Carry out a simple risk assessment to decide what burglar alarm system you need. Do you need to protect your discarded/garage/garden ornaments or just a single room in your house, or do you need to protect the whole house and garden?
If you want to protect garden ornaments and outside areas you will probably need an all weather PIR (Passive Infrared) movement detector that will cause a chime in the house when someone walks into the area to be protected, this should be the kind that is not usually activated by pets or small animals. Alternatively discarded/garage alarms can be set to cause a 130 decibel siren when activated which is usually enough to frighten away the opportunist thief closest, in addition as alerting you or your neighbour.
Protecting The Whole House
Usually domestic house alarms will be the ‘Automatic Dialing’ kind of system which, when activated by an intruder, will call your mobile or landline numbers to inform you. You can buy a simple in addition powerful alarm which will protect just a single room or a system which protects the complete character. If you decide to protect the whole house walk around the outside of your character looking for easy access points, flat roofs, ineffective doors/windows etc. These will be the areas a typical burglar will be looking for and will consequently require specific protection such as PIR movement sensors or magnetic door/window contacts. Consider how you would gain entry yourself, this will highlight possible entry points for intruders.
Generally a ‘whole house’ burglar alarm system will be make up of consistently magnetic door contacts on the front and rear doors, and possibly an internal hallway door. Additional protection is provided by adding PIR movement detectors in the hallway/landing, lounge and kitchen. Protecting the hall/landing is very important because any intruder will typically have to walk across this area when moving between rooms. If you are fitting a ‘whole house’ burglar alarm it is usually best to fit the entry control keypad in a functional position in the hallway to allow you to access it easily when entering the security code to arm/disarm the system. You may want your system to include an internal entry/exit tone so you can hear and confirm that you have armed/disarmed the system. If you decide to fit an external siren this should be fitted as high as practicable, and wireless systems are best so that cables are not be visible. Wireless systems are also quick and simple to install yourself, and are obtainable very inexpensively.
Protecting Boats and Holiday Homes Without a Telephone Line
Burglar alarms for boats and holiday homes work in much the same way as ‘whole house’ systems but without the specific need for a telephone line and can be powered by either 12 volt batteries or mains electricity. These alarms will usually be a system which, when activated by an intruder, will automatically dial your mobile or landline numbers by a GSM mobile sim card (no need for an additional mobile phone, the sim technology is built into the system). These boat and holiday home burglar alarm systems can auto dial you from anywhere in the world, by the mobile network, no matter where your boat or character is located.