Burglar Alarms – the different types available

There is no doubt that Burglar Alarms and systems are a worthwhile investment in the protection of your home and family. Studies reveal that it is far less likely that you will become the victim of a burglary at home if you have a correctly fitted and well-maintained burglar alarm.

There are many different types of burglar alarms available for domestic and business use.

They can be broadly categorised into 2 main groups:-

  • Bells Only Burglar Alarms

  • Monitored Alarms.

The issue is further complicated as both the above types can be available as “hard-wired” or “wireless” systems.

With the first group – bells only alarms – when the alarm is triggered by one of the alarm components, an outside bell or siren is activated. This will undoubtedly inform the burglar that they have been detected and may motivate them to leave.

The mere presence of an alarm system may also persuade a burglar to find an easier target.

However, in these days when many houses have alarms fitted the general public may choose to ignore the warnings bells. How many times have you heard a burglar alarm going off and how may times have you taken any action about it?

Monitored Alarms

– these are connected by telephone to an Alarm Receiving Centre or ARC. When an activation occurs, the system automatically rings the ARC and notifies them of the activation. Staff at the ARC then take the relevant action. See Benefits of a Monitored Alarms.

Redcare Home Monitored Alarms

 – with these systems, the telephone line is also constantly monitored by BT meaning that if it is cut, the ARC will be immediately notified and take the appropriate response. BT actually guarantee that every alarm activation will be notified to the ARC.

Redcare GSM Monitored Alarms

– These take matters a step further and provide connection to the ARC by the normal telephone line but also have a backup GSM wireless connection to the ARC which is utilised if the main telephone line is cut.

Police Response to Burglar alarms.

Many cheaper systems result in numerous false alarms and the public have to some extent become immune to the sound of a continuous alarm. Because of the pressures placed on the police force by these numerous false alarms, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) issued an Intruder Alarm Policy.

With an approved monitored alarm system, any alarm activation is passed to a central monitoring station by your telephone. These Alarm Receiv../../about-us/police-policy/ing Centres, or ARCs, are thus alerted to any potential burglary. They can “watch” the alarm system and if they see 2 or more different units activated, they can inform the police that a confirmed incident is taking place.

The Metropolitan Police Force offers the following information:-

“The variety of alarms and their fitting is a complex subject. As a starting point, the installation should meet with British Standard 4737. This type of installation refers to hard-wired systems as opposed to wire-free. Though more expensive than many wire-free or D-I-Y packages on the market, they are more reliable and conform to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Intruder Alarm Policy. The only wire-free system which conforms both to British Standards and the ACPO Intruder Alarm Policy is a BS 6799 Class VI alarm. This type is typically more expensive than its hard-wired counterpart. Be aware that systems that claim to meet British Standards, but don’t specify BS 4737 or 6799, may well be referring to the electrical standard and not that of the alarm system.”

If you are thinking about the installation of an alarm system in your home it is worth taking into account that the police response to alarm activations varies according to the type of alarm installed.

In recent years the percentage of false alarm calls caused by either equipment, communication or user error represented in excess of 92% of all alarm activations nationally. In order to redress the balance in favour of genuine calls, the ACPO Unified Intruder Alarm Policy has been adopted by the Police, in which two types of alarms are defined, together with the relevant police response.

Type A – Remote Signalling Alarms, including intruder alarms terminating at approved central monitoring stations. They must be maintained and used in accordance with British Standard 4737, BS 7042 (high-security systems) or BS 6799 Class VI (wire-free alarms). Such alarms will be registered with the police and identified by a unique reference number (URN) and can include personal attack alarms. Some police forces are beginning to charge for both an intruder alarms and for a separate panic attack system.

The police response to their activation will be based on the assumption that an offence is taking place but against the background of competing urgent calls and available resources. Such a response will also be conditional upon the number of false activations in any 12 month period, in which case the activation may receive a lower priority police attendance.

Type B – Audible Only and Hybrid Alarms, including bells-only and automatic dialling alarms, as well as alarms from non-compliant companies and non-compliant central stations. URNs will not be issued for these systems. To obtain police attendance, in addition to their activation Type B alarms will also require some indication that an offence is in progress, e.g. from a witness.

The monitored alarm systems we feature fully comply with Type A above.

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With many people now working from home due to the Corona Virus, could all customers who have  monitored alarms please ensure that their current key holders and passwords are up to date especially if your premises are to be left unattended.

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