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those home protection services - worth it?

(7 Posts)
ClueLessFirstTime Thu 08-Nov-12 14:17:36

adt and the like.
provide fire alarm systems and movement sensors and noisy alarms.

are they worth their money (incl installation around 500£ a year) or should we better shell out for very good windows and doors?

PigletJohn Thu 08-Nov-12 14:30:55

A burglar alarm mostly has deterrent value. The burglar will find it less troubesome to walk down the road and break into a house without one.

£500 a year is rather a lot. I pay £280 a year for the annual maintenance plus telephone monitoring of my commercial-quality alarm and it cost me several thousand to install.

A noise-only alarm will mostly be ignored by your neighbours.

You should have metal locks with removable keys on your accessible windows, a British Standard deadlock on your front door, and a lock plus mortice rackbolts with the keys removed on your other doors. You should put the keys out of reach of doors and windows, for example, on cup-hooks out of sight.

Plastic doors and windows are not as strong as good wooden ones, so they are festooned with addition hooks and latches to try to compensate.

There are some reasons why Eurocylinder locks are easier to attack than 5-lever locks.

ClueLessFirstTime Thu 08-Nov-12 14:35:59

my math is not very good blush it's 300 per year for the monitoring but additional fees for equipment + set up and yearly testing.

PigletJohn Thu 08-Nov-12 15:00:39

sounds too expensive. I pay less than that and I bet mine is better than yours.

get some more quotes. Look at the siren boxes on local shops and houses to see which companies are active, and phone them. Round here it's mostly SECOM, CIA and Chubb.

I have an idea that BG and some other utility companies have an alarms service.

Buy it, don't rent it. If you get a Galaxy or other major make, it can be maintained by another company if yours puts its prices up. Say that you will insist on knowing the Maintenance code for your alarm (so that if necessary someone else can maintain it and you are not held to ransom by the installer).

Ask what British Standard (if any) it meets and ask your insurance co which BS (if any) they require. While you're at it, ask them to email their Minimum Security Requirements to you, which will specify locks and things.

Although you might get a small insurance discount for an alarm, it will probably say they don't cover you if you are burgled and it has not been set, so I would be inclined not to tell them, to avoid the chance of having a claim rejected.

ClueLessFirstTime Thu 08-Nov-12 15:15:19

wrt to insurance: we would get a discount which would be the same amount if we go for a system or better windows/doors. they need replacing anyway, so not sure if the extra investment in an alarm is worth it.

mycatlikestwiglets Thu 08-Nov-12 17:41:45

Unless you particularly want the fire monitoring, you can get an alarm with movement sensors which dials out to a list of phone numbers you set (so could be you, your DH, parents, best friend etc.). I have one, and it also allows me to listen in over the phone to find out whether I'm actually being burgled if the alarm goes off and to shout at burglars. Imo it's almost as good as it being professionally monitored (as good if you work nearby or have someone who can check on the house if it goes off) but there's no annual fee, just the initial installation cost and occasional servicing.

Mine was about £900 including 6 pet-sensitive movement sensors and front and back door sensors. Completely wireless apart from where the control panel is wired into the phone line and it was NACOSS approved.

Insurance discount unlikely to be worth it as you will have no cover if you forget to set the alarm when you go out or at night.

PigletJohn Thu 08-Nov-12 17:45:44

I'd get good doors and windows first. If you have several external doors, you can have all the locks suited to the same key, which reduces the number of keys you need to carry and makes them less likely to be left lying around. I have the personal door to my garage on the same key as the back doors.

You can get a DIY Yale wireless alarm for as little as £150 at the moment that will sound a siren and also phone up to three keyholders in the event of an alarm. It is not as good as a pro model but I think very good value and easy to fit.

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