Having your home broken into is something we all dread. On top of the loss of and damage to your property that burglary usually involves, there is a significant psychological trauma to the experience as well. In our own homes, we are meant to feel safe and secure. Someone breaking into our safe place is as much an emotional as a physical violation.

And yet it seems that, in the UK, many of us are strangely complacent about home security. Yes we lock our doors and windows, but those things have never stopped a determined burglar. What we don’t do is fit our homes with alarm systems. According to one survey, three quarters of UK homes lack this essential security precaution.

According to official police figures, more than 400,000 burglaries are committed in England and Wales every year. If that wasn’t disturbing enough, more than half of those offences (58%) take place while the occupants are at home. That scotches one of the main excuses often put forward for not having an alarm system – burglars only target empty properties, and no one responds to the alarm in time anyway.

Put simply, intruder alarms are the best protection and deterrent you have to guard against the trauma of burglary. When you dig into the matter, there are at least three reasons why alarm systems should be considered essential for every home.

Deter would-be intruders

It may be a myth that burglars only target homes they know to be empty, but it is absolutely the case that an alarm system will put them off. Many will not bother with a property when they see an alarm box and the tell-tale flashing light on the outside – why take the risk, when there are so many other homes out there that are not protected by an alarm?

Increase the chances of foiling an attempted burglary

The idea that people do not respond to alarms even when they’re triggered should be discounted. For one, if you happen to be home and asleep upstairs when an intruder attempts to break in, an alarm will definitely alert you to what is happening, giving you the chance to intervene or call the police. Second, many burglars will flee as soon as they hear an alarm go off, preferring not to take any chances. And third, even if you are not home when someone tries to burgle you, having no alarm means there is only a very slim chance of the criminal being disturbed – and then only by pure luck. If an alarm is triggered, there is a chance that a neighbour or passer-by will investigate, giving you some chance of preventing theft and further damage.

Give yourself some peace of mind

Imagine how devastated you would feel if you woke up to find you had been burgled – knowing that you had slept through the whole incident, and knowing that an alarm would have woken you up. With an intruder alarm, much of the value is not just in deterring or preventing crime, it is giving yourself that peace of mind that, if anyone tries to break in, you have that extra level of security in place. With modern digital alarm systems, you can also link them to your smartphone via an app and control and monitor them wirelessly. That way, if you are ever out and realise you have not turned the alarm on, no problem – you can do so remotely. And even better, should anyone try to break in when you are out, you can rest assured that you will get an instant alert to your phone, and can notify the police straightaway.

Colne Valley Security is a home security specialist based in Chelmsford, supplying and installing CCTV, intercoms access control and alarm systems across Essex and beyond.