Which security option is right for me?

According to Which? magazine the number 1 way to protect your home is with a burglar alarm so we’ve compiled a handy guide to make sure your alarm is giving you the level of protection you need in order to keep your home (and vehicles) safe.

Broadly speaking there are 4 levels of security system: Monitored Security Systems, Smart home intruder alarms, Dialler burglar alarms and Bells only.  As a last option you could fit a replica box, but these are only effective as a deterrent and offer nothing in terms of intruder detection.

Monitored systems

Security Level: High
Responder: Professional or emergency services

Monitored systems the strongest protection from intruders, tampering and attack. Monitored security systems can including burglar alarms, CCTV and access control features connected to a secure infrastructure which is monitored 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.  Not only does a monitored service deliver a solid security solution it can identify false alarms, prevent unnecessary call outs to the emergency services and identify signs of tampering (e.g. loss of signal).  If you decided to include CCTV and access control as part of your system this allows your security company to assess the danger, take preventative action and even prevent access should the worst happen. Once an alarm has been detected trained agents are on hand to assist with any action you may need to take or contact the relevant emergency services on your behalf. It is this type of comprehensive security system that MKC specialise in.

Smart home Security Systems

Security Level: Medium
Responder: Home owner/Keyholders

The best Smart Home Security products provides sound deterrent and detection but removes the safety provided by an external agency with the responsibility for support, maintenance and security taken by the home owner.  The system connects several sensors to a tablet or mobile device via the internet and alerts can be sent directly to you or selected nominated key holders by text, eMail, message or automated call.  Whilst a step up from ‘bells only’ and ‘dialler alarms’ Smart home security solutions suffer from the same risks as any home-based solution – online access, software updates and hardware maintenance.  These can be mitigated by using strong passwords, regularly updating the software/firmware and consistent inspection of the hardware to spot signs of damage or tampering.  Whilst effective these security systems will always be vulnerable to hijacking or can even be switched off during an attack and then turned on again once the damage has been done (yes, we’ve seen this happen).

Dialler Burglar Alarms

Security Level: Low
Responder: Home owner/Keyholders

Once the alarm has been triggered a call will go out to a sequence of named keyholders.  This type of system will automatically connect to the phone line or mobile network to relay a standard message alerting the relevant individual. It offers a step up from ‘bells only’ system notifying you of an attack when you’re away from home but they do have their weaknesses and unfortunately these systems rely on a phone line or mobile signal that can easily be interrupted or fail.  In addition there is only so much you can do once you’ve received an alert, especially if you’re out or away from home.

Bells Only:

Security Level: Low
Responder: Home owner

These alarms provide basic protection and are designed primarily as a deterrent.  Their effectiveness relies on the hope that the perpetrator is scared away by the noise and threat of immediate activity from within the home and surrounding neighbourhood.  The truth is that many of these alarms can be identified by criminals and it’s understood that most bells only alarms are considered a nuisance by neighbours who rarely take action and almost never contact the emergency services.  Car alarms are a classic example of a bells only alarm and if you imagine how you reacted the last time one went off in your street!

Replica box:

Security Level: Low
Responder: None

Acting solely as a deterrent a replica box is used to deter thieves from accessing your property but is usually identifiable by perpetrators and therefore offers very little protection to the homeowner.