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1 October 2020

Do burglar alarms and CCTV work? Burglar secrets revealed

Ex-burglars reveal their trade secrets. Find out what puts burglars off in this guide, based on our survey of 100 ex-burglars and security experts. 
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Liz Ransome-Croker

Ever wondered whether burglar alarms and CCTV really act as a deterrent to burglars? We've surveyed ex-burglars and spoken to experts to find out what puts them off, and what's most likely to keep your home secure. 

We surveyed 100 ex-burglars, carried out 10 in-depth interviews and spoke to reformed burglar, TV personality and security consultant Michael Fraser. Which? members can log in to unlock this page and reveal the results of this exclusive research. 

If you're not yet a Which? member, you can get instant access by joining Which?. This will also allow you to read all of our other in-depth investigations.

Burglar trade secrets revealed

We asked the ex-burglars about:

  • What really puts them off – from dogs to burglar alarms
  • If they can tell a dummy burglar alarm from a real burglar alarm
  • What makes you more likely to be a target for burglars
  • What they're most likely to want to steal

As well as access to the results of our burglar surveys, Which? members have exclusive access to the results of our research into the best burglar alarm brands, as rated by Which? members. We asked about everything from ease of use to value for money, and found out which brands score highest overall. Discover results for ADT, Honeywell, Chubb, Swann and Yale burglar alarms.

You'll also have access to our research into burglar alarm installation and costs, to avoid being overcharged when you get a burglar alarm installed.

Finally, if you're thinking of investing in security cameras, head to our reviews of wireless security cameras.