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Burglar Alarms

“A burglar who respects his art always takes his time before taking anything else.” – O. Henry Porter

Home Office statistics show that most attempted burglaries on premises fitted with a security alarm are unsuccessful, which proves that they act as an effective deterrent. Burglars usually avoid breaking into premises fitted with a burglar alarm and look for easier targets elsewhere.

Protecting your pub with a burglar alarm system provides a much safer environment for you, your family and your business. Insurance companies sometimes offer discounts for pubs fitted with an alarm because these premises make substantially fewer claims and with some they’re now a requirement of insurers in pubs.

If you’ve ever shopped for a home security system, then you will know that there are a confusingly wide variety of options available, the choices for pubs are just as varied. These systems range from inexpensive and easy to fit burglar alarms to sophisticated and complicated security networks that must be installed by professionals. Most alarm systems are actually built around the same fundamental design concepts.

A basic burglar alarm works with a simple electric circuit built into an entry door or window. Electricity only flows when you give it a path between two points of opposite charge, to connect or disconnect the electricity, you open or close part of the circuit (when you open or close the window or door). The most popular type of this alarm system is called a Closed Circuit System. If somebody opens the door, the circuit is opened, and electricity can’t flow and this triggers the alarm.

The standard magnetic sensor in most circuits consists of a simple switching device consisting powered circuit, a spring-driven metal switch built into a door frame and a magnet in the door which is lined up with the switch. While the door is in the closed position the magnet attracts the metal switch to close it and the circuit is complete. When you open the door the magnet spring releases the switch into the open position cutting off the current, which activates the alarm. You can also fit this switch into a window frame so if a burglar opens the window, the system is activated in exactly the same way as the door switch.

The best burglar alarms incorporate a control box to prevent the intruder closing the door or window and therefore reconnecting the circuit and de-activating the alarm. This control box has its own power supply and it monitors the circuit and activates the alarm when the switch is opened but can only be de-activated when someone enters a security code or key at the control box.

The circuit alarm magnetic switches described above are ideal for protecting opening windows and doors of your pub, but they don’t always provide sufficient all round protection. The best additional protection is to fit motion detectors, often referred to as PIR’s. PIR (passive infrared) motion detectors are used in the most security systems. These sensors monitor body heat and when an intruder walks into view of the PIR, it detects the increased body heat and triggers the alarm to be activated.

PIR motion detectors are set so that the control box will not sound the alarm immediately they detect body heat. There is a delay of several seconds which allows the key holder time to enter the property and key in the security code (or turn their alarm system key) to turn the system off.

Depending on the type of burglar alarm installed there can be several deterrents to an intruder. In advanced systems, the control box will be connected to several different components and will typically activate a siren or loud alarm noise, a flashing outdoor light and siren and a telephone auto-dialler that calls a dedicated alarm company control room and in some instances the police.

The siren and lights will alert you, passers by or neighbours that someone has broken into the premises and the sound will often cause the intruder to run away quickly. The telephone auto-dialler can play a pre-recorded message giving the address of your pub and can also call your mobile (if you’re away or it’s a lock-up pub) or someone else who can help (uniformed security company or the police).

Wired burglar alarm systems mean that all the connecting component parts need to be wired together to complete the electrical circuit. However, there is a much easier way of installation, wireless systems automatically transmit the signals between all the component parts of the burglar alarm to avoid the time consuming and sometimes unsightly wiring process.

Don’t forget to include any outside storage areas, expensive beer garden kit (such as outside plasma screens, patio heaters, barbecue equipment) in your thinking. DIY alarms for these items can easily be installed and in some instances can be included in your main system.

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