All you need to know about getting a security alarm system installed including costs of materials, labour and time frames.
According to Police statistics, you are much less likely to become a victim of burglary if you have a professionally fitted and well-maintained security alarm system. So fitting a burglar alarm is definitely a worthwhile investment, but the range of security systems available can be bewildering. The best alarm system will, of course, depend on your home and your personal preferences and budget, but this article aims to simplify home security systems and give you the basic information required to decide on a type of security system, or at least approach a security professional with some confidence.
A professional alarm installation will usually begin with a full site survey to determine your requirements. Once the type and number of sensors are established, these need to be mounted and the wiring concealed. Then the final stage is to connect all the sensors and other devices to the main control panel. If you choose a monitored system, the system will also need to be connected to a phone line or your internet service.
If you are getting a hard-wired security system installed by a qualified electrician then there may be other jobs they could take care of for you at the same time. External lighting is an obvious related job which can work well with a burglar alarm installation. You could also consider adding automation to gates or garage doors to make life easier!
Wired alarms really need to be fitted by a professional because they need to be connected up with your home electrical system and also the wires have to be hidden, all of which increase the labour costs. But hard-wired alarm systems are robust and require less ongoing maintenance when compared to wireless systems. Wireless alarm systems need battery-powered sensors and communicate via radio signals. They are easier to install with no wiring so no electrician required, so they can be fitted by anyone with basic DIY skills. Wireless systems are also portable, so you can take them with you when you move house!
There are a number of main types of home security system and they tend to be grouped by the method of alerting you to intruders. For example, there are bells or siren only systems which make a loud noise and can scare off an intruder, but they won't contact the police or even the homeowner if not at home. These noise only systems are great for people with close neighbours, especially if in an active neighbourhood watch area. In addition, you can often install these alarms yourself and they are cheaper to buy and have installed than more complex systems.
Text alert alarm systems will automatically contact the owner or nominated persons when the alarm is activated (usually in addition to an audible alert). These are more expensive and need to be activated or connected to a phone line. Contract home security systems involve monthly or annual fees as they are monitored by staff in a receiving centre who can then contact the homeowner and/or the Police. The receiving centre will usually ring your home in the first instance and ask for password identification. If they do not get the correct password, they will take action. This kind of alarm has to be installed professionally as they must conform to certain industry standards.
If considering having an alarm system installed, it is recommended that you get at least three quotations from reputable installers which are current members of a recognised trade association for the security industry, such as SSAIB or NSI. Your insurance company may also be able to recommend particular companies and may even offer a discount on your home contents insurance. But when shopping around for quotes, note the cheapest quote is not always the best option. Be very wary of alarm companies that cold call and use high-pressure sales tactics. If alarm monitoring services are offered make sure they are recognised by the police. Check any installation contract carefully and ensure you are fully aware of the maintenance requirements and costs. British Standards requires that there is a handover period in which the alarm company ensures the homeowner is familiar with the system, so make sure that the company you choose offers training to show you how the system works!
The average material cost to have a security alarm system installed varies on the type of system you would like and what you would like it to cover. You have the option of having a simple alarm box with sensors indoors or a system that has entry point sensors, alarm monitoring to allow a security company or yourself via an app to be notified when the alarm is triggered and systems with connections to smoke alarms and cameras.
The average security speciailist will on average charge around £150-£200 per day for their labour depending on location. If you opt to install your security alarms yourself you will save the labour cost and you should expect to pay between £200 and £400 for the security alarm system.
Below are some estimated costs of having a security alarm system fitted:
|Job Description||Avg. Cost||Duration|
|Alarm system with several point of entry sensors and PIR's||£550||4-8 hours|
|Alarm system with app monitoring, 4 PIR's, point of entry sensors, panic button and siren.||£650||6-10 hours|
|Alarm system with 6 point of entry sensors, panic buttons, 4 PIR's and connectivity to security system or local police control room.||£800||1-2 days|
Individual costs to install a standard security alarm system - Total Cost: £650