Please note: The content of this article is only to advise you. Should to wish to implement any advice, you do so at your own risk. Please ensure you follow the law at all times.
Obviously an alarm system is a great deterrent from even the outside of your perimeter, as we all want a quiet life, burglars especially! Make sure your alarm box has a flashing light and maybe a second box on the back wall to reinforce the message. Now, let’s be clear, an alarm can only make a noise after the house or set perimeter is breeched, but can also be equipped to relay an alert to a security monitoring company, such as Red Care, for a yearly fee. For elderly or vulnerable people a monitored call can be relayed to a family member, security personnel or the Police (see the passage at end regarding call-outs ). Infra-red beam sensors can also be added to many systems for in your garden . Your friendly alarm fitter can fit many other extras like internal sirens, that are so loud they drive intruders out of the house with sheer, painful volume! Systems with touch fobs that clip onto your key-ring are also convenient and very quick to disarm with one simple touch. This is great when you are busy or occupied by kids or visitors and can have individual user code numbers / fobs. They also discretely log records of users, usage times etc if ever needed. A good basic system can be fitted by a reputable fitter from prices starting around £550, if you ask around. Many alarms use wireless sensors now, so fitment is very clean. That’s probably cheaper than the I-phone in your pocket and half the price of the big attractive TV shining through your living room window! Larger Alarm fitting companies like may offer long term payment deals that include service contracts, (alarm systems now have a display that gives a self monitoring service warning for when actual maintenance is required). D.I.Y. wireless alarm systems are available from B&Q currently for £299.
THROW SOME LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT
Security lights are a good deterrent as they prevent a stealthy approach at night and can be set to be as sensitive as you wish if you have pets. Many now are available as self contained solar powered units that can be fitted to unpowered locations and can be very powerful halogen or L.E.D illuminated (test at dusk for beam pattern throw and try not to annoy others by pointing them at your neighbours bedroom). Versions are also available with their own built-in cameras that record as they are tripped, but beware, it sounds good but current versions are usually quite low resolution and may not provide any useful pictures that can identify intruders to the authorities.
SMILE – YOU’RE ON TV!
CCTV (closed circuit television) or security cameras are also now very cost-effectively available and should be used with accessories of the highest definition. High quality cameras will provide and record the best pictures, again for good clear identification pictures. Good quality cameras give night vision pictures nearly as good as daylight, they just appear in black and white. I had a situation at work where I was trying to bring back the colour of my reception camera, thinking I had accidentally knocked off the colour control. In actuality a member of my staff had gone home and turned the reception lights off completely. I could still see everything in the pitch black dark!!
A good system with a good quality DVD recorder can be installed for a very low sum if you buy a DIY system from sources such as B&Q or Maplins (prices start at just £85). They just all go together like any other TV or computer system. Professional fitting can be very cost-effective, starting in the region of £600 for a basic set-up to whatever you really want, depending on number of cameras etc Be smart and just do your homework, so you know the amount of money you are comfortable spending and what you need. You don’t need to see right across the galaxy, we have NASA for that!
I have negotiated a deal with a local company that will fit 3 high definition cameras and quality recorder system normally at £750 for around £650 (guide price) for Bannerbrook residents.
Slightly cheaper are the Ring Video Doorbell and Stick Cams available direct from Ring with a £20 discount. These upload short videos to the cloud and can be stored for up to 6 months. More on this in another article later.
At a personal level, nearly every mobile phone has a video function, so why not use it to casually record any suspicious activity as you pass by. Everyone now walks around with their phone waving around in their hand without suspicion. The cameras are very high quality and you can then review footage later and take magnified, freeze-frame photos of characters faces or number-plates without them realising it has ever happened. No need for any direct mention of it. Declaring “I’m videoing you” could lead to theft of the phone and / or a smack in the teeth.