Are home alarm systems effective and do you need one?

Weighing up the pros and cons of installing a home alarm system, business alarm system, or an industrial property? You’ve come to the right place. Here at Homefront Electrical, our team of qualified electricians have years of experience installing, testing, and maintaining a wide range of home alarm systems and alarms.

To help you determine whether investing in a home alarm system is the best solution to protecting your home, assets, and the people you love, we explore their efficacy in more detail below. From the advantages of a home alarm system to the various different types, you’ll have no problem picking the right security system.

Do alarms actually deter burglars?

First and foremost, if you’re considering spending your hard-earned money on an alarm system for the home, then you’ll want to know whether it really works – does a home alarm system really deter burglars? Put simply, a house alarm will not physically stop an intruder from attempting to gain access to your home.

However, it can provide a strong, visual deterrence as burglars are aware that once the alarm has been triggered, they’re more likely to be caught and prosecuted – and what better way to deter an intruder than wake up the whole neighbourhood?

Not only does this argument make logical sense, but it’s backed up by some solid research, too. According to information gathered by a University of North Carolina Charlotte study, 83% of the 422 convicted burglars surveyed admitted that they inspect homes for a house alarm before attempting to break in.

On top of this, the same study found that a significant 60% of them would decide not to break into a home after spotting a house alarm. As a result, burglars will often target homes without home alarm systems to prevent drawing unwanted attention to their illegal activities.

As a result, burglars will often target homes without home alarm systems to prevent attracting unwanted attention to their illegal activities.

What is a home alarm system?

A home alarm system simply refers to a group of electronic components working in conjunction with one another to protect a home. Designed to detect intruders, a home alarm system should be triggered when a trespasser accesses your property – typically through a door or window.

Once triggered, it should emit a loud alarm to alert those nearby that an unauthorised entry has been made into the home. Despite being called a ‘home alarm system’, they’re also commonly installed in business premises and other commercial and industrial properties to protect valuable contents and information.

What are the different types of home alarm systems?

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all house alarm for every individual, home, and business. Instead, there exists a range of home security alarm systems to suit a variety of personal preferences and requirements. To help you determine which one is the best fit for your home, we explore the key benefits of the most common home alarm systems in more detail below.

Wired burglar alarms – As the name suggests, a wired burglar alarm has a control panel that is connected via cabling to the sensors. The sensors are then also connected using wires to the power source, often ensuring a consistent and reliable connection.

Less susceptible to network, connectivity, and interference issues, a wired burglar alarm is a popular choice. However, they do require a greater degree of installation compared to wireless solutions which can make them impractical to use in some properties. Furthermore, wires can be cut by intruders, leaving your home unprotected.

Wireless burglar alarms – In contrast to wired burglar alarms, the wireless alternative is both quicker and easier to install. They’re also highly-flexible and allow the installer to create less mess, ensuring a much smarter appearance. With no observable wires to cut, intruders would need to interfere with the property’s internet connection or the system itself.

However, some wireless burglar alarms can come with battery backup, meaning your property will remain protected even if a power cut or fire breaks out. A power cut would typically prevent a traditional wired or even wireless burglar alarm from functioning properly, so purchasing a wireless system with a battery backup can provide greater peace of mind.

Hybrid burglar alarm – A convenient combination of both wired and wireless house alarm systems, the hybrid option is both hardwired as well as being able to use wireless sensors. As a result, you benefit from both wired and wireless system advantages, offering your property a greater level of security.

However, this greater level of protection comes at a price, as you can expect these systems to be more expensive than a solely wired or wireless burglar alarm.

Monitored burglar alarms – A monitored home alarm system simply refers to a house alarm that is monitored by a third-party, professional home security company. Once the alarm has been triggered, the security company will be notified who can then send their own response team or alert the police to the intrusion.

However, this monitoring service will incur additional charges, so they are often a more expensive option than the unmonitored alternative. Furthermore, as your alarm will be monitored by another company, there can be a lack of privacy – especially if your security system features CCTV surveillance.

Unmonitored burglar alarms – Unmonitored burglar alarms (also known as self-monitored burglar alarms) rely on your own ability to monitor your property. While most homes will opt for an unmonitored system, homes with high-value assets may want to consider a monitored service otherwise they will be responsible for monitoring the property, even when away from the home.

However, an unmonitored home security alarm system does afford the inhabitant greater privacy, so may be preferable for individuals that value their privacy. They’re also more affordable than monitored systems, so are ideal if you want a security system that works with your budget.

Electric current burglar alarm – This type of burglar alarm is typically installed while the building is being constructed, so it can be more difficult to incorporate these home alarms after the fact. A basic monitoring tool, these alarms are installed around entry points (external doors and windows) with an electrical current flowing between the two points once charged.

When a monitored door or window is open, the current is broken, causing the alarm to be triggered. Often part of the home when you move in, installation is typically not an issue.

Smart home burglar alarm – With the evolution of technology, no area of life is free from smart home adaptations – and that includes burglar alarms. A smart home burglar alarm allows you to monitor your home 24/7 using nothing more than your smartphone.

Furthermore, some smart home alarm systems can also be connected to a private security company of even the police if you want to give your home an extra level of protection. All third-party monitoring, however, will likely come with a subscription charge which can make this already expensive burglar alarm, even more pricey.

Door contact burglar alarm – Both relatively simple to install and affordable, a door contact house alarm features a sensor that lets the user know whether the door is open or closed. Easy to use, they can be either wireless or hardwired to suit the preferences of the homeowner and/or the property.

What are the benefits of having a home alarm system?

While each individual alarm system will have its own benefits, any home alarm system will give you a distinct advantage – greater home security. This alert, regardless of whether it’s sound only, paired with CCTV, or monitored by a third-party security company, lets you know that there’s an intruder on your property.

From here, you can take quicker action to secure your most valuable belongings, protect your family, and contact the relevant authorities. Some monitored systems will even send for help in the event of a medical emergency, helping your family to receive the essential help they need following a significant injury or illness.

Not to mention, a home alarm system can also have additional benefits such as reducing the cost of your home insurance, saving you a significant amount of money over the years. Ultimately, regardless of whether your alarm system is ever triggered or not, you will benefit from peace of mind knowing your property has this level of protection.

Are there any disadvantages to installing a home alarm system?

There can be some disadvantages to installing a home alarm system which vary depending on which system you opt for. This typically includes the cost of the system itself as well as the cost and time it takes to install the house alarm either by your own hand or using a professional installation company.

However, you must always weigh up these various cons against the benefits. For example, cost can often be a significant practical factor, but you must also consider the potential mental, physical, and financial toll on your household in the event of a burglary.

Does your home need an alarm system?

There are many different ways that you can protect your home. Some homeowners will have a guard dog, CCTV, or even install flood lights across their property to help deter burglars, so why should they consider a home alarm system? Put simply, a burglar alarm is an additional level of protection and offers invaluable peace of mind.

Depending on the type of home security alarm system you opt for, you can choose whether it’s wireless, wired, monitored, self-monitored, or any other design to give yourself a sense of security in your own home. Ultimately, a break-in and burglary can be life-changing, both mentally and in some cases, physically.

Installing a burglar alarm that provides greater intruder deterrence is therefore a logical choice for many homes and businesses, regardless of the value or your assets. Furthermore, some security defences may be easier to overcome than a home security alarm system. For example, on order to reduce the threat of identification posed by CCTV, intruders may simply cover their faces.

Disabling a burglar alarm, however, is typically a more difficult process that will involve physically cutting wires, hacking wireless systems, or attacking the property’s internet connection. This is why burglar alarms can often be one of the most effective ways to deter criminals from targeting your home or business – it’s too much work!

What makes a good home alarm system?

Ultimately, a good home alarm system is a system that deters intruders, protects your family and valuables, and gives you a greater sense of safety and security in your own home. 

However, when it comes to choosing a home alarm system for your property, there are some key aspects you should consider.

Comprehensive cover

Unsurprisingly, one of the most important aspects of a home alarm system is the degree of protection it provides. If the system has just one motion sensor, but you need the system to cover more than just a single entry point (like a door or window), then it won’t provide you with the comprehensive protection you’re looking for.

It’s therefore vital that you do your research and choose a home alarm system that has enough motion sensors, features, and functionality to give you complete peace of mind.

Reliability

If your home alarm system isn’t reliable, then it’s not doing its job. You should feel reassured knowing that your home is protected no matter where you are or what you’re doing. As a result, it’s important to opt for a home alarm system that’s been designed, manufactured, installed, and monitored by a trusted company.

For even greater peace of mind, you may want to consider opting for a wired house alarm system that comes complete with a battery back-up. Even if an intruder cuts the wire to your alarm system control panel, the battery back-up should kick in to keep the system live.

Excellent customer support

If there’s an issue with your home alarm system or you’re struggling to understand the controls, it’s vital that you can easily access good customer support. With the right support, such as 24/7 support from an alarm monitoring service, you’ll benefit from a better user experience and higher level of customer satisfaction. 

This can also provide you with sought-after reassurance that any issues with your home alarm system will be quickly identified and rectified. You may therefore want to consider paying a monthly subscription fee on top of the cost of your home alarm system to ensure you access to better customer support as well as any other benefits.

Easy to install

If you want to install your own home alarm system, then picking a system that’s quick and easy to fit is essential. Typically, wireless systems are the easiest type of home alarm system to install as there’s less disruption to the home and there’s no complex wiring or cabling to connect.

However, if you’re open to hiring a professional electrician to install your system, then you should explore wired home alarm systems, too. Despite not being as quick or easy to install as the wireless alternative, they are often considered to be more reliable.

User-friendly

If you can’t understand how to use your home alarm system, then there’s no point having one. A good security system should therefore be user-friendly and intuitive, helping to avoid unwanted headaches just before you set off on holiday or close up your business after a long day.

Good customer support, clear instructions, and even video tutorials can also be crucial to boosting customer understanding regarding not only using, but making the most of, their new home alarm system.

Can I combine my home alarm system with any other type of alarm?

Yes, it is possible to integrate your home alarm system with many different alarms that are commonly found in homes and businesses. This can create an interconnected house alarm infrastructure that helps to reduce false alarms, speed up response times, improve energy efficiency, and make overall home security management more effective.

For example, you may wish to combine your home alarm system with your CCTV video surveillance systems to ensure the cameras start to capture any activity once the home alarm has been triggered. This approach can help authorities to identify and convict intruders, while also supporting third-party monitoring services with detecting potential threats.

Some business owners or homeowners may also decide to integrate their house alarm system with their fire alarm system and smoke detectors, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system, or even their lighting.

Designed to improve efficiency and safety, it’s no wonder that more individuals are considering combining their home alarm system with other alarm systems in the property.

If you want to combine your home alarm system in Stockport with another type of alarm, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced team here at Homefront Electrical. 

Alongside being experts in home alarm systems, we also have years of experience fitting and maintaining CCTV systems, fire alarms, and other domestic, industrial, and commercial electrical systems.

Discussing your requirements with a professional electrician can help to ensure the home systems you choose to install in your property are compatible with one another and have been properly integrated. With the right systems and installation method, you can create an effective coordinated response to a wide range of home security events.

How much does a home alarm system in Stockport cost?

Based on information collected by Checkatrade, the average cost for a home alarm system in Stockport is £90. 

Naturally, however, this figure will vary depending on whether you opt for a supply-only home alarm system or a supply and installation package.

Similarly, the exact cost will also depend on the quality, features, and functionality of the home alarm system (such as whether it’s wired or wireless, or monitored by a security company, the police, or yourself). 

The size of the property and whether specialist equipment is required to install the system will also impact the overall cost of purchasing a home alarm system in Stockport.

Searching for expert house alarm installation?

If you’re keen to protect your home with a house alarm, then look no further than the team of experienced electricians here at Homefront Electrical. We have more than 30 years of invaluable experience in this industry, installing a wide range of burglar alarm systems in both commercial and residential properties.

Operating across Greater Manchester, including areas like the North West, Cheshire, Wilmslow and Stockport, our team maintains the highest levels of professionalism no matter the size or location of the job. Eager to learn more about our services and prices? Get in touch with our team today!

To speak to a member of our team, simply give us a call on 0161 989 5671. Alternatively, you can also submit your enquiry via email by sending it to info@homefront-electrical.co.uk or filling in and submitting our online contact form.

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