Burglar Alarms – Tips to Protect Your Home

Burglar AlarmHi folks,
today, in a follow up from our previous article on security- 10 Easy Ways to Prevent a Burglary, we give you 8 tips on how to use burglar alarms more effectively to protect your home.  First let’s have a look at 3 different types of security alarms and explain how they work:-
1) Dummy alarms- A Dummy alarm is one that looks like an alarm but it doesn’t actually do anything.  The hope is that the appearance of the alarm on the gable end of your home will put off burglars from attempting a break in.  Although providing by far the cheapest type of alarm security, a dummy alarm is the weakest type of security out of our three possible choices and if you have little or no money to spend on your home security it’s certainly better than nothing.
2) Bells only systems–  Arguably, the most common type of alarm in Ireland. This system, when triggered, rings an alarm internally and externally, warning off possible intruders. Its only drawback is that it is unable to alert the local authorities. This system will cost less than a monitored alarm and significantly more than a ‘dummy’ alarm. DIY installation is not looked on favourably  by the security industry, who argue that installation is a skilled task, with burglars able to easily notice at a glance between DIY models and professionally installed systems.
3) Monitored alarm systemThis means of security is by far the most expensive, as maintenance and monitoring costs still exist.  However, in the event of a burglary, the Gardai are automatically informed and will immediately respond. This system requires a minimum of two appointed keyholders who must know how to operate the alarm, be able to attend an activation within 20 minutes, be contacted by telephone/mobile and have their own transport.  It’s your – the owner’s – responsibility to inform your alarm company if your keyholder is on holiday and provide them with suitable alternatives.
Some Tips for to make the most out of your alarm system
  1. Make sure to set the alarm when you are not in the house or when you are going to bed.  Many homes are broken into because the owner forgets to set the alarm!
  2. Make sure to have your alarm serviced regularly to make sure it is working correctly.  An alarm system is not much good unless it is actually working and there’s no point in finding out that it’s not working after the burglars have broken in.
  3. Most alarm systems have sensors which detect when doors or windows are opened and/or motion sensors that detect movement inside of the home.  Make sure to clear cobwebs regularly from motion sensors as something as small as a spider passing infront of the sensor can set it off.  It could cost you an unnessary call out fee to get your alarm specialist out to diagnose it if the alarm is regularly being set off in this way.
  4. Consider putting extra protection around the alarm box that is attached to the outside of your home.  There have been cases recently of burglars ripping the alarm box off of the wall and throwing it in a bucket of water to disable it.  If you can get a fitter/welder to fix a steel bracket around the alarm box it will help to prevent this from happening.
  5. Check with your insurance company to see if they require a certain standard of alarm system to cover your home for theft (fire also!).  Insurance companies are very quick to accept your money when you are paying for your home insurance but they often neglect to point out that certain restrictions apply which might mean you are not covered at all because of inadequate security alarm or locks.
  6. Always remember that nomatter how good your alarm system is, it is no substitute for good locks so make sure to have all doors and windows securely locked with high standard locks as a first level of defense against burglars.  Ask a locksmith to do a security audit of your home if you are unsure.
  7. Ensure all alarm installers are PSA licensed in order to carry out alarm installation and maintenance.  See further information at http://www.psa.gov.ie/Website/psa/psa.nsf/legislationDownload?openform .
  8. And lastly develop a good relationship with your neighbours, ask them to look out for any suspicious activity in or around your home when you are not there.  Ask them to feel free to check it out if the alarm goes off and to call the Gardai if necessary.  Be sure to offer the same support for your neighbour in return.  If your neighbour does alert you of any suspicious activity or even a false alarm, get them a little gift to say thanks because it is important to express your gratitude and encourage them to continue to keep an eye out for you in the future!:)
The usual rules apply with selecting an alarm installer for the job, make sure to get references, insurance details and any other information that you need to make sure that you are totally happy with the alarm installer that you choose.  And yes make sure they are PSA licensed installers.  Getting advice and quotes from a number of alarm installers ensures that you get the most information to make an informed choice. Always check whether the prices are inclusive or exclusive of VAT.I hope this helps some of you who are looking at improving the standard of security for your home and if you decide to go ahead with updating your alarms you can get a number of http://www.tradesmen.ie/trade/alarms and get up to 4 quotes fast from rated tradesmen!
CheersConor HoganTradesmen.ie10 December 2012

Do you have any security tips or questions or comments to make on this article? If so we’d love to hear from you, please feel free to share them with us using the feedback form below?

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About Oliver Dempsey

Owner and Managing Director at Tradesmen.ie and contributor to the Tradesmen.ie Blog DISCLAIMER: All content provided in my articles is for informational purposes only. The information contained in these articles has been obtained from research carried out by myself through online and offline sources and through other writers and contributors who provide me with content. While I am responsible for the final editing of each article and I do my best to verify the information, I do not make representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information. Therefore you must not rely on the information contained in any of these articles and always make sure to seek the advice of a suitably qualified expert before embarking on any project.
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  • http://www.lazer.ie/ John

    Totally agree with the tips above, even a basic alarm system can be a huge deterrent to an intruder. At the very least every homeowner should give serious consideration to erecting a dummy alarm box.

  • http://www.lazer.ie/ John

    As mentioned in tip 3, a monitored alarm system is always an extremely valuable addition to any home and gives fantastic piece of mind. Also installing good quality locks on windows and doors is essential.

  • tradesmen1

    Hi John,
    yes I think piece of mind is the important thing, you certainly don’t want to be awake at night worrying about someone breaking into your home

    Oliver Dempsey

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