The best security methods: Your questions answered

The best security methods: Your questions answered

Let's face it, nobody really wants to spend their hard-earned money on security measures.  So, when they do decide to invest it is often done reluctantly and with the intention to spend as little as possible.

Quite often the person buying the alarm system is not directly responsible for security and so they just rely on third party advice.  Unfortunately, unless appropriately sourced, the advice is not always correct or complete.  

The upshot of this is that some buyers can have a distorted view of what they believe is required to provide protection for their premises and the valuables contained therein.  Here are a couple of examples:-


"My Insurers have told me I need to increase the physical security of my property. Does that mean I have to fit bars and shutters?"

Most retailers are very concerned about the aesthetics of their building.  After all, the contents of the shop window or the outward appearances of the building are often the first impression a potential client will have.  Blocking it off with an unsightly screen or shutters is not often the preferred option.

Offices have a similar problem not only outwardly, but also from the inside.  Add bars and grilles to windows and you could turn the environment into a virtual prison cell.

There are alternatives to heavy metal.  Our own Smoke Screen security fogging system is a good example of how physical protection can be provided without the need to detract from the appearance of the place.  

This doesn't mean that screens and shutters are never to be used.  In factories or industrial settings, they may be wholly appropriate.  Horses for courses.


"If I fit a CCTV camera then I won't need an Intruder Alarm."

CCTV provides the user with a number of benefits. It can act as a deterrent. It enables the user to monitor on-site activity and provides a video record.

While CCTV deters most opportunist criminals from breaking in, the most determined attackers remain unphased.  We've all seen images of burglars wearing balaclavas and baseball caps breaking into premises. Features obscured and unidentifiable. This gives rise to the need for a properly specified and installed Intruder Alarm System (IAS).

CCTV observes but the IAS is what actually detects the break-in, sounds the alarm and contacts the authorities.


"Why do I need an accredited alarm company to install my system?  Why can't I do it myself?"

The sale of DIY alarm equipment has increased dramatically in recent times. In many cases the equipment is simple to install and easy to use. Unfortunately, the weakness with DIY systems is that it is usually installed by a layman with no expert knowledge of what to install and where.

Contrast this with a system installed by an NSI or SSAIB accredited alarm company.

A site survey will have been conducted by an experienced professional. The equipment specified will conform to UK and European Standards and the installation engineer will know exactly what they are doing. These companies are also inspected annually by a national inspectorate and if they are not doing the job properly, they'll be forced to improve or face losing their accreditation.

It's for this reason that most Insurance providers will insist on alarm systems supplied and installed by suitably accredited companies.


"Having an alarm system will make me more liable to get broken into."

The majority of burglaries are carried out by opportunists. They will be looking for an easy target with minimal risk.  Research suggests that properties without an intruder alarm system are four times more likely to be broken into than those with.

Far from attracting a thief, the bell box on your property is much more likely to act as a serious deterrent.


"Security Systems are very expensive."

The cost of an intruder alarm and CCTV is always an issue. But what do we measure the cost against?

The value of the property stolen?  This is usually recouped from your insurer. But if you are a business you will often be forced to replace the stolen goods in order to continue trading, and this will result in down time and the potential loss of custom. In the case of a house break-in, the property stolen may have great personal value and be irreplaceable.

Damage to the building? A jemmied door or smashed window may not be the end of the world. But thieves are not concerned about the amount of damage they inflict and if your property is ram-raided the building costs can be considerable.

Insurance premiums? Most insurers offer discounts that effectively offsets some of the cost of properly installed security arrangements.

Peace of mind...  whether it's your home or your business there is no doubt that once you have bitten the bullet and had the system installed you will sleep a little sounder at night.

Whatever your situation, it's always recommended to consult professionally qualified resources when deciding on your security arrangements. Your insurers, the police and nationally accredited security providers should be towards the top of your list.


We've highlighted some of the issues raised by prospective customers. If you are an alarm installer why not share some of your experiences with us on social media.

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Security Industry Experts sharing their knowledge and a wealth of news from within the sector. Over four decades have passed since Smoke Screen manufactured the world's very first security smoke system.


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