All you need to know about security alarms

On this page we answer the questions customers most often ask

How much does an alarm system cost?

The average cost of an alarm system varies hugely, depending on the size and number of room in your property, whether you choose a simple audible system or system connected to 24-hour monitoring, and what kind of optional extras you would like. Click here to get an instant estimate for your premises

What’s the difference between wire free and wired alarm systems?

Wire-free alarm systems use wireless signals, rather than physical cables to connect detectors and the control panel. Wire-free security systems are as reliable as the old wired systems, meaning your alarm can be installed without damage to buildings or disruption. However, it is important to know that there is a huge difference between the high spec, rigorously tested products used by professional companies like Homeguard Security and off-the-shelf alarms that can be bought online. These will not conform to BS standards nor meet insurers criteria.

Are there any hidden extras with a Homeguard system?

Unlike some companies who charge very little for installation then lock you into sky-high annual charges, there are no ‘hidden’ extras with Homeguard. Our friendly experts want you to have the alarm that works best for you. Your quote will clearly list the annual service charge, monitoring charges and cost of call-outs. Click for details of maintenance contracts for home alarms, maintenance contracts for businesses

I have pets, can I have a burglar alarm?

All our alarm systems can be adapted for homes with pets. We can design your burglar alarm with easy options to allow for pets in the house.

Will I have to remember yet another PIN code or complicated setting routine?

Our ‘point and press’ key fob will set and unset your alarm instantly. With no codes or sequences to remember, it’s simplicity itself

What if my alarm goes off by mistake?

This is many people’s biggest concern about having an alarm. False alarms are rare with a professionally fitted and maintained alarm. As you leave the building, the control panel will tell you if any doors or windows contacts have been left open. Setting and unsetting the alarm is easy and our point and press key fobs make it simple and instant.

If the alarm is activated while the building is empty, a Speech Dialler fitted to your alarm can call your mobile phone to let you know or contact one of your keyholders if your prefer (Who are keyholders?).

With a monitored alarm system, your alarm is connected 24 hours a day to a manned monitoring station. Any alarm activation will be checked electronically to see if it is a genuine activation. If so, the police will be alerted.

An annual maintenance contract is the best way to ensure your alarm system is fully functioning to minimise false alarms. With a maintenance contract you will also be able to speak to an engineer for advice at any time if you have a problem.

Can I add smoke detectors to my alarm system?

Absolutely! It is simple and inexpensive to add smoke detectors to commercial and domestic alarms and we always recommend it. Unlike DIY smoke detectors, there are no batteries that might run down. Your Homeguard alarm is powered by mains electricity and has a back-up battery in the event of a power failure. We will also check your smoke detectors and back-up batteries each year when we service your system, so you can be assured you and your family, or your business and customers, are safe.

What happens to the burglar alarm if we extend the premises?

Homeguard’s burglar alarms and fire systems are designed to be flexible and today’s wire-free security systems are simple to extend. If you expand your business or make improvements to your home, just let us know and we will be able to reconfigure your system as needed.

How do I know my burglar alarm is working?

Since installing an alarm is one of the most effective ways of deterring intruders, many alarms are rarely put to the test! There’s a simple ‘Test’ option you can try any time for reassurance but the most important thing you can do is ensure you have a maintenance contract. From less than £2 a week for a preventative maintenance contract, Homeguard will be available for advice and call-outs, and will visit your home each year (twice yearly for monitored systems) to conduct a thorough test of your whole system, and renew or replace parts and batteries as necessary.

I have an old alarm system that isn’t working properly

Homeguard can service and maintain all alarm systems, not just our own. We will thoroughly test your old alarm system and let you know what needs repair or replacement to get it in working order and how much that will cost. Old, unreliable alarms with complicated system settings can be replaced with new, easy-to-use models, often for less than you might think

How can I let other people access the premises without compromising security?

Homeguard alarm systems can be programmed so each person who uses your home or business has their own access code. These codes can also be programmed to give temporary access – for a day, a week or a month, if you wish.

My insurance company insists on an alarm from a NSI/SSAIB company. What does this mean?

The SSAIB and NSI are the two leading Police recognised regulatory bodies for security alarm installers. Homeguard is regulated by the SSAIB. While some may specify one approval body, all insurance companies should accept an alarm installed by a security company approved by either the SSAIB or the NSI.

Will I own the system?

Some alarm companies install a system cheaply, then lock you into an expensive annual rental agreement or get you to sign up for long-term maintenance contracts which can rocket in price.

At Homeguard we believe in working in the most simple, open way. You pay an agreed price to have the alarm installed so you own it outright. If you choose the extra security of a monitored system, there is an annual charge for monitoring and maintenance. Audible only systems have a maintenance contract which is renewed annually at your discretion.

What guarantee does Homeguard offer and what happens if there is a problem after that?

Your alarm is fully guaranteed for 12 months. After that, if you have a maintenance contract we’ll come out to you any time your alarm needs attention (call out charges apply). Batteries need replacing from time to time and parts can become damaged or deteriorate. If this happens, we will advise you of the full cost and discuss options before we carry out any work.

Does Homeguard offer a 24-hour call-out service?

Yes, Homeguard offers a 24-hour call-out service and emergency attendance to site, within the four-hour time limit specified by police and regulatory body guidelines.

Can I protect sheds, garages and outbuildings?

Wireless alarm systems are ideal for protecting external buildings and gates. You can set and unset these areas separately from the main control panel in the house.

What's the best type of security system for listed buildings?

Homeguard has installed security systems in listed buildings all over the South-East – including a 1,000-year-old church. We have a range of intruder alarm devices that can be fitted without damage to décor or surroundings. We will always work to minimise disruption and ensure your security system is discreet and unobtrusive.


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