Answers to Ask Eric

DIY Alarms – What are the pitfalls?

Every single DIY and of course online store will supply you with an alarm. It is usually wireless and proclaims it can be installed by anyone in a weekend!

I am sure these claims are true, otherwise they would be guilty under consumer protection law of misleading the public, but what it is they don’t tell you?

Firstly DIY alarms are not recognised as being acceptable to insurance companies. Insurance companies insist that intruder alarms comply with certain minimum standards and are professionally installed and maintained. This is because to deter burglars they have to perform correctly all day every day and DIY systems cannot be guaranteed to do so. Fortunately, there is one group of people who are happy to recognise DIY alarms! Burglars they are much less likely to be deterred for the same reason.

When DIY products are sold, they are simplified and made less sensitive to make installation easier for the purchaser, and this usually results in an inferior detection capability. A modern professional control panel has over 500 settings that are individually adjusted to accommodate the specific needs of the client and the property in which it is being installed. Think of it like the difference between a normal family salon car and its race tuned performance counterpart! They might be based on the same product, but this is where the similarity ends.

Finally, there is the experience of your installer. Often an installer will have had several years learning their trade and understanding the complexity of a modern alarm system. There are a wide range of factors that a professional alarm installer will take into consideration when specifying and positioning detectors for your home. It is this experience and understanding that can make the difference to an alarm that is effective and one that soon becomes nothing more than a nuisance. And what happens when an alarm becomes a nuisance? You stop using it.

Of course DIY alarm systems are much cheaper, but if you really want proper protection and peace of mind, then a professionally installed and maintained system is worth every penny.