As a homeowner you might wonder why you should spend money on a monitored alarm service when you can just go for a standard alarm system without the extra layer of protection. It’s a reasonable question, after all we don’t spend money on serious purchases without thinking about what we’re actually getting, and no-one likes to spend money unnecessarily.
Monitored intruder alarm services provide the last line of defence against burglars. When you consider that one third of people don’t do anything when they hear a neighbour’s alarm going off, it becomes clear that the alarm alone won’t necessarily stop the crime from happening. Most house burglaries are over within 10 minutes, so seasoned burglars will often carry on with the crime even with the alarm going, safe in the knowledge that by the time a neighbour has finally had enough and called the police or come out to take a look they’ll be well away.
Yes, an alarm is an effective deterrent, and an obviously secure home is less of a target than one without an alarm, but some thieves aren’t particularly intelligent and will go ahead anyway; others may have done their research and know that no-one will actually respond to the alarm by scoping out the area in advance. Thieves who believe you’ve got something they want may ignore the alarm in order to get it. This is where a monitored service is vital. As soon as your alarm system is triggered the monitoring centre can contact the police to attend, and this means they’re on the scene as quickly as possible, perhaps catching the burglars in the act, but if not they know where to look for them. They can also turn the alarm off remotely, so it’s not blaring all the time.
Monitoring centres can determine whether it is a false alarm or not, and if you have cameras this is even easier. They’ll dispatch the police when needed, and when it’s a false alarm, perhaps triggered by a pet or a fault in the system, they can turn off the siren. This is more useful than you might think. If you’re away a lot, or out of the house for long periods of time and your alarm is going off then people nearby are going to get riled up. This can result in avoidable anger and confrontations, as experienced by people in Grimsby last year.
A faulty alarm at a flat was blaring for three weeks around the Christmas period, with things coming to a head when one frustrated resident took matters into his own hands. Graffiti appeared on the building reading “stop alarm” and just hours later a man, armed with an axe, climbed a ladder and cut the wires of the alarm to stop the noise. Confrontation with residents ensued with one man being threatened by the axe-wielding man. All of this could all have been avoided if the alarm in question had been properly maintained and was being monitored.
So, for the homeowner a monitored alarm service ensures that in the event of a burglary the police will be dispatched in good time and that if there is a fault with the alarm or several false alarms the noise can be turned off remotely, so it doesn’t affect your neighbourly relations.