How to protect your family and your home by choosing a domestic security system

family in a home with two adults and two children.

A home security system is one of the best investments you will ever make

If you have ever experienced a burglary you will know how devastating it can be. The sense of violation combined with the mess and damage is often greater than the financial loss incurred. The average burglar will take less than a minute to break into your home and on average 8 to 12 minutes to get out again.

Criminals are also becoming increasingly sophisticated. This means that a low-cost alarm purchased in your local Do-It-Yourself store may not be sufficient to protect you and your family from the trauma of a robbery. The alternative to Do-It-Yourself is to commission a security company to install a professional intruder and fire alarm system.

What are the advantages of a professional installation?

If a security system is badly installed it is not likely to work consistently, and often will fail completely. You need to look for professional installers who are able to work to the appropriate British Standards. You should also ask for the system to be tailored to the unique circumstances of your home.

It is not enough to have a system professionally installed, you will also need training on how it works, and on-going support if you have any questions in the future. You need to choose an installation company that is not likely to cause any damage to your home and has the necessary insurance in place. Remember it is YOUR security system – do not be afraid to ask questions and insist that it is tailored to your requirements (for instance pet sensors if you have cats or dogs).

There are basically two types of burglar alarm

Audible only

This sounds at your home only. Response depends on somebody contacting the police to report it. But do bear in mind that many police forces will not attend audible only alarms unless there is evidence to suggest a crime is being committed.


The alarm sounds at your home and a signal is sent to an alarm monitoring control room. The control room will contact the police and your nominated key holders. The control room will also filter out false alarms.


Home CCTV systems are very popular as they allow you to see and hear your visitors, monitor your property and act as a visible deterrent to burglars. 67% of convicted burglars said they would be put off breaking into a house that had CCTV fitted. Technology includes a rolling CCTV camera system with which you can monitor your home via the internet or phone.


Security lighting is available that will flood your driveway, your garden or the outside of your house with light whenever movement is detected. Timers and lighting adaptors can also give the illusion that someone is home by switching on and off lights, radios and TVs according to their settings.


Key holding ensures that mobile security teams will check out your property within 30 minutes of the alarm going off.

Fire alarms

House fires can start very easily and usually spread with alarming speed. Each year alone there are more than 68,000 fires in domestic properties, with 400 deaths and 13,800 injuries. At the same time as you have your intruder alarm fitted you should have smoke alarms professionally installed.


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