How Can Alarms Stop Burglars In The Act?

They’re a visual deterrent with the power to force burglars to flee. Find out why alarms remain the cornerstone of all effective 21st-century security systems.

For centuries, people have relied on their ingenuity to alert them to any intrusion and to protect their property.

From the loud chatter of startled geese and barking dogs to a huge nationwide beacon system, alarms are nearly as old as the human race itself.

Then, 150 years ago, a man on the east coast of the United States patented an electromagnetic system that rang a bell if a door or window was opened. The modern-day alarm was born and the technology hasn’t stopped developing since.

However, the debate still continues around how effective alarms really are, and how they can actually stop burglars in the act.

Alarms – Do They Work?

In the last year there were more than 410,000 recorded burglaries in England and Wales. That’s an average of two for every 100 households so the debate around alarms has never been more topical.

We’ve all been there sitting at home trying to relax when all of a sudden the neighbourhood erupts as a high-powered siren fills the air.

The result of this is supposed to alert someone that something is awry. But, more often than not, the response is far from the one we’d hope for.

A survey of 1,000 householders on trade website Security Alarms reveals that a third of respondents would do nothing if they heard an alarm on their street.

It’s surveys like this which cause some people to question the point of alarms. A cynic may add that, with neighbours like that, who needs enemies?

Well, fortunately the impact of alarms goes well beyond alerting neighbours to a potential intruder in the street.

The truth is, alarms really do work. A crime study by the government showed that 75% of surveyed households that had not been burgled were fitted with security systems. Meanwhile, two thirds of houses that had been burgled had no alarm fitted.

The Visual Deterrent

The key to an effective alarm is for it to be visible from outside.

According to a survey of convicted burglars, 60% were deterred by the sight of an alarm system. Respondents agreed that they would move on to a different property should they find their initial target visibly fitted with alarms.

This was backed up by a study by Dr Joseph B. Kuhns of the University of North Carolina, who spoke to over 400 burglars behind bars. He found that over 83% of them tried to determine whether a house had a home security alarm before breaking in.

The majority of burglars are opportunistic. If they see an alarm, they know that the resident is conscious of their home or business security.

Rather than risk being caught in the act, many burglars prefer to halt their plans and switch their attention to easier, softer options.  These include buildings with open windows or unlocked doors.

Why You Need a Home Alarm System: The Top Burglar Deterrent According to Professional BurglarsRaising The Alarm

If the visible threat is not enough, then the chances are the burglars will be hell bent on entering your property.

It’s at this point that the quality of your alarm pays off.

Most alarms are known for simply making loud noises to alert anyone nearby. Burglars have become wise to that tactic, and no longer worry about these alarm bells.

They know that the majority of thefts in the home take less than 10 minutes, whereas police response times across the UK average 12 minutes.

For that reason, more and more people are relying on professional security companies to install top-of-the-range alarms which allow security agents to monitor their homes and businesses.

For instance, all Verisure alarms are monitored by a dedicated centre. Dedicated staff remain on high alert 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to receive and respond to signals produced by our alarm systems.

When a siren does sound, a specialist security agent will evaluate the signal before activating the appropriate protocol. This means every incident is dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Alarms Are Just The Start

According to the website, alarms remain a key part of any security system. But they also warn that a visual burglar alarm should “be part of a suite of prevention measures, as a burglar alarm on its own will not prevent entry to your home”.

Companies such as Verisure make it clear that a high-powered siren should be the cornerstone of all home and business security systems.

As well as a high-powered siren, Verisure can also install a range of complementary products to ensure that no burglar will ever be attracted to your property.

Trained security experts can visit your property and assess the measures that you need. These could include a ZeroVision fog alarm, smart key readers, perimeter detectors or high-definition surveillance cameras.

At the heart of the smart alarm system is a 3G Alarm Control Panel. This is permanently linked to Verisure’s Alarm Receiving Centre, and it’s the first alarm device on the market that is fully portable within your home or business premises.

The investment does pay off. A study of ex-cons revealed that over four fifths (89%) of respondents would be put off targeting a smart connected home.

Want More Information?

If you’re still concerned about the security of your home or business, or would simply like to ask the advice of Europe’s leading security professionals, contact Verisure on 0800 158 8999 or visit