The simple answer is it all depends upon the size of your home and the type of system you wish to install.
Different Types of Systems
Home security systems can be either wireless, making it easier for the homeowner to install as they work using wifi and there are therefore no cables to be routed and hidden, or ‘hard wired’ meaning the components are connected by cables. ‘Hard wired’ systems may prove cheaper to purchase but they will need to be fitted by a qualified electrician, which in turn will mean paying labour costs.
Wireless systems can be easily deactivated and removed to a new property, another feature worth considering.
There are differences between burglar alarms and home security systems using CCTV, see more at Alert Watch; these are for surveillance purposes and allow the user to see who is approaching their home, often listen to what they are saying, and with certain types of systems record what the cameras are seeing. Burglar alarms set off an alarm that is triggered by invasive action after the alarm has been set, for example a window being broken or a locked door forced open.
New and complete wireless security systems with up to four cameras can be found online for between £500 to £1,000, with installation costs included. Many new systems are accessible remotely for additional peace of mind when away from home.
Another factor to consider is whether to buy new or ‘seller refurbished’ of which there are a number available through online retail outlets; these systems can be wireless, include two cctv cameras and motion sensors and can be found for just under £200. Additional components such as further cameras and sensors may be added provided the receiving equipment has the capacity to manage this, but this will mean making further purchases.
Wireless alarm systems can be found online from as little as £350 fully installed. This will be for a basic package but additional sensors can be added at extra cost.
Yale make a burglar alarm system for use with Android or iOS smartphones and a basic package consisting of one camera and one motion detector plus door sensors, siren, dummy siren and keypad and wifi control box can be purchased for under £390 online. As ever, additional components can be added at extra cost. This system is wireless and does not require a professional electrician to install it. Information can be accessed from your smartphone.
When looking online for local suppliers of alarm systems, check that the costs quoted are ‘one off’ costs and whether additional annual or even monthly fees are going to be incurred and whether or not you will be required to sign up to a contract, some of which can be for 24 months and can cost anything from £15 per month for external monitoring, yearly maintenance and inspection and other call outs. An alternative to this may be a ‘one off’ payment above the cost of the basic alarm system, with ‘pay as you go’ options on any call outs.
When considering any of the above options, take care to check whether a ‘police response’ notification comes at additional cost.
You will get what you pay for.
It is possible to acquire a basic cctv monitoring system for around £500 new and less than £200 ‘seller refurbished’. Such a system will allow you to monitor movement around the exterior of your property or even the interior as well if you add further cameras at additional cost.
A burglar alarm system can be purchased for £390 online and fitted by yourself.
Professionally fitted alarm systems can cost as little as £400, with some installers quoting less for the most basic of systems; expect to pay more for additional components such as sensors and cameras, however, and other devices, and again, watch out for contracts with monthly costs and additional fees for Police responses.
Deciding what to buy
Basically there are several questions you need to ask yourself:
• What is my overall budget? The more you spend the more devices and therefore the more protection you can purchase, together with versatility of application and access. This will be linked to the size and layout of your home.
• Do I want to fit the system myself? If you are technically minded and computer literate this can save you money and give added satisfaction.
• Do I want to have the peace of mind of being able to call on a professional company in case of breakdown or other issues? This will involve signing a contract and making monthly or annual payments.
• Do I want to have my alarm system established to initiate a response from the Police if activated? This again will involve additional costs.
New and seller refurbished systems can be acquired for a few hundred pounds and less.
If you decide to go for a system that will be professionally fitted and maintained, look online for local providers; most will offer free quotes and it is a competitive market.