What Sort of Home Security System Should I Choose?
A recent British Crime Survey showed that the number of domestic burglaries in England and Wales has fallen dramatically in recent years but government officials are predicting an upward pressure on levels of property crime as the UK economy continues into recession.
When choosing a burglar alarm that is right for your home and for your budget, you have two choices – an alarm which sounds a bell or siren when it is triggered and may deter intruders and alert your neighbours, but won’t automatically generate a police response, and a monitored alarm with or without a speech dialer.
With the latter, you make an additional payment to have your system connected via a telephone line or signal network to a control center which will monitor your property 24 hours a day. When a detector is triggered, a signal is sent to the control center and someone there will phone the property for password identification and to check that everything is OK. If the password ID is not given, or the phone is not picked up, then a nominated keyholder and/or the police are notified.
A speech dialer is a cheaper alternative to a monitored system. This can be connected to an alarm, or may already be built into the control panel. If there is a break-in, the speech dialer automatically calls the phone numbers that have been programmed in and leaves a pre-recorded message.
You can also have your system linked to the police, since many police forces won’t respond to a bell-only alarm, unless there is also first-hand evidence of a crime being committed. However, because of false alarms, the police will usually only go out to your home if two detection devices (such as sensors) are activated in sequence.
The cost of a home security system can vary depending on many factors including the size of the property and the level of safety coverage that you are aiming for.
Most insurance companies offer a discount of between 2% and 15% on the cost of home contents insurance if you have a burglar alarm that is of a recommended make, has been fitted professionally and is serviced regularly. However, should it transpire that the alarm was not switched on and you have to make a claim, this can become problematic.
You should also remember that burglar alarms only alert you to the fact that someone has broken in. It should really beyour first priority is to stop them getting in at all.