Home Security has become an integral part of most of the homes in the UK. Over 1000 burglaries were reported every day in England and Wales last year. With burglaries on the rise, no matter how secure your area could be, people do not want to take any chances. Most of us are turning to professional home security systems as the number of burglaries increases year after year.
It is undoubtedly one of the most effective methods of deterring burglars and ensuring complete protection of your home, loved ones, and possessions. Professional security solutions boost your home security and provide a high level of protection against opportunist burglars.
Even insurance companies ask homeowners to take adequate precautions, such as installing a security system, especially if the property is high-risk. In fact, insurance companies frequently deny claims if there is no professional security system on the property.
Most of us can find it tricky to choose the ideal security system for our property especially when we have no knowledge about these security solutions.
Our quick guide to home security is a great way to learn about home security’s most important aspects and the best security solutions. This guide will go over how security systems work against burglars, the various security solutions available, and their key components.
It will provide you with a clearer picture and a better understanding of home security, allowing you to make an informed decision.
How do burglars target homes?
Burglars are professional experts who know how to carry out a burglary. While many studies show that some burglaries occur on the spur of the moment. However, in the vast majority of cases, burglars conduct extensive research on their victims before targeting them.
Burglars are experimenting with new and creative ways to target potential homes. For instance, they might disguise themselves as salespeople or local government members and approach people on their doorstep to access their properties. This type of burglary is known as Distraction Burglary.
Burglars are even using social media platforms to identify soft targets, often known as Social Media Burglary. There are certain things that get the attention of burglars and lead them to target specific homes or people.
No one is at the property:
Burglars find it more convenient to break into an empty house without confronting anyone. The ideal time for burglary is when people are either out on vacation or during the day.
Doors or windows are open:
Around 20% of burglaries happen through unlocked doors and windows. Therefore, make sure you lock all your doors and windows before you go out or go to bed at night.
Unattended mails at your mailbox:
A pile of mails lying at your mailbox could signal burglars that the owner is away. And a vacant property is an ideal target for burglar as vacant homes is their primary target.
Burglars try to slink through the unfenced backyard. It is easier for them to break in especially during the night without drawing anyone’s attention. Therefore, properties with an unfenced backyard are always at a higher risk.
No sign of a security system:
As per research at the University of Carolina, a burglar alarm or any indication of a security system would discourage burglars from proceeding. Most burglars tend to look for an alternative property if they find properties with an alarm system.
No sign of a Dog:
Burglars prefer to stay away from home with a loud, barking dog. Dogs tend to get the attention of homeowners or neighbours when they see strangers trying to access the property.
Valuable items are visible from your window:
People frequently keep their valuables in plain sight, which can be seen through your window. It may attract the attention of opportunistic burglars passing by your home. This will notify them, and your home may be on their hit list.
Targeting the same property again:
Burglars tend to target the same property as targeting a new property puts them at greater risk. And you could be at risk if you haven’t upgraded your home security.
Burglars target homes with the sole purpose of getting as many valuables as they can. The following are some of the most common items burglars look out for.
- Cash- Simple to carry and use without being detected.
- Jewellery- Extremely convenient and easy to carry, and it can get burglars a good deal on the sale.
- Electronics- Burglars often look out for expensive electronic items such as mobile phones, laptops, computers, or tablets.
- Luxury Cars- If you have an expensive car parked in your driveway, a burglar may be looking for the keys to your vehicle.
- Personal information- They are also interested in gaining access to your personal information, such as your bank account information. This gives them access to your accounts, which is a serious risk.
Are home security systems effective?
People often talk about using simple tricks to deter burglars. Some may suggest getting a loud and barking dog that guards the home. Some might prefer to use motion sensor lights to startle burglars who might try to slink into your home at night.
No doubt, these tricks do work, but the most important question here is, can these tricks ensure home security all the time?
This is where you would require a security system that can monitor your home 24*7.
Some people often question the effectiveness of these home security systems. A security system is designed to offer you complete protection and deter burglars. However, the effectiveness of the security system will also depend on your security requirements.
There are several security systems available on the market equipped with the latest technologies. However, every security system is designed to fulfill different needs. You must always assess these security systems and see which one would be a good fit for your requirement.
Latest trends in Home Security
- In the last 15 years, we have seen a decline in the wired alarms’ market share from over 90% to less than 5%. A majority of the leading burglar alarm manufacturers have either discontinued or relegated their wired alarm range.
- Since 2005, smartphone penetration in the UK market has risen from 76% to a consistent 95%. As a result, the burglar alarm market has seen a noticeable impact. At FHA Security, we’ve seen a rise in interest in smart alarms from 34% in 2014 to 78% in 2020. We anticipate that this trend will continue in the coming years.
- CCTV cameras remain the second-best defense against burglaries, mainly vandalism, and vehicle theft. For complete protection, we still recommend fully wired CCTV that covers all entry points into the house.
- Ring video doorbell has become a popular security system since its recent invention in 2013 by entrepreneur Jamie Siminoff. They are one of the fastest-growing product technologies in the security industry, with a 48% expected growth rate.
- Home automation is another popular security solution that has recently gained momentum. Home automation devices that use z-wave wireless technology have been around for a while. FHA’s latest home automation series integrates smart alarms with the full range of home automation suites, smart locks, smart video doorbells, and various smart internal and external cameras with unprecedented data and analytics. Its integration with alarm.com’s sophisticated cloud services truly transforms it into an effective all-in-one home management solution. It is a system that adapts to your changing needs. And you can control it with voice-activated devices such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Voice Assistant, your smartwatch, and many others.
Types of Home Security Solutions
1) Burglar Alarm
Burglar alarms have evolved over time into a more intelligent system that proactively monitors and protects your premises from intruders.
They are one of the best security systems used across the UK to resolve burglaries’ security concerns.
Burglar alarms are available in various packages from different brands. Each of them offering a bundle of features and capabilities from standard to advance.
In general, burglar alarms are available as wireless alarms and wired alarms.
Tip: We always recommend all our customers to opt for a wireless burglar alarm. It offers plethora of benefits to the user with advanced capabilities and features, and is more secure than a wired system.
Read our previous article that talks about why wireless alarms are better than a wired alarm.
Key Features of Burglar Alarms
1) Ease of operation
You can use an alarm system either using a keypad fitted on the wall or a proximity tag that requires a single tap on your control panel. Alternatively, you can also use a key fob and control your system from anywhere in the house. It is the most convenient way to arm your system during night. Therefore, it is critical that you choose the best way to operate your alarm system that suits your convenience.
2) Zone Partitions & Controllability
With burglar alarms, you can zone partition your home partially or completely depending on your requirement. Zone partitions decide how a security system should control the sensors within your property. These sensors are dedicated to each zone that trigger the alarm in case of an intrusion. The control panel immediately then displays the zone number on the screen. It is always good to install the sensors at all the critical entry and exit points to ensure complete protection.
Telecommunicating burglar alarms enable the control panel to send you an alert in the event of an intrusion. These alarm systems include a communication module that can connect to a landline, GSM, or broadband connection. These network connections enable the alarm system to reach you via your phone.
4) Remote Monitoring
Remote monitoring is one of the most important features of the alarm system. It allows you to keep an eye on your home from anywhere through your smartphone app. The app will enable you to monitor and control your system remotely. You can also arm and disarm your system from anywhere. Its visual verification feature allows you to verify the alert virtually via the photos it sends every time an unauthorized movement triggers the alarm.
There are 4 types of alarm monitoring services you can get with your alarm system.
A self-monitoring alarm gives you complete control of your home security. It connects your security system to your smartphone app and allows you to monitor your home remotely. It sends alerts to you directly in case of a break-in.
3rd party monitoring allows a third party to monitor your home security 24*7. The alarm system directly connects to the alarm receiving center (ARC). in case of a break-in to take an immediate action.
Keyholding service monitoring allows a private security company to monitor your home. In case of a break-in, these guys will access your property and take the necessary action. It is most suitable for high-risk commercial properties.
- Police monitoring allows the system to alert the police directly. However, it could create a problem if there are frequent false alarms at your property. The police sometimes either downgrade your property to a lower level or can blacklist. This means you will not get an immediate response when the alarm triggers next time. It is most suitable for high-risk properties.
5) Add-on accessories
The alarm system supports a wide range of add-on accessories that help you fully protect your home. Following are some of the critical add-ons you can pair with your alarm system.
- Door/window contact sensor that detects unauthorised movement across the doors and windows.
- PIR motion detector connects to your alarm system and detects the movement within the armed zone. You can always choose a pet-friendly motion detector that ignores any pet movement within the house up to a certain level. This helps in the reduction of false triggers as a result of pet movement.
- Smoke sensors trigger the alarm system in the event of a fire.
- Carbon monoxide (CO) sensors detects the concentration of CO within the house and transmits alerts to the control panel.
- Shock sensors activate when an impact exceeds a predetermined level.
- A panic Button is a wireless device that connects to your alarm system and triggers the alarm when pressed in the event of an emergency.
- Curtain sensors offer perimeter protection without triggering the alarm and protect doors, windows, and all-glass walls. This detector causes the least false alarms as it distinguishes human motion from other disturbances.
- Flood detector detects water in basements, yachts and many other residential and commercial applications, providing early warning of developing floods.
2) CCTV or Home Security Cameras
There are many home security camera systems available for both indoor and outdoor use in residential homes. There are a few things you should consider before making your purchase.
- Where do you need to place the camera?
- What level of recording and access are you looking for?
- Do you want the camera to pan and tilt?
Choose a plug-and-play camera with a smart app for indoors and, if possible, two-way audio with pan and tilt capabilities.
We would recommend a professionally installed and fully customised CCTV solution for the outdoors, such as FHA ones.
Remember that CCTV that does not provide local recording and relies on your broadband connection is not as reliable as CCTV with local hard-drive recording.
A professionally installed CCTV system is a one-time cost solution that will rarely require additional maintenance and will provide complete protection.
Tip: Ensure that you follow the CCTV laws if you plan to use a CCTV system at your residential property.
3) Smart Doorbells
A smart doorbell is a relatively new product on the market that is a useful smart device. The following are some of the critical features of a smart doorbell.
- Motion-triggered notification
- Push notification through a smartphone app
- Optional built-in cameras can send live video notifications and support 2-way video communications.
There are numerous smart doorbell devices on the market, some of which are from unknown brands and costs from as little as £20. But, among all of them, the Ring doorbell stands out as one of the best. If you want to watch historical videos, these devices have a variety of subscription options.
Tip: All smart doorbells make use of your home broadband as well as your smartphone. You should only connect trusted smart devices to your broadband, and you should only install secure apps on your phone. The reason for this is that there are security risks associated with hacking. In fact, there have been reports of security breaches where ring products were hacked.
4) Floodlights with motion sensor
Floodlights are high-intensity lights that are used to illuminate your property’s perimeter. Because of their startling effect, motion sensor flood lights are best used to deter burglars. These floodlights are activated by any movement around them, making them ideal for protecting property from intruders.
5) Deadbolt doors and lockable windows
Several surveys and studies have revealed that burglars frequently use doors and windows to gain entry into a property. That means you must use high-quality, difficult-to-break locks on all of your doors and windows.
Using a deadbolt door is an excellent way to secure your doors. Its locking mechanism provides excellent protection against forced entry. Standard locks are easily broken by burglars using weapons such as knives or crowbars; however, deadbolt locks are difficult to break. Burglars would have to work harder to get past them, providing good security.
Securing windows, on the other hand, is another way to ensure complete security. Windows typically have a standard lock; however, additional locks can improve the security of your windows. There are various types of locks available on the market that are appropriate for various types of windows.
To select the best locks for your home, consult with a professional. It is an excellent way to add an additional layer of security to your security system.
6) Home Automation
The integration of home automation into security system has unveiled efficient ways to manage and secure your homes. This comprehensive all-in-one smart security system, blends well with your smart home. It comes with a bundle of capabilities and features that prove to be the most efficient security solution for your smart home.
It integrates with your other smart devices like smart lights, thermostats, heating systems, etc., and you can manage and control everything from your smartphone app.
Our new Home Automation Alarm Kit from Visonic is the most advanced solution available on the market that enhances your home security and is a crucial security device for your smart home.
It comes with a smartphone app that gives you full remote access to your system. It allows you to monitor, protect, and automate your home from your phone. And its dedicated connection gives you reliable and uninterrupted protection even when the network is down.
Benefits of Home Automation
1) Complete security
With smart security systems, you can get updates anywhere, anytime. Unlike the traditional alarm system that only works when it’s armed, it gives you real-time updates on your phone. You can quickly get a glimpse of your home when you’re out and relaxed, knowing that everything is safe and secure.
2) Reliable and Resilient
These systems are more reliable than the traditional wired alarm system. A standard wired security system can easily be tampered with by cutting out the wires from outside. The alarm control panel and accessories work on dedicated wireless frequency. They are not affected by failures of power supply or telephone lines. You can add multiple communication channels, so even if your broadband fails, a multi-network sim card in the alarm can continue to communicate with you.
3) Proactive approach
Smart security systems are advanced and intelligent systems that use a proactive approach. It continuously sends you alerts if you have forgotten to take the necessary action, such as arming your alarm system or locking your smart door.
4) Convenient and easy
Because your alarm system is connected to your smartphone, you can efficiently operate and monitor your House remotely. It doesn’t require your physical presence at home to control your devices.
5) Integrate into your smart home
You can now integrate your security system with other smart devices, such as smart lights, door locks, smart thermostats. By doing this, you can manage all your smart devices centrally. It can further automate the responses that make your life easier and happier.
Professional Security vs DIY Systems- Which one is better?
While evaluating different security solutions for your home, one common question is,
“Which security system would be better – DIY or Professional system?”
It all depends on your security requirements.
Every system has its pros and cons, and you must always evaluate each one of them to find out which one best addresses your security requirements.
DIY security systems
DIY systems are simple to install and as the name implies, anyone can install the system and make it up and running. It usually comes with a user guide that explains how to install and use the system in detail.
Renters prefer these systems because they are portable and do not necessitate the installation of a third party. They are also less expensive, and you only have to pay a one-time fee for the system.
Professional security systems
Professional security systems, on the other hand, need assistance from an expert who takes care of the installation process. These systems are grade 2 and grade 3 systems that are audited and labelled based on their ability to detect intrusion.
Professional companies that work with these systems provide you with complete assurance that the system adheres to quality standards and complies with industry regulations.
Read our blog Professional security vs DIY systems and learn more about these systems in detail.
Tip: DIY security alarms, such as Yale alarms, also require professional assistance. We’ve spoken with several customers who were unable to install their DIY kit and ended up contacting us for the installation. DIY kits may appear to be simple to install at first glance, but they are not, especially for people with no prior knowledge of these systems. A professional installer can help you avoid a similar situation and get your system up and running as soon as possible. They even provide maintenance services to ensure your system’s long-term productivity and performance.
1) Wireless Burglar Alarm
A wireless burglar alarm can be best used as the first line of defense. With changing needs and technology, burglar alarm has evolved into a complete security solution with a host of capabilities that allow you to manage, monitor and control your home security.
To start with, you can always choose a wireless burglar alarm which you can eventually upgrade by adding other devices or sensors.
We highly recommend the following wireless alarms that go with all types of residential properties.
a) Visonic Powermaster Wireless Burglar Alarm
Visonic Powermaster is one of the best professional wireless burglar alarms. It is one of the superior ranges from Visonic that is most suitable for advanced and heavy-duty operations.
Visonic has used its in-house wireless technology- PowerG that makes them highly secure, super reliable, and robust systems that deliver high-performance.
Key features of the Powermaster alarms:
- Robust and Reliable- It uses FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology that eliminates any wireless appliances interference. Its two-way communication ensures the messages are not lost. Moreover, they are AES-128 encrypted that makes them more secure and reliable.
- Remote Control- You can remotely control the configuration, review, and diagnosis of these systems.
- Quick Installation- It has an easy set-up process that makes the installation faster and quicker. Moreover, it has a long transmission range. Therefore it doesn’t need repeaters.
- Green Technology- Its long battery life reduces pollution and saves energy.
b) Risco Agility 4 Wireless Burglar Alarm
Agility 4 is a multi-layered smart alarm system that offers multi-dimension security and provides complete protection, both outdoors and indoors.
Critical features of Agility 4 systems.
- Enhanced performance-It is robust and reliable with enhanced RF performance capabilities.
- Advanced communications-It supports all sorts of communication modes (3G/IP/PSTN/GSM) that makes communication resilient.
- Visual verification-It comes with integrated camera sensors. They help in real-time event verification through the iRISCO smartphone app. This also helps in eliminating false alarm triggers.
- Compact design-It comes with a stylish, sleek keypad that compliments your home interiors.
c) CommPact Wireless Alarm System
CommPact is a cost-effective alarm system ideal for both homes and offices. It comes with a live video verification feature and uses integrated camera sensors. The real-time video verification feature will help you to check every time there is a trigger. And you can easily eliminate false alarm triggers, if any. Moreover, the iRISCO app gives you complete control over your property. And you can also remotely arm and disarm your system.
CommPact alarms are convenient to use, easy to install, and super reliable. It is ideal for people who are looking for a standard budget alarm.
d) Yale 6400 Wireless Burglar Alarm
Yale is a popular brand with a wide range of wireless alarm series, Yale 6400 being one of their best selling alarms.
It is a cost-effective, user-friendly system with a simple keypad to use. It has all the basic features you would need to protect your home. And if you’re someone who wants a simple, easy-to-use system, then this is the best alarm system for you.
These systems, however, can be customised and upgraded based on your requirements.
2) Wired CCTV System
A wired CCTV system is ideal for surveillance purposes. A fully functional CCTV system compliments any property, and strategically placing cameras deter opportunist burglars. It allows you to monitor the property using your smartphone app remotely.
FHA offers various customised CCTV packages that include the camera of your choice at no extra cost.
3) Home Automation System
Most of our customers frequently ask us about an integrated solution that can manage alarms, cameras, and doorbells.
Our new home automation kit, “Visonic Qolsys home automation security system,” combines Visonic’s most advanced wireless alarm technology PowerG with alarm.com’s most efficient home automation platform in a stylish iPad-like control panel by Qolsys.
You can integrate a wireless doorbell, smart door lock, various internal and external cameras, and a variety of existing and new smart home automation devices.
Check out the exclusive product with an introductory pricing offer here.
Choosing home security systems can be difficult, and this is where FHA can assist you by identifying the best system that fits your property’s needs.
If you are looking to buy a security system for your home, book a free consultation with us. Our team of experts will talk through your requirement and provide you with the best recommendations. If needed, we can also conduct a free survey of your property to identify critical security concerns.