Why your burglar alarm isn’t just an ornament


Why your burglar alarm isn’t just an ornament

It sounds odd, but for all the good some burglar alarms are doing, they may as well be purely decorative. And it’s not because the alarms themselves are ineffective.

New research* carried out for us has revealed that, of the people in the UK who have a working burglar alarm installed, a third don’t always set it when they leave the home. As a result, there’s no way that alarm can protect the property in the event of a break-in.

Not-so-secret digits

As well as not bothering to set their alarms, many alarm owners admit that they haven’t kept the deactivation code a secret either. Nearly half of survey respondents with a burglar alarm revealed they had shared the code with their friends, and a similar number had told their neighbours.

Meanwhile, one in 10 had handed the code to tradesmen working at their home, and one in 20 had shared it with other service providers, like dog walkers or gardeners.

Is it worth having an alarm?

Based on these findings you would think that many Brits don’t see much of a point in even having an alarm. And yet most people are still quick to respond if they hear one going off.

Two-thirds said they would take the time to look and see if they could spot anything suspicious if they heard a house alarm going off on their street. Meanwhile, more than one in 20 said they would call the police straightaway if they heard an alarm sounding, and nearly this many respondents said they would call the person who lived in the property. Clearly, alarms do still grab people’s attention – which is exactly what they’re meant to do!

Counting the benefits

The point of a burglar alarm is to keep your home and your possessions safe. The last thing a burglar wants is to draw attention to themselves, and if a loud alarm starts screeching as soon as they access a property, they may not stay long enough to take anything. However, if you haven’t bothered to set the alarm in the first place, it might as well be purely ornamental.

Another benefit of having an alarm – particularly if it’s an approved model – is that it could net you a lower premium on your home insurance. Insurers like to see that you’ve taken precautions to reduce the risk of your property being robbed, and your alarm does just that. As a result, you could be offered a lower rate.

If you have a burglar alarm, maybe it’s time to start letting it do its job.

*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 12th August and 23rd August 2014, of whom 630 were Scottish.