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How Do Burglar Alarms Work? Understanding Alarms

March 23rd, 2023

Last updated: June 9th, 2023

The basics of how a burglar alarm works may seem obvious. An attempt to break in or steal from your property is detected, and an alarm sounds, alerting security staff or even the authorities. So why are we asking “how do burglar alarms work?”

Well, in the modern age there are actually a lot of different ways that they can work. When you are looking to have a security system such as a burglar alarm installed, you have a few different options. In this guide, we’re explaining how burglar alarms work and some of the choices you have.

What is a Burglar Alarm and How Does it Work?

A burglar alarm is a security system that is designed to detect unauthorised entry into a building or property and alert the owner or a monitoring service. In the UK, burglar alarms are commonly used in commercial properties to deter burglars and protect valuable assets. You may have valuable servers, computers, or stock on site that you want to protect.

The basic components of a burglar alarm system include sensors, a control panel, and an alarm. The sensors are placed at strategic locations throughout the property, such as on doors and windows, and are designed to detect movement or a breach of the entry point. The control panel is the central processing unit of the system and receives signals from the sensors. If a sensor detects a breach, it sends a signal to the control panel, which then activates the alarm. Your system can be a part of your building’s overall management system.

Motion sensors may also cover a large area, sending a signal when any sort of movement takes place. This leads to a lot of false alarms and they can be triggered by things like pests, but if you require high security it is another option.

A break-glass system is also a way to track when people are trying to enter the building, triggering the alarm when a door or window is broken into.

The alarm is the audible component of the system and is designed to alert the occupants of the property or the monitoring service of a potential break-in. The alarm can take the form of a loud siren or a flashing light, or a combination of both. Some alarms are silent and will alert authorities without causing a scene, some always make a noise in a similar way to how fire alarms work.

Wired or Wireless Burglar Alarms

Burglar alarm systems can be either wired or wireless. Wired systems are hardwired into the property’s electrical system and require professional installation, while wireless systems transmit signals between the sensors and the control panel.

Wireless systems can be installed in locations where wired systems are not appropriate, or would require significant structural work. Wired systems tend to have more reliable operation when sending signals, so there are pros and cons to each way of doing things.

Monitored or Unmonitored Burglar Alarms

In the UK, burglar alarms can be monitored or unmonitored. Monitored systems are connected to a monitoring service that is notified when the alarm is triggered, and the service can contact the property owner or emergency services. This can be a good option if, for instance, there is nobody on site for long periods of time.

Unmonitored systems simply sound the alarm when triggered, and it is up to the occupants of the property or neighbours to respond. If you have a security guard who can respond then this is potentially a good solution. If it would take time for somebody to reach your business, or if you are in a secluded place that means the system wouldn’t be heard, the burglar may be able to get away with valuables.

Benefits of a Burglar Alarm

So, with all this in mind, do you need to install a burglar alarm? They are an added cost, but they have their fair share of benefits:

  1. Deter burglars: The presence of a burglar alarm is often enough to deter burglars from attempting to break into a property. They are more likely to target properties without security systems.
  2. Provide peace of mind: Knowing that a property is protected by a burglar alarm can give property owners peace of mind, especially when they are away from home.
  3. Alert occupants and authorities: In the event of a break-in, a burglar alarm can sound a loud siren and alert the occupants of the property, neighbours, and even the authorities if the system is monitored.
  4. Reduce property damage: A burglar alarm can minimise property damage by alerting the authorities quickly and preventing burglars from spending too much time inside the property.
  5. Can lower insurance premiums: Some insurance companies offer discounts on premiums for properties that have burglar alarms installed. This can result in significant cost savings over time.
  6. Provides evidence: In the event of a break-in, a burglar alarm can provide valuable evidence to authorities, such as the time of the break-in, the entry point, and whether or not the system was tampered with. It is more likely you will be able to catch the culprit.

Talk to us Robinsons Facilities Services about commercial alarm system maintenance and see how we can help you keep your property safe. We offer an emergency repairs service and 24/7 call outs in case you should need help at short notice.

Working across Yorkshire, we cover North YorkshireWest YorkshireEast Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs. Contact us today for all plannedreactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.

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