Burglar Alarm Options
You can be faced with a confusing choice when looking at buying and installing a new burglar alarm for your home.
If you have never purchased a burglar alarm before, or you are thinking about replacing an old system that you inherited when you bought your home, then our in-house DRAM engineers have put together this helpful guide about the pros and cons of different alarm systems for you.
What is a bells-only burglar alarm?
A bells-only system is also marketed as an audible alarm system. Once triggered, the alarm will sound a loud tone to draw attention to the fact that your home may be suffering from a break-in.
The idea of a loud alarm sounding is to firstly scare away a potential burglar before they get a chance to enter your home and steal your valuables. Secondly, the alarm will alert your neighbours or passers-by who may respond by checking out your property or calling the police.
A bells-only type of alarm system is the most common choice for homeowners with an average of 57% of alarmed residential properties being protected by one.
The cons of having this system when compared to a dialler or monitored system are the fact that you cannot fully guarantee that anyone will respond to it.
When your alarm sounds you will not be automatically alerted to it and you could be at work or away from your home for hours and be completely unaware that your alarm has been triggered.
A bells-only system can be effective if you live in a built-up area within an active neighbourhood where your neighbours look out for each other or have a neighbourhood watch set up in the area.
What is a dialler burglar alarm
If you know your home is going to be empty for many hours each day or you live in an isolated area where a bells-only system wouldn’t attract any attention from close neighbours or passers-by, then you would be better going with a dialler system.
Also known as an auto dialler, this system will automatically alert you when the alarm triggers. You can choose to have either yourself or a family member, neighbour or friend as the main nominated contact for your alert and then they will be able to either call the police or check out your home for you.
Another good thing with a dialler system is that they usually allow three or more contact numbers as your emergency contact. You can set the priority of your contact so that if the alarm triggers and the first contact doesn’t respond, the system will then move onto the next number in your list to alert.
The two dialler alarm options
Most alarm installation companies will be able to offer you the choice between a speech dialler where your landline phone will be connected to your alarm by a wire and is used to alert your contacts, or they will offer you a GSM dialler.
A GSM dialler will use a mobile phone network to send out an alert. This means you don’t need to connect your dialler alarm to your landline by hard wire.
However, the downside to using a GSM dialler is that you will need to have a Sim card with enough credit on it to enable the system to make your alert calls when the alarm triggers. You will also need a good mobile phone reception where you live, so if you are in a rural location with a poor network signal, your alarm may not be able to function properly.
A smart home security system
A smart home security system works in the same way as a dialler system but will be connected to your smartphone or tablet via an app. You can also use nominated family, friends or a neighbour to be alerted when your alarm triggers.
You will need a central control hub that connects to your devices via Wi-Fi, in much the same way that a standard alarm connects to the sensors fitted around your home. You can connect lots of different elements to your smart system including CCTV, lighting and motion sensors.