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Third of burglar alarm owners don’t always bother to use them

25th September 2014 Print

A third of people with a burglar alarm installed in their property do not always bother to set the device before they leave their home.

New research conducted on behalf of mortgage and loan provider Ocean Finance has found that, of the 43% of UK adults who have a burglar alarm, 34% do not always use it. This behaviour was most prevalent among 18 to 24-year-olds, with two-fifths (40%) of this age group admitting they do not always set their alarm on their way out of the property.

Londoners were the most security-conscious when it came to the safety of their homes. Three-quarters (77%) of people living in an alarmed property in the city made sure it was always set before they left. In contrast, almost half (48%) of people in the North East revealed they did not always set their alarm.

Of course, setting the house alarm may not be such a precaution if several people know the code. Yet, according to the poll, nearly four in ten (39%) people with alarms said that the code for it was known by one or more people outside of their household. Nearly half of these (47%) had revealed the digits to their friends and close to this number (46%) had passed them on to their neighbour – although this may be so they can gain access to the property in the event the alarm is sounding.

However, more than one in 10 alarm owners (12%) said they had given the code to tradesmen, and 6% had revealed it to another service provider, such as a dog walker or gardener.

With a third of people with burglar alarms not regularly setting them, it may appear as though homeowners have little confidence in the security. And yet the majority of respondents admitted they did react and investigate in some way if they heard an alarm going off.

Two-thirds (65%) of respondents claimed they would have a look to see if they could spot any suspicious activity if they heard a burglar alarm going off in their street, while nearly one in 10 (7.9%) would move straight for the phone and call the police. Meanwhile, almost one in 20 respondents (4.2%) said they would call the home at which the alarm was sounding to check everything was alright.

Ian Williams, spokesman for Ocean, says: “Despite nearly half of us having a burglar alarm installed at home, a third admit they do not always use it. And compromising the security of their property even further, a third of alarm owners have shared their activation code with someone outside their house.

“This suggests people don’t have much faith in the ability of their alarms to protect their homes. And yet most respondents say they would do something if they heard an alarm going off on their street.

“Having a functional alarm – particularly if it is an approved standard – could help to lower your home insurance premium and save you money, as well as keeping your home safe. However, it’s not much use if you never set it.”