Burglar alarms, do they actually make homes safer?

Cocoon Labs

Ringing burglar alarms have been the soundtrack to suburban life since the early 80s. We dive into the facts to set the record straight – do home security systems actually work, or not?

Ringing burglar alarms get ignored.

Sirens and alarms have become background noise in our modern lives, with 76% of Brits ignoring them. This is, in part, because they’re so often false. Smart home security systems like Cocoon solve this by giving control of the siren back to the homeowner. This means a burst of loud sound can be used to startle and disorientate an intruder while you catch evidence of their dastardly deed on camera.

Burglars are less likely to target a home with a security system

When burglars break into a home they are calculating the odds of getting caught. They bet that they can get into your home, grab your valuables and get out before the police arrive. Having a home security system dramatically reduces the odds of them getting away without spending time in a police cell. Hardly surprising they avoid the risk! Dr. Joseph B. Kuhns of the University of North Carolina spoke to over 400 burglars behind bars and found that over 83% of them try to determine if a house had a home security alarm before breaking in. Over 81% of those burglars admitted to stopping or selecting another target if the property had an alarm installed.

Cocoon home security window sticker in the window of a home

The evidence is clear, having a home security system deters the majority of burglars. But hold on, before you rush out to install an ugly alarm bell box on the front of your beautiful home you should know that most smart home security companies now ship highly visible window stickers designed to do exactly the same thing, without denting your curb appeal.

What to do about the ‘professional’ burglars?

If you regularly read the website of the Metropolitan Police, you’ll know that home security alarms are “undoubtedly the most effective deterrent against burglary” and that stickers or signage “are proven to be a powerful deterrent against burglary”. It’s worth noting at this point that the majority of thefts in the home take less than 10 minutes, whereas Police response times across the UK average 12 minutes, so prevention should be an important part of how you plan your home security.

‘Professional’ or ‘career’ criminals know this gap in response times and up to 13% will continue with a break-in regardless of there being home security present. Despite home security putting off the vast majority of intruders, a hardcore group still exists.

Our advice, use a smart home security system to record evidence of the intruder in the act. This can help Police identify the intruder, recover your goods and help with a criminal conviction.  

The right home security could make a big difference to your home.

  • The average burglary takes 10 minutes,  two minutes quicker the UK Police average response time of 12 minutes
  • More than 650,000 UK homes are victims of burglary each year
  • More than 70% of UK homes don’t have home security
  • Only 10% of reported break-ins in the UK result in a Police conviction

Which burglar alarm works for me?

So yes, an alarm really does work to deter intruders. If you’re part of the 70% who don’t have any home security alarm, now may be the time to consider getting one. 

We’d recommend that you take a look at our home security guide to find the right system for your home. The Memo agrees: “Cocoon is the best smart home security you can buy”. Regardless of which home security system you choose to protect your home, having one will make your home safer and reduce your chances of being a victim of burglary.