How to Effectively Use Your Intruder Alarm

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Get the best out of your security system to keep thieves at bay

It’s one thing installing an intruder alarm, but in order for it to do its job in protecting your property against break ins it pays to ensure you’re continuing to get the best out of it.

intruder alarms can easily be taken for granted; arming and disarming it may be the only time you even think about yours.

Some steps taken can ensure your alarm continues to do its job:

Activate it when you leave the property

While currently seven out of ten households don’t have an intruder alarm, of those that do many admit to not activating it every time they leave the house.

Some only activate theirs when away for a prolonged period such as a holiday, while others admit to not even properly knowing how it works (mainly those who have moved into a property with an intruder alarm already fitted).

Don’t think it’s only worth activating your alarm when you’re out in the evening – statistically most burglaries occur in the daytime – and around 28% even take place when someone is home.

Therefore it might be worth activating your alarm (only for certain unoccupied areas of the house obviously) when you’re in if, for example, you live in a larger house or may be sleeping during the day.

So if you do have an intruder alarm, ensure it’s activated when you leave the house.

Keep it serviced and maintained

It’s tempting to think of an intruder alarm as like many other appliances and gadgets we use in that they don’t need attention other than activation and de-activation.

While most top quality alarm systems installed by experts will give extended periods of reliable performance, it’s a good idea to have them checked and serviced as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. For example, perhaps one or two of the sensors the system relies on to detect movement have become damaged over time or maybe the alarm could do with a reset.

Perhaps the backup battery may be nearing the end of its life – it’s especially important to attend to this if, say, you’re about to go away for a few weeks.

Perhaps the code has become known by too many people over time so it could do with a new one. If you’re not sure or not confident how to set this up, then a local intruder alarm expert can help.

Ensure it’s still serving your needs

Over time an intruder alarm fitted some years ago may need a revision or even full replacement to continue protecting your property.

Perhaps an extension or another exterior entrance has been created since the alarm was initially installed? If so, are these covered by the alarm?

If your property has an integral garage, is this protected by the alarm system? Burglars could gain access easily if there’s a door in the garage giving access to the main house. Maybe you’ve converted the integral garage to a home office or extra bedroom; if so is it now covered by your alarm system?

Add supplementary security measures

While an intruder alarm in itself is a major deterrent to a potential thief, so is security lighting and CCTV.

To boost your home security set up, movement activated exterior lighting and CCTV will – especially with your alarm already in place – likely deter a good percentage of burglars from even trying to break in.

A high proportion of burglaries are ‘spur of the moment’ and prompted usually by the thief quickly noticing an obvious security vulnerability, so extra deterrents will certainly help.

If installing CCTV then signage clearly identifying its presence and a prominent camera on view will help encourage a potential intruder to move on.

Consider new alarm tech

Intruder alarm technology has moved on over the years – in particular the way in which they can be controlled and monitored remotely via smartphone, tablet or laptop.

As part of the ‘connected’ state we’re moving towards, such as householders being able to adjust and control their heating remotely and view CCTV footage from their home cameras when they’re many miles away, so too can modern intruder alarms be controlled remotely.

If this appeals and your system is showing signs of age, then maybe it’s time to renew it. Also, ‘pro’ burglars can quickly spot an outdated alarm system so don’t assume, just because you have one even if it’s elderly or isn’t working, it will be enough to deter all thieves.

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