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Flat Alarm

Although there are several reasons to install an alarm in your flat, one thing they all share in common is monitoring the safety of the possessions and people in your home. There are alarm systems to combat intrusion and burglary, and also alarms more designed to alert you if a fire or gas leak is detected in your home.

Why install an alarm in your flat?

A flat is somewhere you can feel comfortable and relaxed. However, it still needs to have the right level of security. Are you sure you've taken every precaution to prevent fires and the risk of poisoning? And what happens if someone tries to break into your home? An effective alarm system gives you peace of mind to enjoy your home, sleep soundly or go on holiday without any concerns or being worried about unwelcome surprises.
  • Why get a fire alarm?
Just like in a house, the risk of fire is very much a factor in a flat. The fire service responds to no fewer than 280,000 fire-related calls every year. As a result, since 2016 it has been mandatory to fit your home or flat with at least one autonomous device that detects smoke and triggers an alarm. The system is simple: if the device detects the presence of smoke in a flat, an alarm is triggered to alert the occupants and enable them to get out of their home or call the emergency services. An alarm is particularly essential at night, when a home's occupants are asleep.
  • Other detectors for ensuring your safety
There are also gas detectors that alert you in case there is a leak and a risk of an explosion, and carbon monoxide detectors, which protect against this highly poisonous gas that can prove fatal. If the device detects the presence of gas in dangerous quantities, an audible alarm is immediately triggered.

This allows you to exit your home before being exposed to any danger of explosion or poisoning, ensure the safety of any exposed persons (including neighbours) and alert the appropriate authorities. These detectors have an alarm that is different from the sound of the smoke alarm to avoid causing confusion about the source of danger when the alarm is triggered.
  • Protecting your home from intrusion or theft
Another type of recommended alarm in a flat to secure your safety is of course a burglar alarm, which prevents burglars from entering your home. People often believe they are safer in a flat than in a detached house due to the obstacles restricting access by unknown persons (secure door to the building, electronic lock, the presence of neighbours, a concierge, etc.). However, there's also a risk of burglary in a flat, whether during the day or at night and even if people are at home.
Flats are not protected by an alarm as often as detached houses. However, we know that 95% of burglaries end when an audible alarm is triggered. Fitting an alarm system in your flat to protect the entry points is therefore a simple and effective way of deterring burglars and intruders.

What's the difference between a flat burglar alarm and a house alarm?

Although there's no fundamental difference between an alarm system for a house and one for a flat, a home above the ground floor in a building is usually easier to protect and requires a less extensive surveillance system. The number of windows is often limited and a flat usually only has one door; 80% of home burglaries take place through a door, making this vulnerable entry point a priority to secure.

A wireless flat alarm system is usually therefore sufficient for protecting your home. Nevertheless, if your flat has vulnerable entry points (a balcony that's easy to access for example) or if it's on the ground floor or first floor, you may need to install a more sophisticated security system with several detection points to protect all entry points into your home, possibly along with suitable cameras or detectors.

Bear in mind that many regulations of multi-occupancy buildings prohibit the installation of an external alarm. You'll therefore need to choose an anti-intrusion security pack that includes an interior alarm. Discover all our products

How do I choose from the different types of burglar alarm?

Burger alarms can be categorised based on various criteria: the type of detection, the type of alert, the type of control and the associated features included in the security system.
  • The different detectors
There are different types of detectors designed to identify an intrusion. A motion detector works using infrared and sounds the alarm if it detects a warm body, while a door/window sensor triggers the alarm if contact is broken between two magnetic elements attached to the opening of a door, a window, a piece of furniture or a safe. In addition to motion and opening detectors, there are also impact sensors and break glass detectors that sound the alarm if they detect abnormal vibrations. Some break glass detectors combine noise detection with a thermal sensor to detect if a window has been broken.
  • The various types of alert
Once the detectors have identified an intrusion, the security system may sound the alert in different ways. The most obvious one is an audible alarm, which causes intruders to flee and alerts the home's occupants. An interior alarm is usually very loud (up to 110 dB). However, your alarm system may include additional alerts. With a smart alarm you may also receive an alert via SMS on your phone or via a notification on your smartphone. This can be useful if you're upstairs or are not at home and can't hear the alarm. If you’re alarm system has a SIM card you can also receive a registered call or an SMS via the GMS network in the event of an intrusion.
  • What type of control should I have for my alarm system?
Another differentiating factor in the multiple different types of alarms available is the way in which you control the alarm. Depending on the model, the alarm can be triggered and switched off using an app on your smartphone, a control keypad (often located near the front door), a badge or a remote control.
  • Useful features for an alarm system
Other options or features can be added to your alarm system. These can be useful depending on the layout of your home and how your security alarm functions. Some alarm systems are designed to function even in a home where there are pets: if this is the case, the motion sensor can distinguish between the heat given off by a pet and the heat produced by a human to avoid sounding the alarm unnecessarily.

Some alarms are combined with a remote surveillance system, in which case a camera is installed and linked to a security centre. If the detectors identify an intrusion, personnel at the centre can then check what's happening at the property by looking at the footage or at photos in real time, and intervene if necessary. If you have a smart surveillance camera you can even remotely monitor your home yourself: if there's an intrusion you'll be alerted and can check what's happening in your home on your smartphone.

Another useful feature is that some alarm systems can withstand attempts to disable them. They are designed to prevent them being torn out or the batteries being removed and, in the case of wireless alarms that work via radio waves, can withstand scrambling and interference attempts.

How to choose a flat alarm

Several criteria come into play when choosing an alarm system for your home.
  • An approved alarm system is best
It's best to choose a burglar alarm that is approved in accordance with the NFA2P standard. Depending on the value of the possessions in your home, your insurer may also make this a requirement. The A2P standard categorises alarms based on three levels of protection: from one to three shields, depending on the system's performances and level of security.
  • Wired or wireless alarm?
Alarm security products can be wired or wireless. A wired alarm is more reliable and resistant to interference, although you'll often need to call a professional to install one and a few alterations to your home may be required. Meanwhile, a wireless alarm is quick to install and you don't need to connect a cable in your home regardless of where it's located. A wireless alarm runs on batteries and also works if there's a power cut.
  • Stand-alone alarm or complete protection system?
When it comes to security you have the choice between a stand-alone alarm, which usually secures the main entry point by means of a motion or opening detector, and a more comprehensive alarm system that includes several detectors and other security accessories (camera, break glass detector, additional alarm, etc.).
  • Your choice depends on the level of protection you want
Consider the surface area and layout of your flat to help you make the right choice. If there are a lot of entry points, your home has several floors or is on the ground floor, you may need a more advanced security system to prevent any intrusions. You may also decide to secure both the entry points (doors, windows, roof windows) and rooms where you keep valuable possessions (safe, paintings, jewellery, etc.).
  • Installing an alarm system
You also need to consider how easy an alarm system is to install. A stand-alone wireless alarm is easy to install and is therefore more economical. Fitting a smart alarm is also easy and setting up the system is very simple using an app on your phone. Nevertheless, having a professional install the alarm will give you the opportunity to get advice on how secure your home is.
  • The price of a home alarm
The price of a flat alarm depends on how complex the installation is. If you have very valuable possessions or the entry points to your home aren't secure enough, it might be worth investing in a sophisticated alarm system. Having a professional install the system or taking out a subscription with a surveillance company are obviously additional costs to bear in mind when you're comparing the prices of burglar alarms.

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