Home Security Alarm Systems


Home security alarm systems can be used to strengthen physical home security measures. They can be used as a deterrent and a means of summoning help if somebody breaks into your property.

When investing in an intruder alarm it is advisable to have it professionally installed. Do not consider cold callers or telesales inquiries and avoid when it comes to choosing your alarm company. If you have serious doubts about the legality or sales techniques contact the Police or Trading Standards for advice.

There are two main types of alarm systems to consider for your home:

Audible only

  • When the alarm is activated it operates an internal and/or external siren to call attention to the property.
  • These systems can be DIY or professionally installed

Remotely Monitored System

  • When the alarm is activated it sends a signal to a central monitoring station who in turn will automatically call a key holder of your choice, and if you require it, the Police

If you choose a police response alarm it must be installed and maintained by a company that conforms to the ACPO security systems policy, and whose business is subject to inspection by a UKAS accredited body.

Currently only two such organisations are accepted by the Police. These organisations will give you details of member companies who operate in your local area.

The National Security Inspectorate (NSI)

The Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB)

Choosing your alarm:

  • Check the address and credentials of the company and proof of identity from their representative
  • Obtain written quotes from at least two companies
  • Ask if they can supply you with a list of police rules for monitored alarmed premises
  • Request a written confirmation that they are registered with the Police force in your area
  • The company needs to operate a 24-hour call-out service and emergency attendance within four hours
  • Obtain written quotes from at least two companies
  • If the installation of a security system is an insurance requirement, check that the security company is acceptable to your insurer

Operating your home security alarm system:

  • Make sure the installer explains the operation of your system
  • Read the instructions and ensure you, and those who use the system are familiar with the alarm
  • Arrange for a responsible person to hold keys to your home and be able to operate the alarm
  • Where audible-only systems are installed, neighbours should be aware and agree to report any activation that appears to be accompanied by criminal or suspicious activity
  • False alarms should be investigated and the cause corrected or the system modified
  • External sirens and bells should not operate for more than 20 minutes. Excessive noise and frequent false alarms can irritate neighbours and lead to complaints