DIY Intruder Alarm Systems for Your Home
Are DIY Intruder Alarm Systems Worth Considering?
DIY Intruder Alarm Systems are an inexpensive way to improve the security of your home!
I have never been unlucky enough to be burgled. There are however thousands of people who have their homes broken into and their belongings stolen every day of the week.
I am sure that many of the people who have been burgled ask themselves if they would have still been burgled had their home had been protected by a Burglar Alarm.
Many people who consider having an intruder alarm system fitted are put off doing so by the cost. They assume that having an alarm system fitted to their home will be extremely expensive. This is not necessarily the case!
There is obviously a cost involved but having your home protected by an intruder alarm certainly reduces the likelihood of your home being burgled. Having an intruder alarm system also gives the home owner a great deal of peace of mind.
You may also find that the insurance premiums that you pay for home insurance may be reduced if you protect your home with an intruder alarm system.
There are lots of security company’s that will fit an an intruder alarm for you. Always get at least three quotes before deciding on which firm you will give the work to.
If you find that the cost of having an alarm system professionally fitted is prohibitive there are a large number of DIY Intruder Alarm Systems available at extremely competitive prices.
What Does it Cost to Have an Intruder Alarm Fitted?
The cost to Fit an Intruder Alarm at Your Home will vary considerably depending upon the type of system you decide to install. The price will also be affected by the size of your property and the number of doors and windows (entry points) you have.
There are systems available to suit virtually any pocket. According to my research some systems are certainly better than others.
It is always worth spending some time researching your options before actually going ahead and purchasing one. Looking at reviews left by people who have actually purchased the particular system you are considering is always a good idea.
Should I get an Intruder Alarm fitted by one of the Major Home Security Company’s?
Having an Intruder Alarm installed by a large security company is going to be more expensive than installing the alarm yourself. Some people however do not have the skills required (although installation is fairly straightforward) to fit their own alarm system or alternatively simply prefer to have the work done by a Home Security Company.
The cost to have an intruder alarm fitted by a Security Company will vary depending upon the company you choose, the size of your home and the level of security you require.
According to the research I have done most Security Company’s appear to charge an initial installation fee of around about $100.00 for a basic system. There is then a monthly maintenance fee to pay to keep the system live. The basic packages for maintaining the intruder alarm is likely to be in the region of about $30.00 per month.
This may seem like a lot of money to some but the cost, financially and emotionally, of having your home burgled is likely to be much higher.
When you have the alarm system fitted you will usually be asked to sign a three year contract with the company.
DIY Intruder Alarm Systems are a considerably cheaper option!
Types of Intruder Alarm Systems available
There are basically two types of Intruder Alarms available. These are Audible Only and Monitored Alarm Systems.
The Audible Only Intruder Alarm is the most basic for of alarm system. It is however perfectly adequate for the majority of private homes.
When the alarm circuit is broken by anyone trying to gain access to your property the alarm emits a loud noise, generally a siren or bell. Most systems are also equipped with an outside light, mostly blue or red, that flashes to alert passers by that there is a possible burglary in progress.
The Audible Only Intruder Alarm relies on passers by or neighbours to alert the police. There is no connection to an Alarm Receiving Centre.
If you feel that you need a slightly more advanced intruder alarm system you might wish to fit a ‘Monitored System’. Most business owners prefer this type of system. If the alarm is activated it alerts the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) via the telephone line. The ARC then alerts the local police station that there is a possible burglary in progress.
A Monitored Alarm System is more complex to install than a basic Audible Intruder Alarm.
A Monitored Intruder Alarm is also usually fitted with an audible signal. This is often equipped with a delay which increases the chances of actually catching the intruder on the premises.
Should I fit a Dummy Intruder Alarm Box?
Many would be burglars are reluctant to try to enter a property that is fitted with an alarm. The vast majority of homes still do not have any form of home security system.
Over the past few years there has been a huge rise in the number of ‘Dummy Intruder Alarm Boxes’ being offered for sale.
If you are not able to afford to fit a proper working security alarm system then instaling a Dummy Alarm Box in a prominent position is certainly worth considering.
Generally any ‘would be burglar’ looking for a property to break into would prefer any easy option and would tend to choose an unprotected property where possible.
In many cases simply fitting one of these boxes to the outside of your house will deter someone from trying to break into your home. Any opportunist thief would probably be persuaded to move on to another property if he believed that the property was protected by an alarm.
Bear in mind however that a professional burglar is likely to be able to recognise a dummy alarm box. This is particularly true if it does not carry the branding, or logo, of one of the major security company’s.
Should I consider a Wired DIY Intruder Alarm System?
The majority of the DIY Intruder Alarm Systems that are available are audible only alarm systems. Although relatively basic Audible Only Intruder Alarm is perfectly adequate for most homes.
An Audible only alarm system will:
- Provide a visible deterrent by means of the exterior alarm bell box.
- Make a noise to scare away the intruder
- Alert you if you are in the house when someone tries to break in.
- Make neighbours and passers by aware that there is an intruder.
Audible DIY Intruder Alarm Systems work in exactly the same way as a similar style of alarm fitted by a security company. The only difference is that you fit the system yourself as opposed to having someone else do the work.
If you are considering fitting your own alarm system I would advise you to buy a DIY Intruder Alarm Kit. You can purchase all of the components separately if you wish to do so but buying a kit is a much easier route to take for most DIYers.
A DIY Intrude Alarm Kit will have all of the components you are likely to require. The kits also come with detailed installation instructions. Fitting your own intruder alarm is not difficult.
A basic DIY Burglar Alarm Kit will contain a Control Panel, a Keypad, a number of Door/Window Contact Switches and a Bell, Buzzer or Siren and a roll of alarm wire.
If the kit you buy does not have sufficient contact switches or wiring you can always buy these additional components separately.
In addition to the window/door contact switches some of the more comprehensive DIY Alarm Kits also include PIR Motion Sensors that detect movement inside the room in which they are installed.
A power supply will be required to the Control Panel. In order to ensure that the system cannot simply be turned off by the intruder burglar alarm systems have a backup power supply. Once activated the alarm can only be deactivated by entering the correct code on the keypad.
Installing a DIY Intruder Alarm System
DIY Intruder Alarms are designed for easy installation. The majority of the kits available have step by step instructions that the majority of people with basic DIY skills can understand and follow.
The first item that is fitted is usually the control panel.
This is effectively the brains of the system where information such as zoning areas are programmed in. The control panel will need to be connected to a power supply.
If you do not have a suitable site for the control panel that has easy access to a power supply a spur will need to be installed. If you are unable to do this yourself your local electrician will be able to do the job for you inexpensively.
The control panel should be positioned out of sight to avoid the chance of it being tampered with.
The next item to install is generally the Keypad.
This is usually situated close to the entrance door for easy access. There is a built in delay between the door being opened and the alarm going off to allow the home owner to disarm it. If you position the keypad too far away from the entrance door you run the risk of the alarm being activated before you have time to disarm the system.
You are now ready to fit the Audible Alarm.
A suitable site needs to be found on the exterior of the house for attaching this. It should be positioned well out of reach so that it cannot be easily tampered with.
The last components to be installed are the door and window magnetic contact switches.
These are two part components. One part attaches to the window or door and the second part of the switch is secured to the surrounding framework.
The final job is to install the wiring around the house to connect all of the components together.
It takes a little time to complete the job and a certain amount of care is required but it is none the less quite straightforward.
A Wired Alarm System is what is known, in electrical terms, as a closed circuit system. When all of the windows and doors are closed all of the switches attached to them are also in the closed position.
The wiring forms a continuous loop. If any of the doors or windows are opened the loop is broken which causes the alarm to go off. Simply closing the door or window will not however turn off the alarm.
Once the alarm is activated it can only be reset by closing the door/window that was opened and resetting the system via the keypad. Some systems also have an added feature that requires a switch to be manually deactivated in the sounder unit itself manually with a key.
How Much will I pay for a Wired DIY Intruder Alarm?
The cost of a DIY Burglar Alarm will vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer. You should however be able to find a reasonably good system with door contacts for four openings from about $200.00 (£170.00). Additional contact switches and wire can be bought as required.
What About Wireless DIY Intruder Alarm Systems?
If you are uncertain about your ability to fit a hard wired alarm system then maybe you should consider installing a wireless alarm.
There are certain benefits to having a wireless intruder alarm.
Wireless DIY Intruder Alarm Systems are easier and quicker to install than their hard wired counterparts.
If you want to install an intruder alarm but do not want to go to the trouble, and disruption, of laying wiring around your home then a Wireless Alarm System could be the answer.
You will still need a power supply to provide power to the control panel, and possibly the keypad. A wireless intruder alarm does not work on a closed circuit. Each contact switch works independently and communication between component parts of the system is via radio signals.
The majority of wireless alarm systems do require you to have an internet connection.
Extending a Wireless Intruder Alarm System is extremely easy. If you build an extension to your home, for example, you will simply need to purchase additional contact switches for each of the new openings that need protecting.
A wireless intruder alarm is also easy to remove and fit elsewhere. If you decide to move house for example you take your wireless alarm system with you.
Originally Wireless Burglar Alarm Systems were considered unreliable. The technology that is employed by wireless intruder alarm systems has however improved significantly over recent years and they are now widely accepted as being equally as reliable as hard wired systems.
The cost of a wireless intruder alarm system is also extremely competitive when compared to hard wired systems. A quite elaborate wireless system can be bought for under $100.00.
Will I be less likely to be burgled if I have an alarm?
One of the main criticisms of Audible Alarm Systems is the no one ever bothers to report them when they go off. This may be true to an extent but a significant number are still reported to the police.
Regardless of whether an alarm is reported or not the fact remains that having an intruder alarm does act as a deterrent. According to one survey that I have read homes with an intruder alarm are three times less likely to be targeted by a burglar.
If you do go ahead and install an intruder alarm it is essential that everyone in your household learns how to use it correctly and always arms the system when they are leaving the house.
In many instances where a burglary has occurred at a house that has an alarm fitted it is because the home owner has forgotten, or neglected, to turn it on.
No matter which type of intruder alarm you decide to fit there are undoubtedly benefits to having an alarm system. Simply leaving the security of your home to chance really is not an option!
In addition to installing an alarm system in your home you should also make sure that your property is well lit at night and the locks on all your doors and windows are of the highest quality.