How to choose the best burglar alarm for your house – Which? guide

How to choose the best burglar alarm for your house – Which? guide


– Your house is less likely to be burgled if you have a well-fitted and maintained alarm. But there are so many options to choose from. Here are our top things to consider before spending hundreds of pounds. Firstly, do you want a wired or wireless alarm? Wired models need cables running to each sensor, while wireless models connect via radio signals. Wireless models are more expensive and need batteries. But they are easier and cheaper to instal. You can even do it yourself. They are also lots easier to expand or relocate if you move. Our page on burglar alarm costs and installation explains what you should expect to pay. Next, you need to consider what happens when the alarm sensors are triggered. A bells-only alarm will make a lot of noise. But you won’t know unless a neighbour contacts you. There is no ongoing cost with these, and you can instal them yourself. But you’ll need to be sure a neighbour will act in an emergency. And along with the dialer, we’ll contact you or nominated keyholders if it’s triggered. There’s two main types– GSM, which use mobile signals. You’ll need a SIM that’s topped up, so it can make calls, and the mobile signal will need to be strong enough. Speech dialers use your landline, which means you will have a wire running from your alarm to your phone socket. A smart system connects to your smartphone or tablet, so you can monitor and control it. You can connect different devices, such as cameras or lights, that you can turn off and on, when you’re out. You can instal a smart system yourself, but you might not end up putting the components in the best places. They can also be expensive, and you’ll need a good phone signal. Our security expert tried out a number of smart home security systems. Find out if they’re worth considering. Monitoring contracts mean you or nominated keyholders will be notified if your alarm goes off. There are two types, and both will need to be professionally installed. With keyholder monitoring, a dedicated company will call you or your nominated holders, who will need to live close by to alert them when the alarm goes off. With police monitoring, if two sensors in your home are triggered, the dedicated company will contact the police. There’s no guarantee they’ll go out to your home, though, as they may have more urgent calls. You’ll also be struck off if you have three false alarms. These contracts are costly, and you’ll have to pay monthly or annually fee on top of the cost of the alarm and for installation and maintenance. Log in to access our burglar alarm brand ratings and all our expert advice. Ex-burglars also reveal the key things that deter them from breaking in. If you are not a member, take out a trial to get instant access to thousands of reviews.

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