Traditional vs Modern Burglar Alarms

Posted October 15th, 2020 by SimpliSafe

Being a victim of a break-in can be extremely unnerving. The idea that someone has entered and violated your safe space can leave you feeling unsettled for a long time.

Whether you’ve experienced this before and are currently recovering from a burglary, or if you’re taking extra precautions ahead of any potential break-ins, it’s always worth knowing what security measures your home has in place to protect you, your family and your belongings.

Burglar alarms and home security systems come in all shapes and sizes, to suit many budgets and each with their pros and cons. So to help you come to an educated decision, SimpliSafe looks at traditional vs modern burglar alarms to help you understand the main types out there and whether it’ll suit your needs.

Traditional burglar alarms - Bells-only alarms

Bells-only alarms are also known as audible alarms. You’ll have seen them prominently displayed on the side of houses and, when triggered, they give off a loud noise that (hopefully) alerts people in the area that something is happening and/or scares off any intruders.

While loud noises are thought to be a great deterrent, it’s worth remembering that traditional burglar alarms like these don’t come with any kind of monitoring or police response. So before you invest, think about the area you live in. Can you rely on a neighbourhood watch to respond if your own house’s alarm goes off?

Pros of a traditional burglar alarm

  • There’s no need to pay extra each month for a professional monitoring system

  • Any burglar alarm is better than no burglar alarm

Cons of a traditional burglar alarm

  • You won’t be alerted if the alarm goes off if you aren’t in the house or the nearby area unless someone nearby contacts you. Even if you are in the area, your own burglar alarm will be very hard to distinguish from others

  • With no one to stop the break-in, burglars may not be completely deterred

  • As traditional burglar alarms are fully wired, the connection can be easily interrupted if one cable is loose

  • In a similar train of thought, it can be easy for determined burglars to cut through and gain uninterrupted access

  • Far less technologically advanced compared to modern smart alarm systems

  • Traditional alarms usually require a professional installer to fit the alarms. Therefore this will incur an extra cost

Modern burglar alarms - Smart alarm system

A smart home security system uses the internet to effectively connect you directly to your home even when you are away. Through an app on your smartphone or table, you will be alerted when an intruder breaks into your home and, using a home security camera, you’ll be able to see whoever is there live.

When combined with a monitored alarm system, you can have the police dispatched straight to your home once an alarm receiving partner confirms that there is someone in your home who shouldn’t be. This means that no time is wasted between the break-in happening and someone being dispatched to the scene.

For a smart alarm system to work, there usually needs to be a centre of the operation. With SimpliSafe, you have the monitored alarm system - the brains of your system. You can then add other elements with the end goal of protecting every entrance and exit point, and every vulnerable bit of your home. They also double up as home protection with smoke detectors and water sensors also available to help protect you against the elements.

And the best part? There’s no need to get a professional installer out. All you have to do is plug in and go!

Pros of a smart alarm system

  • You can view the status of your home even when you are away with a smartphone app. Whether that’s just checking up on things or if an alarm has been triggered

  • Other sensors and cameras can be added to your system, eventually providing complete home protection

  • When combined with a monitored alarm system you can have police dispatched straight to your home once an intrusion has been visually confirmed

  • A smart alarm system such as SimpliSafe can be set up by you. No external installers required

  • You can install this yourself, removing an extra installation cost

Cons of a smart alarm system

  • You being alerted to an intruder when you are away from home depends on you having enough phone signal and battery

  • An additional monthly payment on top of purchasing the system is required for elements such as professional monitoring

Smart alarm systems also include…

Central keypad

Usually placed near the main entrance and exit of your home, the Keypad is how you arm and disarm your system with your chosen security PIN. It’s also how you add new sensors and cameras to your system.

Additional sensors

As we mentioned earlier, there are a whole host of different sensors that you can add to your system to build whole home protection. Here are the additional sensors you can purchase with SimpliSafe:

Home security camera

The addition of cameras make following up on an incident a lot easier, as police will have high quality visuals of the break-in. The best home security cameras, like SimpliCam, will have the highest resolution possible. In the past, traditional burglar alarms would rely on infrared images and detection - quite expensive and not the most reliable! With a home security camera, checking on your home when you’re out and about becomes a whole lot easier.

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to whether you choose a traditional or modern burglar alarm system, but many researchers and industry experts agree that a modern system far surpasses a traditional one. While both come with their pros and cons, the wireless technology, links to smartphones and professional monitoring, modern security systems have certainly one the race for being the most protective for your home.