There is a wide range of home security systems available from large numbers of sources with different applications and prices. The choice of home security system is further complicated by the availability of hardwired and wireless security systems on a wide range of home security products.
The choice of a home security system such as burglar alarm or door entry system or combination of home security systems such as intruder alarm and CCTV will ultimately depend on the home owner’s needs and requirements and budget.
Monitored alarm or bells-only
Assuming you had decided to install an intruder alarm system and the question was whether it should be a monitored alarm or the basic bells only alarm? The following considerations can help you to make the right choice.
Audible or bells only alarm may cost less than the monitored alternative and has the added bonus of no ongoing monthly or annual monitoring service charge but it has some draw backs, notably the followings:
- Most people ignore ringing bells.
- Fewer than 1 in 10 bell-only activations are reported to the police.
- There is no mandatory servicing and maintenance
- Under official police policy, most police forces will no longer respond to a ringing bell unless there is some additional evidence that an offence is in progress.
With a monitored alarm, the system is connected 24 hours a day to an Alarm Receiving Centre via the phone line, GSM/GPRS, IP or a combination of both. The benefits of monitored alarms include:
- Alarm monitoring around the clock
- Mandatory alarm inspection servicing twice a year
- Home owner and Key holders will be contacted by phone on one alarm activation
- Police response on confirmed alarm activation.
- Remote Resets and 24 hour help desk support.
The next question is whether your monitored or bells only alarm should be hard wired or a wireless alarm system.
A wireless alarm needs no wiring apart from mains power connection to the control unit. The system utilises battery powered motion sensors and detectors providing ease of installation and greater flexibility.
A hardwired burglar alarm, on the other hand, requires wiring to be connected from the control panel to each detector and keeping the wire hidden may require lifting of floor boards or carpets or even chasing through the walls with all the disruptions it entails. The hardwired alarm system is probably more suitable to new homes or homes undergoing redecorations.
A monitored hardwired or wireless alarm system should be Grade 2 and BS 8243 compliant in order to qualify for Police Unique Reference Number (URN). Wireless Bells only alarm on the other hand can be of any grade, even grade 1.
The costs and features of each security system are also important considerations. A monitored alarm should be expected to cost more than an audible only system, so also a Class V1 radio, Grade 2 wireless alarm may cost more than its hard wired counterpart.
Eagle Security Solutions can help you in making the right home security choice by providing home security packages on burglar alarms and wireless alarms and also the monitoring and maintenance costs.