Which Alarm?

How to choose the right burglar alarm , which alarm
How to choose the right burglar alarm

I have been helping customers over the past years on how to choose the alarms to best suit their needs and perfectly fit their pocket. There are a wide variety of burglar alarm brands available in the market. First let us decide on wired or wireless alarms.

Pros and Cons of wired and wireless alarms

Pros & Cons

Wired Alarms Wireless Alarms Conclusion
Cost Intruder Alarm control panel and associated devices are cheaper but there is additional cost involved in labour as it takes double the time to fit an alike wireless alarm All devices in a wireless burglar alarm system is more expensive than wired one but are easy to install. So labour cost can be waved off No much difference.
Maintenance The back up battery in the control panel and siren needs to be changed and tested every 3-4 years There is a bit of saving in this regard as wireless alarms has to be serviced every 2 years Can save a bit on wired in this regard
Decor There can be a sight of trunking or cables around the corners if cables are not run internally. But, the sleek design of the siren and control panel are really mind blowing if your choose Risco LightSys wired alarm. Perfect finish and no harm to the décor of your house Here, the winner is wireless home security system.
Performance Meets British Standards Meets British Standards Equal weightage
False Alarms Equally reliable, but can trigger false alarm due to power failure if the alarm isn’t maintained regularly. Wireless Alarm that function on 868MHz frequency are less prone to false alarms. Read our blog on how to stop false alarms


Both are Reliable
Security Wired Alarms gives tamper alerts if a wire is cut even accidently. An installer has to come and fix this before the system is ready for use again. Professionally installed British Standard Alarms cannot be jammed by external means Wired & Wireles Alarms are secure
Future Expansion Involves more labour if planning for an extension in future. Easy to add additional sensors to the existing home alarm system in future Wireless saves a bit of money here.

So now we have decided on wired and wireless alarm, let us move on to security alarm features. More feature, more money. The price range in the table below includes the product cost and professional installation fee.

Feature Supports Price Brands
Bell Only – Alert an incident by sounding the siren Wired & Wireless £ Yale


Bell + Telephone Alert – Alerts the designated person and few other numbers through pre-recorded messages at the time of an event through phone call from your landline. Wired & Wireless ££ Yale



Bell + Mobile Alert –   Alerts the designated person and few other numbers through pre-recorded messages at the time of an event through phone call from a SIM installed in the system control panel. Wired & Wireless ££ Yale



Bell + Call Alert + Messages/Push notifications on your phone Wired & Wireless ££ Yale



Bell + Call Alert + Messages + Smart phone App to control your security system remotely Wired( Risco LightSys )   & Wireless £££ Yale




Bell + Call Alert + Messages + Smart phone App + Camera Sensors to identify what triggered the alarm or even get a picture of the what happened at the time of alarm Wireless £££ Yale




Here Yale is a diy option and doesn’t meet British Standards while all other systems need to be professionally installed by a trained engineer.  Don’t worry if you are not a diy expert, we can install them for you.

Terms to know before you buy a Burglar Alarm

A burglar alarm is an electronic device that emits a loud noise and alerts the owner and designated friends or family members by phone when someone attempts to make unauthorized entry to a building or other premises. I should say it puts burglars off from entering in the first place, or cause them to flee the crime scene when the alarm is triggered.

There are several brands of alarm kits available in the market but all of them have got the basic sensors (PIR) and a main control panel (heart of an alarm system) to invisibly secure your home. The sensors fitted at the corners of your room and on the doors can detect any unexpected motion. They then signal the control panel about their finding. The control panel then takes predefined action as programmed. A SIM card is installed in the control panel or it is be directly connected to your telephone line to initiate the alert to designated numbers. Also, it triggers the external and internal siren to flee away the burglar. There are modern systems with camera sensors, which can send you the pictures of the crime scene. These camera sensors also help you to confirm that it was not a false alarm in case it occurs. (Read our tips to avoid false alarms here). These high-end burglar alarms are no longer an exception to the smart phone Apps. You can arm and disarm your security system from your smart phone.

Here are some of the technical terms you come across while choosing a burglar alarm.

IP Module (Internet Protocol Module)

The IP Module is an easy to add plug-in module that enables the system to communicate over a TCP/IP network. It can be used as the primary communication or as a back up to a GSM or PSTN communication in case of communication failure. The IP module enables sending email alerts and system status information and also enables remote programming of the control panel by alarm engineers.

GSM Module (Global System for Mobile Communications)

The GSM module is an easy to add plug-in module that enables the system to communicate over the mobile networks for reporting, controlling and programming. It can be used as the primary communication or as a back up for the IP or PSTN communications in case of communication failure. In addition, users can enjoy peace of mind by receiving real time SMS, voice messages and email alerts. The GSM module also supports two-way voice communication, which is beneficial for elderly care, allowing two-way communication with users in times of emergency.

PSTN Module (Public Switched Telephone Network Module)

The PSTN modem is an easy to add plug in modem that enables the system to connect over telephone in places where required and is particularly useful for low budget installations. The plug in PSTN Modem can be used as the primary communication or as a back up to the Cloud connection or GSM or IP communication in case of communication failure.

The type of alarm you choose will depend on the level of security you’re after and how much you’re willing to pay for it.


Do You Really Need a Home Security System?

Here are some of the facts you should consider before choosing a Home Security System. Both homeowners and renters need to consider these statistics when it comes to protecting their families, roommates, and possessions. One potential deterrent to home burglaries is a home security system, which, according to statistics, does have an effect on whether or not a burglary will be successful.

Protect Your Home From Burglars

Prevent Crime by Installing Home Security System

In the United Kingdom, there is a home burglary that takes place every 40 seconds, 6 burglaries 4 minutes, 90 an hour and nearly 2160 a day! Many of you think that you are safe and that a burglary will never happen to your home, but with the number of burglaries so high, chances are that at some point in time everyone is likely to have their home or vehicle broken into. As part of my profession I have come across many devastated Burglary victims and they are all in the same state of mind – Never Ever want to even think about the nightmare anymore! The best way to deter burglars from entering your home is by installing a home security system. The mere presence of an alarm system and a CCTV camera is enough in most cases to protect the home and its occupants from break-in.

Not Just Burglar’s But Fire And Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Integrate CO and Fire Alarms with Home Security System

A home security system is a way to protect your home from fire and odourless Carbon monoxide as well. Since human senses cannot detect carbon monoxide in the air, people are often blind-sided by carbon monoxide poisoning that can build up over time. Severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to death. A home security system can be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector as well. These alarm systems will detect high amounts of carbon monoxide in the home and alert the home owners, so that they can get out of the home right away and seek medical treatment for the possible side effects of this poisoning before it’s too late.

View your home and Premises on Your Phone

Smart Phone App CCTV Camera

Modern Security Systems gives you the privilege to remotely monitor your home and premises with Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras. This can provide a feeling of peace, as you will be able to check on your home wherever you may be in the world. Network video recorders and IP cameras can provide all of the information that is necessary about the happenings in and around your home.

Do you shop online?

You should include a video doorbell in your security system alongside the smart lock. Packages left on your doorstep or porch are a tempting target for theft. Video Door Entry Systems lets you have them safely delivered into your home whether you’re there or not. When the delivery person rings your video doorbell, you’ll be able to see and talk to them on your phone. Once you verify their identity, unlock your door (all from the same screen) and ask them to leave the package inside. When they’re done, secure the lock again.

Home Automation Possibilities

In addition to the interactive services offered by home security system companies, there are now even more home automation services being offered as well. These systems include light controls, door locks, thermostats, etc. all of which can be put on your schedule providing an additional level of security.

Take the time to do some research and then choose the home security system that best meets your needs. Any type of security system for your home should be seen as an investment and is worth the money spent.

8 Simple Measures to Prevent False Security Alarm

When your self-monitored security alarm calls you in the middle of a night, you feel terrified with the thought that an intruder has entered your premises. However, when this happens with no particular reason the loud noise of the burglar alarm can annoy your neighbours and frighten your household pets. Above all, reoccurring false alarms make you hesitant to use your home security system and that’s just what any burglar wants. As a burglar alarm installer, Smartech Security knows how important it is to prevent false alarms.

  1. Shut all Windows and Doors before you arm the security system.
    No False Alarm
    Secure Doors and Windows

    Most systems have at least some contacts on windows and doors. When the system is armed and a door or window is opened, this triggers an alarm. However, when this sounds off without anyone opening any of these, contacts are either loose or faulty. So, ring your security system service provider to check these.

  2. Use Pet friendly sensors or Keep pet in their place
    Pet Friendly Alarms
    Install Pet Friendly Sensors

    Pets often wander throughout your home during the day. When they do, they can set off motion detectors that activate your home alarm system. Replace traditional sensors with “pet friendly” or “pet immune” sensors to reduce false alarms. These motion sensors are designed to ignore the presence of pets up to a certain weight.

  3. KNOW Your Passcode or PIN
    Remember Burglar Alarm PIN number
    Remember Your Security System Password

    To prevent false alarms, create an alarm code that every member of the family can remember. If you change the code, inform everyone who knows the code. Don’t forget that the babysitter, house cleaner and dog walker also need to be trained on how to operate your home security system.

  4. Watch for Stray objects like party Balloons near motion sensors
    prevent false burglar alarm
    Tie stray items to prevent false alarm

    When your home’s heat or air conditioning turns on, it could blow curtains or plant leaves into the area protected by a sensor. Helium balloons have a bad rap for activating motion sensors. So keep them tied down in an area that isn’t protected by the motion sensor of your Burglar alarm.

  5. Sensors should be kept clean
    Clean Alarm sensors
    Clean your Security System sensors

    Sensors should be kept clean, as dirt not only impairs detection ability but also encourages spiders and other insects to reside in, on or around them. This can trigger false alarms. So keep an eye on your motion sensors and make sure they are kept neat and tidy.

  6. Alarm systems are not maintenance free and should be serviced periodically.
    Risco Visonic Pyronix Yale Service
    Book Alarm servicing

    Your alarm system runs on a system battery. This battery should be replaced every two to three years, maybe even sooner if frequent power outages have occurred. A weak battery can cause the alarm to malfunction during bad weather. Your alarm system always warns you when the system batteries become weak. Call your security system provider immediately to book your Burglar Alarm maintenance appointment.

  7. Alert your guests
    guest know about the Security System
    Let your guest know about the Security System

    To minimize the chance of a false alarm, let visitors know your home security system is armed. If your guest is staying with you for a while, be sure he or she feels comfortable with how to arm and disarm your home security system.

  8. Report faulty equipment.

If you think a false alarm is caused by a malfunction of your home security system, contact home security system provider immediately. A representative from your home security company will be glad to check the status of your alarm system.

The most fundamental way to prevent false alarms is to use your home security system on a regular basis. When your family uses the security system consistently, they get comfortable with how it works, and that means there is less likelihood of a false alarm. So opt for the right security system that best suits your needs and ensure that it is properly maintained.


Choosing from Monitored Unmonitored or Self-monitored Burglar Alarms

Why not go for an unmonitored security system that fits your budget? Or maybe it is worth getting a professionally installed self-monitored alarm to fit your pocket as well as protect your home and loved ones. Or do you really want to pay the monitoring invisible security guard?

Unmonitored Alarms

Let me begin with the simplest unmonitored burglar alarms. They are easy to install and low cost but good enough to scare intruders with their loud siren.  Moreover, the flashing siren box should give burglars a second thought on whether to choose your house or your neighbour’s. A survey held by metropolitan police among ex-burglars reveals that they prefer buildings with no security system installed. However, if you are not at home you would not be able to hear the siren if someone broke into your house.  So make sure you throw a garden party for your neighbours this summer as they would be the ones to respond.

Unmonitored Burglar Alarms
Alarms Siren goes off at the time of intrusion

Self-monitored Alarms

Self-monitored burglar alarms are as the name suggest are self monitored. They ring you or the people whom you have programmed to be notified when the alarm goes.They can be activated over mobile apps, so don’t worry if you forget to arm the system on a busy Monday morning.These sophisticated security systems can partition your house into various zones and activate the alarm in each zone individually. This helps especially during night time when you can activate just the downstairs zone and move freely upstairs. Moreover, some of them come with cameras in the motion sensors so you can have a live view of your premises while you are away. Most of these self-monitored alarms comes with pet friendly sensors which allow your cats and dogs to roam about without triggering false alarms.

Smart Alarms call you in case of emergency
Alarm controlled from mobile App

Monitored Alarms

Monitored alarms are security systems that contact a monitoring company (a third party) by telephone, if the security system senses an intrusion and is not deactivated within 45 seconds. The monitoring company receives the message, determines the nature of the alarm and verifies it, usually by calling you at your home or business. If they do not receive the proper password, or no one answers, they call the police who respond as quickly as possible.Shops or business premises prefer these types of alarms.

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