A good intruder alarm can be a valuable addition to the security of your home. 

Alarms can range from simple systems with one or two internal sensors, to complex installations with different zones and sensor types.

Alarm categories

There are two main types of intruder alarm:

Police response alarms (Type A)

These are remotely monitored security systems which the police will respond to.  These are not recommended for the majority of domestic properties due to the cost and complexity.  They are more appropriate for large or isolated properties containing high value items.

Non-police response alarms (Type B)

These are audible-only alarms and are more suitable for domestic properties.  We recommend Type B alarms that meet the current BS EN 50131-1 standard


  • We do not recommend the use of “dummy alarms”.  Experienced burglars can spot “dummy” or unserviced alarms.
  • An alarm will not be enough to deter burglars if you do secure other areas of your property.  See our advice on doors and windows, gardens and outbuildings.
  • If you have good neighbours or friends and relatives nearby, upgrade the alarm to include an auto-dialer.  You can then have their numbers recorded to it. 
  • Dogs do not make good alarms and often do not deter burglars.
  • If you have pets, be sure to install internal sensors correctly.  Many people do not feel confident in setting their alarm when pets are in the home. Burglars may take a chance that an alarm is not switched on.

DIY or professional installation?

We never recommend that you attempt to install an alarm system yourself. Simple DIY systems are not likely to meet the requirements of your house insurance.  They may even cause more false activations.

We recommend that you get at least three quotes from reputable installers.  Consult ones that are accredited by either the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or the Security System and Alarms Inspectorate Board (SSAIB).

You can check which local firms hold current accreditation on their websites:

National Security Inspectorate (NSI)  

Security System and Alarms Inspectorate Board (SSAIB)

Report it

If you have been a victim of a burglary, call 101 or report it online.

If a burglary is in progress and you are in immediate danger, call 999.

More help and support

You can contact your local Crime Reduction Officer who will be able to provide guidance and recommendations on alarms. 

This contact is for crime prevention advice only.  Please do not use this email address to report crime.  Call 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Also, check with your insurance company to see what level of alarm security they need (including BS EN Standards). The right system could actually reduce your home insurance premiums!

24 May 21 2:06 PM

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