Whilst a good business security alarm system need not cost a fortune, it does represent a major investment. But the return on your investment can be immeasurable, so you need to think through your priorities and make a smart choice.
Business security alarm choice criteria
Before you purchase your security alarm system, make sure you have considered all of these important factors:
- What is your maximum budget?
- Do you prefer to own or rent the alarm system?
- What type of sensor systems do you need?
- Is your business alarm system going to be monitored by an external security firm?
- Do all possible access points need to be alarmed (doors, windows, hatches, gates etc.)?
Alarm system costs
The overall business alarm price will be worked out based on the following expenses:
- Price of equipment. A bell-only security alarm system will cost £300-£600.
- Alarm Installation fees vary depending on the type of alarm and package, starting from £100-£200.
- Servicing and maintenance charges (including replacing batteries or broken parts). Individual call outs can be expensive, so it may be beneficial to pay an annual servicing fee to cover all maintenance and repairs.
- Monthly cost of security alarm monitoring. Prices start from as little as £20-£30 a month (and good deals can be had when combining this with servicing fees).
- The cost of additional sensors or control panels as your business grows or you wish to step up security. The sensors themselves start from a few pounds, but installation costs will be significantly more.
So a basic commercial alarm system, with external monitoring, will set you back at least £500 - £700. It is, however, important to view the cost of business alarms in relation to the security and peace of mind they provide in addition to reduced insurance premiums and increased property value.
Choosing your security supplier
As with all large business purchases, choosing the right alarm supplier is key. In regards to business alarm systems, you will be looking for a provider that you can work with long term. The first step is to make sure they have confirmed membership of one of the industry standard bodies, preferably the NSI or SSAIB, and check references and testimonials. This is important to ensure that all security alarm systems and workmanship are approved for police and insurance purposes (your insurer may require a certificate of compliance). Check for British Standards Institution (BSI) certification for all installers and products.
Quotes should be made following a comprehensive security check and cover everything needed for your business alarms, including servicing, installation, monitoring costs, key holding, insurance and desired response times. Upon installation, your supplier should thoroughly test the sensors, show authorised employees how to use the security alarm system, set up the servicing agreement and talk you through registering your alarm with local authorities. Installation, especially for a wireless alarm, should be quick and cause minimal disruption to your business operations.