Alarms and Security

Types of Alarm Systems

Studies have shown a well-fitted and maintained burglar alarm system makes you less likely to become a victim of burglary. But how do you choose the right one for your business or home? Below we talk through the different types of alarm systems and contracts and highlight useful things to consider.

Types of Alarm Systems

The best type of alarm for your home or business depends on your personal preferences, budget, and what level of protection you need. 

A key consideration is what you would prefer to happen when your alarm goes off. Bells-only alarms make a noise, but do not contact anyone (such as the police).

Speech diallers, a device built inside an alarm, automatically contacts you or other nominated persons when the alarm is triggered. Alternatively, you could get a monitoring contract, whereby you would pay a company monthly or annually to take action or call the police if the alarm goes off. 

Wireless or Wired Alarm System?

Alarms can be either wired or wireless. Wireless alarms look nicer, are generally easier to install. They use battery-powered sensors that communicate with a control panel using radio signals. 

While this type of alarm tends to be easier to install professionally, the alarms themselves can be more expensive. Wired systems are also installed by our professional technicians in premises where the wireless signal could be an issue.

Unite will always conduct a full site survey to determine whether a wired or wireless alarm id the best option for your home or business.

Bells-only Alarm Systems

When a bells-only (also called audible) alarm is triggered, it makes a loud noise, which is designed to alert someone in the area to the situation and/or scare off an intruder. However, unlike a monitored alarm or one with a speech dialler, it won't automatically contact a named person or the police. 

Most homes or businesses that have an alarm system have a bells-only one. This is a sufficient option for most homes and businesses and undoubtedly provides a deterrent to any possible intruders.

Bells only alarm systems can also be integrated with your CCTV system to capture images when the alarm is triggered.

Maintaining your Alarm System

Unite Communications can provide regular maintenance to ensure your alarm system is always in full working order to deliver when needed. Regular maintenance is vital to ensure the system is ready to go and also is a requirement for many insurance providers.

Alarm System Monitoring 

There are three options if you would like to have your burglar alarm monitored, so someone will be alerted if it goes off: a speech dialler, a key holder contract or a police contract.

You can get a monitoring contract for a wired or wireless alarm, but the alarm itself and the installation does need to conform to certain standards.

There are two types of monitoring contract these are key holder and police response.

With both types, you pay extra per month or annually to have your alarm system monitored, which means the nominated key holder or the police will be alerted when the alarm goes off.

The idea is that the alarm system connects to our receiving centre, so if your alarm is triggered, they will be notified. The receiving centre will first of all ring your home or business asking for your password identification. If this is incorrect or no one answers, either they will take action, inform the key holder(s), or call the police, depending on what type of contract you have with Unite.

Speech dialler 

A speech dialler (also called text alert), is a device built into or connected to a wired or wireless alarm. The idea is that when the alarm goes off, the speech dialler will call or text a set of phone numbers of your choice, for example family members or your mobile, until it gets an answer or can leave an automated message. 

This can be a good alternative to a professional monitoring as they just need to be activated and connected to your phone line. 

Key Holder Monitoring

Key holder monitoring is when the 'receiving centre will either respond itself when the alarm is triggered, or will contact the nominated key holders. 

Nominated key holders must be within 20 minutes of the premises, be able to drive and have access to the property. It's also vital to keep Unite Communications up to date with your details, and suggest alternatives if they are away. 

Unite Communications can provide this service for a monthly fee, please call us on 01914661050 or email

Police Monitoring

In addition to our receiving centre being made aware an alarm going off, this type of contract means the police will also be contacted by the receiving centre.

When your alarm goes off, two indicators within the property, such as a door contact and a sensor, must both have been triggered to warrant police call out. Unite Communications can also provide this service for a monthly fee, please call us on 01914661050 or email

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