Burglar alarms keep you, your family, and your property safe from intruders – they’re very much a part of most British homes today. But just like everything else around the home, they do need replacing periodically to keep up to date with the latest technological developments. But how much do they cost today and why should you get one?
In this article, we look at the different types of burglar alarm on the market, show you the prices you can expect to pay for an entirely new system, what comes with a modern burglar alarm, and the smartest ways to get the cheapest quotes on the very best systems.
Why have a burglar alarm?
Getting a burglar alarm is the most popular way to help prevent intruders from breaking into your home. If you click here and enter your postcode you will be able to see data that ADT are capturing on the number of burglaries in your area within the last 12 months.
Burglar alarms started to appear on people’s homes in the 80s and 90s and, although they were advanced for the time, things have moved on greatly since then. Now, the sensor technology and the ways that you can interact with the burglar alarm through mobile phones and other devices have advanced rapidly.
With a modern system, you can protect your home and be notified if there’s something out of the ordinary happening from anywhere in the world. Burglars know this all too well and the presence of a burglar alarm contributes greatly to how much of a deterrent they now are. If a criminal spots a burglar alarm on your home, they are far less likely to attempt to break into your property.
Different types of burglar alarms
There are two main types of burglar alarm, wired and wireless. Here’s the difference between them:
Wired burglar alarms
With wired burglar alarms, the entire system, from sensors to control panel, is powered by direct connection to your main supply of electricity. This means it’s always on and you don’t have to worry about batteries running out. However the installation is a lot more expensive because of the amount of wiring that needs to be run throughout your home.
Wireless burglar alarms
The other option is a wireless burglar alarm system. This is a much more popular choice, mainly because of the price. With the exception of the control panel which is wired to the mains, wireless systems are battery operated, with only the control panel being hooked up to the mains. Because of the low amount of energy needed to run the sensors, the batteries can last for years.
Wireless systems also send a signal to the control panel when it is time for you to replace the battery, meaning that it is unlikely that there will ever be gaps in your home security system’s coverage.
How much do burglar alarms cost?
Below is a table that shows the approximate cost of a burglar alarm system and any alternatives that you can purchase:
|Type of burglar alarm||Number of sensors||Number of keyfobs||Supply cost||Supply and install cost||Additional monthly fees|
|Bell-only wired||2 or 1||1||Not available||£405||none|
|Monitored wireless||2 or 1||1||Not available||£100-£200||£15-45|
|Auto-dialler alarm||2 or 1||1||£200-£300||£300-£420||none|
|Smart alarm||1||0 (your mobile phone acts as keyfob)||£160||£260||none|
What do you get with a burglar alarm?
There are several components that make up your burglar alarm system, including:
This is the box on the wall (normally next to the front door) that controls which areas in and around your home the system is covering and monitoring. The control panel also sends the signal to the “bell box” and any monitoring service if there has been an intrusion or if the batteries need replacing (if the system is wireless).
Sensors and Contacts
You or your installer place the sensors that come with your security system around your home, whether in specific rooms or around the outside of the premises. Your installer will be able to give you advice on the most likely points of break in and recommend that those areas be protected with a sensor or contact.
Sensors work using Passive Infrared Detectors (PIRs). These PIRs work by monitoring for the body heat of an intruder.
If a PIR does detect body heat in an area it’s protecting, your system will go into emergency mode. Here, the system will do one of more of the following, depending on how your system is set up:
- contact the police,
- sound the alarm,
- alert the monitoring station (a company you pay to react when your burglar alarm system goes off)
- send you or someone you’ve nominated a text message
Contacts are another security option you can add to your system. They are placed on doors or windows and they are used to detect anyone who attempts to open them when they are locked. Once detected, the contacts will trigger the alarm and the system will alert you and/or others in the way your installer has programmed it to.
Keyfobs are attached to your home or car keys and they are used to turn your alarm system on or off as you enter or exit your property.
Bell boxes are the small metallic or plastic boxes fixed to the outside of your home – they normally display the name of the installation firm on them. Bell boxes show potential intruders that your home is protected by a burglar alarm – they are perhaps the most visible sign to outsiders that you take your security seriously. They also make a loud noise if the alarm is tripped so that everyone in the vicinity knows there is a problem.
The reason they are called bell boxes is because they used to contain a bell to make the loud noise. However, nowadays there is an electronic siren that is sounded instead.
Should I install a burglar alarm myself?
It is highly recommended that you get a professional to install your alarm for you. This is because both types of system require connection to the mains, in untrained hands, this presents a danger to life and health. In addition, something as important as your home security should always be left to an experienced professional.
We recommend that you hire somebody who works for one of the three trade bodies that deal with burglar alarm installations. The bodies are the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board, National Security Inspectorate, and the British Security Industry Association.
Get a quote
We can put you in contact with three or four burglar alarm companies in your area so you can get the most competitive quotes and the very best system for your budget. We always closely inspect all of the companies we work with so we only recommend people that have your best interests at heart.
This service is also completely free of charge and you’re under no obligation to accept any of the quotes that we gather for you. To get started, simply fill out our online form.