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Information on buying a burglar alarm system
Intruder alarm buying advice and information
Our intruder alarm selling policy
We at MCD Alarms and Security Systems have a minimum specification selling criteria which we do not go bellow when we provide an intruder alarm system. We specilise in the grade 2 stand alone (no telephone dialler) and grade 2 system with a private monitored telephone dialler for domestic and residential premises. We do not sell the un-graded or lowest grade 1 systems as a matter of policy. This is because insurance companies do not recognise the lower grade system and so we do not either.
Most consumers who are looking to buy an intruder alarm system will obtain a number of quotations and sadly many decisions on what they actually buy are budget driven rather than looking at the specifications. This can have serious consequences security wise. The budget end of the market alarm systems only offer very basic protection against the opportunistic intruder. The higher-grade systems are for premises where the owner is likely to have some thing of intrest and the more experienced intruder may target these premises. It has been said by people that all intruder alarms are the same. This is far from true. Many lowest grade budget systems can very easily be silanced within 1 minute of the burglar entering the premises. The higher end of the market systems can cause an intruder considerable problems and these system only cost a small amount more.
Pricing of intruder alarms
The price of an intruder burglar alarm system depends on:
- The grade of the system.
For a 3-bedroom semi detached house with 3 movement detectors, a front door contact, a hide away control panel with remote keypad and an external warning device (unmonitored system).
- Budget priced systems £180 to £250 (not sold by us)
MCD Alarms and Security Systems offer the medium priced option above.
What is Grading?
Grading represents the level of difficulty an intruder alarm will cause to an intruder who may try to silance or defeat the system. Grade 1 is the lowest grade and 4 the highest you would deploy on a bank. The grade criteria takes into account the type of intruder who is likely to target your premises. The grade required for your premises is determined by the alarm company who carry out the security survey of your premises.
Warning Information About Budget Systems
The system illustrated in the photograph (right) was installed in a house in Greater Manchester not by us and is an example of a budget priced system. An intruder entered the premises and was able to silance the system in less than a minuet. The system cost £175 which at the time of installation was an absolute budget priced at the time. The owner lost over £3000 worth of goods from the premises. Their disabled neighbour who was home all day heard the alarm go off for less than a minuet but thought the owner had set it off accidently because it soon stopped and so ignored it. Had it gone off for the full 15 minuets the neighbour (in a home watch scheme) would have taken more action. Had the system not been so budget priced the system would have carried on sounding despite the panel being destroyed. This is due to a special circuit and battery inside the external bell box called a SAB which had not been fitted to keep costs down. You only get what you pay for and the price you paid for your alarm should give you a good clue as to how easy your system will be for an intruder to easily disable.
Are You Buying A Skeleton?
With many budget priced system, in order for the installer to offer them at those prices its a certainty that it will be its anti attack defence features that will be omitted to keep the cost down. The system will still work without them as a minimal system but will be of little use if the intruder gains access and destroys the alarm panel. Again the installer may not go to very much trouble to hide the heart of the system to keep installtion time to a minimum. There are also often other compromises in its design criteria. The manufacturers equipment it self is not at fault but its what the installer does not include both electrically and how it was designed and the install method. You will be suprised to learn that close to 50% of the price is the cost of the equipment and the more compromises the more profit for the installer.
When you buy look at the grade of the system over its price.
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