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Is it worth having a dummy alarm?

In a bid to cut costs, some businesses consider installing dummy alarms. The cheapest dummy burglar alarms certainly seem more affordable than genuine burglar alarms, but do they actually act as a deterrent or are they a waste of time?

What are dummy burglar alarms?

Dummy alarms are usually empty boxes mounted on the front of your work premises or home as a visual deterrent to thieves and intruders. However, if there is a break-in, a dummy alarm wouldn’t actually alert you or draw attention to those responsible. A dummy alarm may act as a deterrent for inexperienced thieves, but offer no real protection to your premises.

Why businesses should avoid dummy burglar alarms

While some dummy alarms are very cheap, a good-quality dummy is likely to cost almost as much as a working burglar alarm. In this case, installing a dummy is counterproductive. It’s better to spend more to put a real intruder alarm in place.

Furthermore, experienced burglars know what to look for when they see an intruder alarm. They are experts in noticing the subtle differences between genuine and fake alarms. Giveaways include a lack of LED lights and wiring. More sophisticated dummies may have these features but are still usually easy to spot with a trained eye.

As dummy alarms don’t tend to be installed by an expert, they are often mounted in places that a genuine alarm installer wouldn’t put them. This is another major giveaway. If your dummy alarm has flashing lights you’ll have to change the batteries frequently; another giveaway if your workplace is being watched by burglars and often a difficult task to remember. Forgetting to replace the batteries will mean alarm lights won’t flash, increasing the possibility of criminals knowing its a dummy.

Finally, dummy burglar alarms won’t reduce your insurance premiums because insurers do not consider them to be as viable as genuine intruder alarms. The insurance money you could save by installing a real alarm could potentially offset the saving you would make by installing a fake, in addition to making insurance claims less likely.

The value of a working intruder alarm

A working intruder alarm will act as a real deterrent, even to experienced thieves. They are far less likely to risk breaking into an alarmed property than one that is unprotected. The risk of getting caught is much higher if you have a good-quality alarm system in place. Depending on the type of alarm you have, you, a caretaker or even the police could be alerted immediately if a break-in does occur, making it much more likely to catch the intruders red-handed.

If you have valuable stock or equipment at your business premises, it’s not worth running the risk of a break-in. BWS Security can install systems of all sizes and offers a broad range of security levels and features. Our trained installation engineers provide security services in Swindon and throughout the southwest. Find out more about our burglar alarms, fire alarms, access control systems or CCTV systems, by calling us on 01225 800 602.

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