Are Burglar Alarms Effective?

Burglar alarms are seen as the ideal staple for home security needs worldwide. These systems are instantly activated after or during a break-in, but it’s safe to say that most homeowners expect a bit more from their burglar alarm installations. Those homeowners that have invested in these pieces of technology want peace of mind in knowing that the system is able to deter crime in the first place.

There’s a lot of conflicting information at present about the usefulness and efficacy of these systems. Studies are often at odds with one another, and meanwhile, one 2009 study has shown favourable results that burglar systems lessened crime in a neighbourhood, another outright contested these claims. With these conflicting studies online, it’s no wonder that homeowners are wondering: are burglar systems and alarms actually effective crime deterrents?

Burglar Alarms Stop Crime In Action

There are generally two ways in which a burglar alarm is supposed to work. The first involves the system being triggered by a suspicious criminal illegally entering a home. The second is, of course, the alarm going off as a burglary is taking place. Theoretically, these systems are meant to raise awareness of a potential crime or one that’s occurring as the system is going off.

Certain alarm systems have the ability to get triggered by the motion of a break-in taking place, but for the most part, the alarms don’t usually have the intended consequences. In fact, a 2012 study revealed that most neighbours would simply ignore an alarm going off and assume that it was an accident. Most of these homeowners are weary of alarms and simply have what’s known as alarm fatigue which simply means they’ve heard so many alarms going off that they simply choose to ignore them now.

Burglar Alarms Have The Ability To Become Effective

Alarm fatigue lessens the impact an audible alarm may have on a neighbourhood crime spree, but there are ways to make these systems more effective and reliable. For example, by opting for a system that allows for external remote viewing, the alarm becomes significantly more useful. Coupled with remotely monitored alarm systems, burglar alarms do have the ability to work as intended with the necessary precautions in place.

By opting for a remote monitoring service, when the alarm is triggered, the service centre is alerted of the crime. The centre is then able to appropriately respond by sending the authorities to help secure the perimeter of the property and apprehend the burglar.

Can Burglar Alarms Work As A Deterrent Only?

It is theorised that the mere sighting of a burglar alarm is purportedly enough to stop most criminals in their tracks in order to deter crime. Using this belief, most commercial buildings opt for large visible burglar alarms that feature a viewable bell box with flashing lights that go off when triggered. This symbolises that the premises are protected by an alarm system, and as such, supposedly criminals will take their ill intent elsewhere.

A conducted survey does reveal that at least 60% of burglars are indeed deterred by the sight of a visible working alarm. The UK government was also able to corroborate these statistics by further cementing the fact that 75% of households didn’t experience any crime since being fitted with a burglar alarm.

Though evidence is sometimes scant, in this case, it clearly shows that burglar alarms do, to some extent, indeed deter crime. Of course, the efficacy of these systems greatly depends on the visibility of the alarm itself as well as whether the system is being remotely monitored by professionals.