Home Insurance – Burglar Alarms

A burglar alarm will reduce your home insurance premium, if it is fitted and maintained by a professional alarm company. So whilst a burglar alarm helps to deter burglars, it will also help reduce the regular cost of protecting your home and contents against theft.

Setting a burglar alarmYou should always have your burglar alarm on if no one is home. For your insurance claims to be valid, you should make sure that the burglar alarm is turned on and functioning when you are out of the house.

If your alarm isn’t active during a break-in, you could be liable for the first £250 of any claim you make. This is a financial incentive, but you will also feel more secure if you know your alarm is ready to detect intruders whilst you are out. You may even want to keep your alarm on during the night, as some systems can be set so the downstairs area is protected, whilst you can move about upstairs without setting off the alarm.

There are several different types of alarm systems. However, there are a few features which are common to most high quality systems:

SENSOR: all alarm systems will have devices to detect movements of an intruder. If an intruder is detected, this triggers the alarm. The detector could use infra-red, ultrasonic or microwave detectors, and will usually detect unusual movement, heat, vibrations or noise which could mean someone is trying to break into your property.

PROTECTING DOORS AND WINDOWS: magnets are often used to detect when a window or door is opened. The magnets form part of an electrical circuit, which is disrupted if the window or door is disturbed. This then sets of the alarm and will deter a burglar from gaining entry.

SIREN: this should be a loud alarm that alerts anyone near by, although an alarm can also have lights too. The siren is usually located high up so it can’t be tampered with and is often visible on the front of the house to act as a visual deterrent.

The most effective burglar alarms are linked back to a central control room which notifies the police. Unfortunately, alarm sounds can be a common noise in a busy urban environment and your neighbours may not react to your burglar alarm going off. By linking your burglar system to a central point, you will ensure the police arrive in time and can catch whoever has broken in.

Burglar alarms are a worthwhile investment to protect your property against theft. Building and contents insurance providers recognise this and may therefore reduce the premium you pay to insure your house if you have a burglar alarm fitted and maintained by a professional alarm company.

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