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Do audible-only burglar alarms work?

We get a lot of people come to our website interested in buying a home security alarm system. Many of which tell us they are only interested in a basic audible only system, without monitoring.

Using a nifty bit of software, we decided to ask 1000 of our website visitors a very simple question.

What do you do when you hear a burglar alarm ringing in your neighbourhood?

Bearing in mind these people, like you, have confidence in home alarm systems, or they wouldn't be here on our website in the first place, the results were quite astonishing...

How effective are audible alarms
Tweet: Do #burglar #alarms work? The results are in http://ctt.ec/bo4I_+ via @forsaferliving

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If the results don't speak for themselves, you're overlooking the obvious.

Over 30% of neighbours would ignore it.
The majority, 42% would have a quick peek out the window. Would this really stop a burglar from burgling?

That’s 75% of audible alarm activations which would go virtually unnoticed. [TWEET THIS]

So - as much as it pains us to say it, audible only intruder alarms (the ones which make a racket and annoy you and your neighbours), simply do just that, and very little else in the way of security.

Sure, the presence of an alarm box on the outside of your house will indeed act as an initial deterrent, but what happens when the opportunist thief overlooks it?

Sadly, most probably – Nothing!

This is why many national alarm companies now sell their burglar alarms with a decoy bell box only, or no external siren at all. Their monitored systems don't actually sound a siren when an intrusion is detected; their monitoring station simply calls the key holders.

If you want a home security system which does not go ignored, you need to look a bit further than audible only.

And there are plenty of other options...

  1. GSM speech diallers have been around for years, tried and tested, cheap to install and maintain, but do rely on you and your chosen key holders to act when called.
  2. Monitored burglar alarms systems are monitored 24/7 by an independent Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). A more expensive solution but removes the reliance on you always being available, or not available as is inevitably the case. However, if the ARC is notified of alarm activation they then call you and your chosen key holders, so we're back to square one [see dialler limitation].
  3. Police monitored alarm systems, are perhaps surprisingly NOT monitored by the police. They are monitored by the same ARC mentioned above but may pass your property details through to the local county police force providing they can verify a genuine alarm activation. Even then, the 999 call will be handled by the police in priority against other incidents, so do not expect blue flashing lights to catch your burglar red handed as sadly this very rarely happens.

We're going to drop in a 4th option to think about:

4. Smart Alarms

Smart alarms notify you via push notifications sent over SMS or email to your smart phone and can optionally send you still images or a live video stream of what's going on inside your property. There's a whole host of other benefits to smart alarms such as being able to arm/disarm, receive events of when alarm is set/unset - and by whom, remotely on your phone.

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