choosing an alarm

Choosing an alarm for your home

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.

Monitored systems

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.

Tom Crosswell

I have been managing online projects since 1999 and I'm a experienced marketeer, who is well versed in international brand management, online business strategy and developing long term relationships. Through my academic and professional background I am a specialist in generating online loyalty towards brands. My experience has taught me that ultimately business is about relationships and people. For more information see my Google+ page.