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Burglar/intruder alarm

(18 Posts)
fiorentina Tue 09-Dec-14 14:06:07

We have been considering getting one of these for our house since moving in.

It's a 4 bed house with 3 reception rooms and we've so far had one quote but also looked at the DIY kits. Does anyone have any recommendations for companies or estimates of costs for a similar property. And to be blunt are they really worth it, do they put off intruders and what is essential vs nice to have?! Thanks for any advice.

MillyMollyMama Tue 09-Dec-14 16:01:16

We have had ours a long time so not up to date on costs. DIY ones are not connected to a monitoring centre down the phone line so they are pretty useless in my view. With the monitoring centre, they contact you if the alarm goes off or your nominated neighbour. We used to have one which notified the Police but not sure if this option is available now. You have to have a professionally fitted one maintained and this costs several hundred pounds a year. We also update the sensors because you do not want the alarm going off because a spider comes into view. We have not been burgled. We think a professionally alarmed house is too much trouble for the average burglar. Much easier to go to a non alarmed house.

Also make sure you have decent mortice locks, window locks and other security devices to make it as difficult as possible for burglars. Usually your contents insurance will be cheaper too. Also, get a safe. Put anything valuable in it when you go on holiday.

fiorentina Tue 09-Dec-14 16:18:20

Thank you. That's interesting.

We are pretty secure with window locks, door locks, locked high side gate etc.

We just want a deterrent from all the hassle of a break in, no valuable jewellery, antiques or money about etc but laptops and iPads are attractive I guess.

Greencheese Tue 09-Dec-14 20:31:16

If a burglar has the choice of the houses on a street he will of cause choose the ones that look less secure. I'm not saying those with burglar alarms don't get broken into but it does makes them less appealing.

I personally like having the alarm on at night so god forbid anyone got in I'd hear them before they got to my bedroom!

hmc Tue 09-Dec-14 20:41:13

The police will advise you that a burglar alarm is an effective deterrent and it is. I also have CCTV...

I used a local company so probably no point recommending them to you - just use checkatrade and get quotes and specifications from a few companies

BlueJuice Tue 09-Dec-14 21:11:53

After we were burgled the police recommended an alarm as one of the best deterrents (the others were a big dog grin and leaving lights on)

Our alarm was fitted by a local company for around £500 but you will probably need more sensors as our house only has one reception room.

Ours is connected to the phone line and if it is activated we all receive a warning text. The maintenance fee is only £65 per year (so far this has only involved checking and replacing batteries but is essential for insurance).

Well worth every penny for peace of mind imho.

PigletJohn Tue 09-Dec-14 21:54:35

the ones that phone or text out to keyholders or a monitoring station are certainly worthwhile. Even some of the DIY models have that. It is a good idea to have at least one trusted keyholder who is local and can get round. It will most often be a false alarm.

You won't be able to have police response unless you buy quite an expensive professional alarm and have it regularly maintained (I think twice a year) and also pay a fee for monitoring. Police will suspend response if you have too many false alarms. I have that, and the fee costs me more every year than I paid for a DIY kit with dial-out that I fitted for an aged relation.

However, you do need to have the control box hidden away securely, away from probable points of entry, with a concealed telephone cable, to prevent anyone breaking in and immediately smashing it. You can still have a remote keypad close to your main entry door (but out of sight of casual callers).

Some people say it is worth having an additional siren concealed and out of reach inside the house, e.g. screwed to the landing ceiling. It will be so loud that it will distress and confuse an intruder. Also it will wake you even if you are a heavy sleeper. Some can be connected to smoke detectors.

fiorentina Tue 09-Dec-14 22:48:59

Thanks, we have one local quote and will get another to compare.

MillyMollyMama Wed 10-Dec-14 00:51:47

We have our keypad in a cupboard but it is not particularly close to the front door. The alarm would go off before an intruder found the keypad. You have 30 seconds to set the alarm and get out of the house, or back in. You don't need the keypad that close to the door as a result. A professional company will go through the options. Alarms can go off on their own accord. Because we live near a rather important high security estate, we had an armed Police response one night when we were on holiday! Our neighbours were totally freaked out by it!

TheFirstSolo Wed 10-Dec-14 00:59:00

I once asked a 'professional' house breaker what would put him off burgling a house and he told me that the only thing that puts a burglar off is the sight of an ADT alarm box.

PigletJohn Wed 10-Dec-14 10:21:26

ADT is a national company that has a range of qualities. There are also regional and local companies, round here, there is one that does shops, dockyards and warehouses as well as homes, which I use. You will also see Chubb and SECOM and other names from utility and telecom companies. The brands you see on businesses will probably be quite good.

The unmarked white boxes from DIY shed kits are looked down on by installers.

TeddyBee Wed 10-Dec-14 12:50:06

Yale do a wireless DIY kit which will call you if the alarm is set off for about £160 from Screwfix. We fitted it in half an hour. Only difficult bit was drilling the holes for the alarm box, everything else was easy peasy. Our alarm box is in a cupboard by the telephone line, so it can call out. It's brilliant.

thesaurusgirl Wed 10-Dec-14 13:16:10

I live in London where every other person has a Banham alarm and locks. Their higher prices are worth the piece of mind, IMO, as they were very efficient and professional installing. I've yet to have a false alarm whereas one of my neighbours has hers go off every. single. day.

Two things I've not had before but which are great: a keyfob that switches the alarm on and off remotely handy when you come in late at night pissed as a fart and can't remember the code and a panic button (rigged up to the police via Banham). I have mine in the hallway and in the skirting board next to my bed.

Blanketontheground Wed 10-Dec-14 13:20:18

Is it true that most break ins now are for car keys?

dinkystinky Wed 10-Dec-14 13:30:30

We have a monitored system from SLC Alarms which we've had for 6 years as we back on to a cemetery and I was abit worried about security - we were broken into for the first time this year (when the neighbours on both sides were away - as I expected they came over form the cemetery). The monitoring center called us (we were on holiday) and sent the police round - the burglars were probably in the house for only a couple of minutes max and only grabbed what they could immediately grab (computer, jewellery box, some cash) and scarpered before the police arrived. As we knew immediately my DH came home, secured the property, called the police and got prints and ensured they couldn't get back in. It could have been so so much worse. So I think it was worth the money as it stopped them going through the house at leisure, nicking car keys/expensive jewellery. Though the police said the absolute best thing to prevent burglars is a very noisy dog...

PigletJohn Wed 10-Dec-14 14:40:04

I fitted the Yale alarm Teddy mentions for my old mum, it took a couple of hours and I was very pleased with it. It will phone three numbers (her friend who has a key, my mobile, and my home). I think it is a terrific buy for the price and ease of installation. I set it to bleep ding-dong when anyone opens the front or back door, which is very handy if you have small children or a garden people might get into during the day.

It is handy for a rented home, being wireless, you can remove all the parts when you leave.

There is a cheaper version, at about £100, that does not have the dial-out or night-time part-set facilities, so is nowhere near as good.

TeddyBee Wed 10-Dec-14 15:15:19

We were completely lazy and used the stick on pads for the door sensors. We didn't use the PIRs as our cats are menaces and would almost certainly set them off! Thanks to the escapee toddlers, I have the back door locked and a bolt on the front door at all times.

fiorentina Thu 11-Dec-14 19:16:37

Ok thank you for all the helpful advice. Much appreciated.

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