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Best burglar alarm brands

Burglar alarm brands rated

By Liz Ransome-Croker

Article 1 of 11

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Which are the best monitored and unmonitored burglar alarm brands? Read on for the results of our exclusive survey of burglar alarm owners.

We surveyed 3,228 Which? members about their home security and burglar alarms to find out which brands are rated most highly for customer satisfaction. Our survey results cover 11 burglar alarm brands, including ADT, Yale, Honeywell and Response alarms, as well as local independent companies.

We've rated two key types of burglar alarms; monitored and unmonitored. The first are monitored by a burglar alarm company as part of a service, for which you pay an annual or monthly fee. The company will then call you or alert the police if the burglar alarm goes off. 

Unmonitored alarms, sometimes called standalone or bells-only alarms, don't come with a contract. You can often buy these from DIY shops - see our section further down the page on monitored vs unmonitored alarms for more information.

Burglar alarm brands rated

In the tables you'll find the the overall customer score for each alarm brand, as well as how customers rate the alarms for ease of use, value for money, alarm quality and alarm sensitivity. 

The first table shows the results for unmonitored alarms, while further down the page you'll find our reviews for the monitored alarm services. 

Which? members can log in now to unlock the scores in the table below. If you're not already a member, sign up for a Which? trial to get instant access.

Burglar alarms (unmonitored)

The top two brands got customer scores of 76% and 74%. The lowest-scoring brand scored 65% - still a fairly decent score, but more than 11 percentage points below the top brand.

Burglar alarm brands - overview
Brand Customer score Alarm quality Alarm sensitivity Easy of use Value for money
Banham Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Honeywell Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Local independent alarm company Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Pyronix Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Response Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Risco Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Scantronic Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Texecom Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Visonic Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Yale Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Sample sizes: Banham (45), Honeywell (319), local independent alarm company (687), Pyronix (41), Response (111), Risco (191), Scantronic (152), Texecom (231), Visonic (73), Yale (189).

Table notes: Texecom includes Veritas. Risco includes Gardtec and Eurosec. Response (also called Response Electronics) includes ERA miGuard.

We also asked people to rate unmonitored alarms for customer service/retailer's support, ease of installation, and maintenance service (if applicable).

You can find full results for each brand, as well as information on what it offers and its prices, by clicking on the brand in the left-hand menu. 

If you're looking for an independent burglar alarm company in your area, head to Which? Trusted Traders to find one that's been through our rigorous selection process.

Monitored burglar alarms 

The top-performing monitored alarm company got a customer score of 78%, 12 percentage points higher than the brand rated lowest.

Risco is the only brand to appear in both tables, gaining a slightly higher score in one category.

Monitored burglar alarm brands - overview
Brand Customer score Alarm quality Alarm sensitivity Ease of use Value for money Monitoring service Response time after activation
Local independent alarm company Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
Risco Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content
ADT Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content Subscriber only content

Sample sizes: ADT (203), local independent alarm company (89), Risco (40).

Table notes: Risco includes Gardtec and Eurosec.

As with unmonitored alarms, we also asked people to rate their brand's customer service/retailer's support and maintenance service. Additionally, we asked about its monitoring service and response time after activation.

Again, you can find full results for each brand, as well as information on what it offers and its prices, by clicking on the brand in the left-hand menu.

Monitored vs unmonitored alarms 

Most of the people we surveyed own an unmonitored alarm - 82% compared with 18% who own a monitored one. 

There are pros and cons to both types of burglar alarm. Getting a monitored alarm guarantees that you will be alerted by a monitoring company if your alarm goes off, but you have to pay a monthly or annual fee. 

82%The percentage of people with an unmonitored alarm.

However, some unmonitored alarms are now able to alert you, without the additional monthly cost. There are three types of unmonitored alarms:

  • Bells-only burglar alarms aren't monitored, so you won't know your alarm has been triggered unless a neighbour lets you know - 81% of owners have one of these.
  • Auto-dialler alarms will automatically contact you via phone if they're triggered - 12% have one.
  • Smart alarms will also alert you by phone or your tablet if there's a break-in and, with some, you can control them from your phone as well - just 7% have this type. 

For more information to help you decide if you'd be better off with a monitored or unmonitored alarm, go to our page on the different types of burglar alarm. This covers the pros and cons of each type in more detail, and tells you what you need to consider before spending your money.

You can also find out about the typical costs of having an alarm installed by an independent installer, and discover how you might be able to save as much as £370, on our page about burglar alarm installation costs.

Our research

In September 2017, we asked 4,353 Which? members about the security measures in their home. Of those, 3,412 people told us about their burglar alarm. For the brand ratings, 2,625 people answered for standalone alarms and 603 for monitored.

We also asked people to rate different aspects of the brands and their alarms, including: 

  • customer service/retailer's support
  • ease of installation
  • ease of use
  • maintenance service
  • quality of alarm
  • sensitivity of the alarm
  • value for money. 

For monitored alarms, we also asked about response time after activation, and the monitoring service. Brands with a sample size of less than 30 people were not included.

The customer scores for both types are based on how satisfied customers were with their alarm, and how likely they were to recommend it to a friend.

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