Which Home Alarm System is Best?

Listed Under: News and Advice

There are several different types of home alarm system, and the best one for your home will depend on your specific requirements and circumstances. We take a look at the various systems on offer. 

According to the Metropolitan Police, you’re far less likely to be a victim of burglary if you have a well-fitted and maintained home alarm system installed. Alarms can act either to deter criminals in the first place, scare them into fleeing the home or alert nominated contacts or the authorities.

Available in ‘bells-only’, wireless and wired varieties with the option of being monitored or unmonitored, it can be hard to know where to start, so it’s worth fully understanding which home alarm system best suits your needs. 

‘Bells-Only’ Systems

A ‘bells-only’ alarm system is the most common type of home burglar alarm. When activated, a loud siren will sound inside and outside the house for no more than 20 minutes (this is limited due to noise pollution laws).

A loud noise can be effective at deterring intruders – but the extent of the system stops with the noise. There’s no guarantee any action will be taken, as you’ll have to rely on your neighbours to call the police if the alarm sounds. If you live in an area with an effective Neighbourhood Watch this might not be a problem, but if you’re in a rural area with no close neighbours, a monitored system is probably better for you. 

Monitored Alarm Systems 

If you require further security than a ‘bells-only’ system, monitored burglar alarms can give you that extra peace of mind. You’ll pay an annual or monthly fee to have a monitored alarm; both wireless and wired systems may be monitored.

Your alarm will be connected to an alarm receiving centre (ARC). IF it’s triggered, this call centre will ring your home and ask for a password. If no password is given or the call is unanswered, the ARC informs either the police or the designated keyholders (who’s contacted will depend on the type of contract you have).

If you opt for nominated keyholders to be contacted, they must live within 20 minutes of your house, have a car and have access to the house, and you must keep the alarm company up to date with their information.  

For a system to be monitored by the police, the alarm company must be registered with the police and the alarm must be professionally installed. The ARC will receive the alert and contact the police, but to avoid false alarms this will only take place if at least two indicators have been set off.                                       

Wireless Alarm Systems 

Wireless home alarm systems have several advantages. Firstly, they’re easier and less disruptive to install than wired systems – there’s no need to pull up floorboards or drill holes in the wall to fit wiring.

Although they can cost more in the first place, the labour and installation costs will be much lower – it’s even possible to install a wireless system yourself.  Additionally, if you move house, or simply do some redecorating, a wireless system can be removed and replaced easily.

They do have the slight downside of requiring battery changes every few years.

Wired Alarm Systems

These types of systems will require extensive wiring work, so must be installed by a professional.

Despite the higher installation costs, wired systems are generally regarded as more reliable, and as no replacement battery is required, they have a lower running cost.

A wired system isn’t easily removed or extended. For example, if you have an extension built, or want to extend coverage to a garage or summerhouse, this will require extensive wiring work.

Many people ignore the sound of burglar alarms, so they’re potentially a better bet for lower-risk houses. Police only attend if there’s further proof of an offence, such as a witness phoning in.


Hopefully this has helped you identify which home alarm system is best for your needs. We install the VisionMax Complete wireless security system, which is great for residential properties.


Contact us today for further information regarding home alarm systems.