Regardless of whether you choose a bell/siren alarm or a monitored option that’s linked to a key holder or the police, your security package is set to provide a sophisticated yet easy-to-use house-sitting service.
Once installed, the system is switched on using its control panel – often as simple as pressing a single button – and turned off by punching in a pre-set code, which is usually four numbers.
Many systems also offer a key fob to provide instant control from a distance.
As the owner of a domestic intruder system, you do not have any legal responsibilities but legislation states that alarms should not ring continuously for more than 20 minutes. Non-compliance could result in environmental health officers entering your home to silence the alarm and issuing a fine for noise pollution.
The most common type of system uses a control panel to monitor zones in the home and emits a bell or siren alarm when a door or window is opened.
Because it relies on noise to frighten away prowlers – or somebody nearby calling the police to intercept – before too much damage can be done or anything is stolen, this may not be the most effective option.
A monitored system checks whether your alarm has been set off accidentally and takes further action – either with a key holder or the police – if a break-in is suspected.
- Key holder response
Once your alarm is triggered the monitoring station calls your home; if someone answers the phone and gives an incorrect response to a security question, your key holder is contacted.
If they feel a robbery is underway, they can call 999, in which case a police response is likely to take around eight minutes.
- Police response systems
Alternatively, your system can be linked direct to the police; it could be at least an hour before there’s a response though.