Types of Burglar Alarms Explained

Did you know that you could get a discount on your Home Insurance by installing a recognised alarm system? Types of burglar alarms explained at Top Insure.
Burglar Alarms to Protect Your Home
Sean Mullins

Sean Mullins

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What Types of Burglar Alarms are There?

When it comes to protecting your home, there is perhaps no better way to do so than with a burglar alarm system. A highly effective deterrent, it can prevent intruders from entering your home altogether or encourage them to flee from the scene, but surprisingly, 46% of Irish households do not have any kind of alarm system in place.

In this guide, we’ll cover the different types of burglar alarms available, tell you everything you need to know about securing your home with a recognised alarm system, and show you how to save money on your home insurance premiums with the right home alarm.

Burglary Statistics Ireland

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), burglary related offences in Ireland increased by 3.3 percent between 2016 and 2017, with over 19,000 cases reported. In the first quarter of 2018, that figure rose again by 1.2 percent, indicating the burglary is on the increase across the country.

In a report carried out by HomeSecure, an Irish security company, it was revealed that 1 in 4 adults in Ireland have been the victim of a break-in, that 79% of intruders gain entrance through a back door or window, and that the average amount stolen by intruders is €600.00.

These figures are worrying for homeowners, particularly those living in high crime areas, and with home insurance premiums on the increase, it is essential that homeowners protect their investment with quality door and window locks and a recognised burglar alarm system.

Types of Intruder Alarms Explained

Burglar alarms offer varying levels of security, but they generally fall into two main categories, wired or wireless, and two main sub-categories, audible (sound only) or monitored.

While both types of alarm can be effective at deterring intruders, it is essential that your house alarm complies with European Standard EN 50131 and that it is installed by a company licensed by the Private Security Authority (PSA) – Irelands licensing and regulating body for the private security industry.

Wired Burglar Alarms

As the name would suggest, a wired burglar alarm, sometimes referred to as a hard wired alarm, is wired throughout the home and connected to the mains.

  • If your home is already wired for an alarm, this could be your cheapest option
  • Can be cheaper to operate that a wireless alarm system
  • No battery replacement costs
  • Very reliable
  • Equipped with a tamper circuit to highlight any accidental damage to wires
  • Pet friendly options available

Wireless Burglar Alarms

Wireless burglar alarms are battery operated and transmit signals using radio frequency.

  • Quick and easy to install
  • Generally cheaper than wired systems
  • Pet friendly options available
  • Portable – can be taken with you when you move house
  • Remotely accessible
  • Easily modified/upgraded

Audible (Sound Only) Burglar Alarms

Audible intruder alarms are equipped with a siren or bell that sounds when the alarm is activated. While a good deterrent, this type of alarm only draws attention to the building and it is not monitored by a security company. It is therefore more suited to low risk homes.

Under European law, external audible burglar alarms can only sound for a maximum of 15 minutes, anything longer than that can be reported for noise pollution.

Remotely Monitored Burglar Alarms

If you live in a major city or high crime area, a remotely monitored intruder alarm will provide a higher level of protection. When activated, this alarm not only sounds a siren or bell, but it also sends an alert to an external security company, who will contact you or your keyholder to inform that your house alarm has been activated. They will then ask you if everything is okay, and in most cases will ask you for a password to reset the alarm.

If you do not answer their call, or you are unable to give them the password, the Gardaí will be alerted.

Burglar Alarms & Home Insurance

In Ireland, many home insurance providers offer discounts to homeowners who install a recognised home alarm systems such as PhoneWatch, HomeSecure and Securigard, and so it is worth while shopping around and discussing quotes with your insurance broker before committing to a specific alarm system.

Burglar alarms may appear costly, but the long term benefits can make it worthwhile. Not only could you save on your annual home insurance premiums, but you will also have peace of mind knowing that your property is protected when you are not at home, and your family are protected when you are.