards Institution (BSI) which sets out guidelines and best practices for their design, installation, and maintenance.

Several types of security alarms can be installed in a variety of settings including homes and businesses, and these systems can be wired or wireless.

The process of installing security alarms typically involves the following steps:

  1. Assessing the property and identifying the best type of security system based on the security requirements.
  2. Designing the system based on the property’s size and layout and the owner’s security needs.
  3. Installing the system, which may involve running wires and cables, mounting the sensors and other devices, and setting up a control panel.
  4. Testing the system to ensure it is working properly.
  5. Providing training to the owner and other users on how to use and maintain the system.

The security alarm installation must be carried out by a professional and accredited security company that adheres to the BSI guidelines and standards and is registered with a recognised industry association such as the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB).

In addition to offering professional installation services, these companies may also offer maintenance and monitoring services for your security alarms to make sure they are functioning properly at all times.

SECURITY ALARM MAINTENANCE

Regular maintenance is just as important as proper installation to make sure your security alarm stays reliable and is able to do its job well.

When a security alarm is not properly maintained, it may not function as intended and may leave your property vulnerable to break-ins.

In addition to ensuring the effectiveness of the system, regular maintenance can also help extend its lifespan. By regularly cleaning the sensors and other components, you can prevent problems that could lead to costly repairs or replacements.

Maintaining security alarms can also help reduce false alarms occurring due to faulty sensors, misuse, or tampering.

These are a few steps included in security alarm maintenance:

  • Following the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintaining the system, including cleaning and inspecting sensors and other components.
  • Testing the system regularly to ensure it is functioning properly.
  • Replacing the batteries and other components as needed.
  • Keeping the control panel and other components in a secure location to prevent tampering.
  • Keeping the system up to date with any firmware or software updates released by the manufacturer.

Maintaining security alarms is an important step in protecting your property and reducing the risk of burglaries, intrusions, and other safety issues.

You may get a maintenance contract from your security company to get the alarm checked at least once a year, or twice if you have police monitoring.

Properly maintained security alarms are also a requirement of many insurance companies as well, with some even offering discounts on premiums if you can prove that your security alarm is well taken care of and is reliable.

HOW MUCH DO SECURITY ALARMS COST?

The cost of a security alarm can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the type of system, the size of the property, the level of security, and the additional features included in the system.

Several types of security alarms can be installed on your property, including burglar alarms and fire alarms. The cost of these systems may vary significantly, with burglar alarms being more affordable than fire alarms.

Also, if you opt for a smart or monitored alarm, you may expect to pay more compared to a simple bells-only security alarm. Advanced systems may include surveillance cameras and other features and may lead to a higher cost.

In addition to that, the bigger the size of your property, the more extensive the security alarm system will be, which can increase the overall cost of the system.

Other factors include professional installation and maintenance, the cost of which depends on the size and complexity of the system as well as the company’s fee.

While it is difficult to provide an exact cost of security alarms in the UK, you can expect to pay anywhere between £300 for a basic security system to over £1000 for a more advanced one.

CONTACT CALDER SECURITY

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 at 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts right away!

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