Comparison of Alarm Systems

This is a comparison of standard alarm systems against sophisticated interative monitored alarm systems, like AMCO Security's specialist LiveTalk monitoring system. When choosing a home alarm system (or an alarm system for your business) you need to compare a number of different factors - understanding exactly what you're getting from your alarm system, especially when it comes to the different types of alarm monitoring service on offer.

The 3 key things to compare when choosing alarm systems are:

- Monitored or non-monitored

- Wired or wireless

- Contract length

The following table gives an in-depth comparison of different alarm systems and their different features:

Click here to see how AMCO alarms work

Response System
“Call back” Monitoring
£99 Basic Wireless System Auto Dialler Alarm
Owned/Rented Owned Either Rented Either
Control Panel yes yes  tick tick
Secure Mains Connection tick tick no Varies
Back-up Battery Size Large 7AH Large 7AH Small 1.2AH Varies
Code-entry Keypad yes yes Varies Varies
Internal Sounder yes yes yes yes
Immediate response via 2 way communication yes no no no
Break-in Confirmation/Burglary deterred immediately yes no no no
Informed Key Holder & Police Key Holder & Police Key Holder only Key Holder only
Speak to a real person or just automated message Real Person Varies Automated Message Automated Message
Immediate Audio Response yes no no no
Real Crime Confirmation yes

Police called immediately

Intruder sounds are heard

Police only called if two detectors activated

Only Key Holders called

No alarm confirmation*

Only Key Holders called

No alarm confirmation*
False Alarm Rate 3.4% 89-92%** 98.8%*** 98.8%***
External “Silent” Bell Box yes yes yes yes
Emergency button for Police, Fire, Ambulance yes yes
Required telephone call back
no no
Immediate precautionary assistance available yes no no no
Notes: * Where Key Holders only are called this can leave the Key Holder with acute worry during the time it takes to visit their property – this could range from minutes to days leaving the property vulnerable throughout this period.
** figures provided by the Metropolitan Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers Ltd *** figures provided by Daily Express research
**** We do not recommend remote Fobs or Proximity Tags to be carried or used externally as they are easily lost or stolen leaving the property vulnerable. Furthermore they place the person carrying them at risk of mugging in the event that a criminal decides to target a property. (Around 70% of burglars are reported to pre-target properties)


Costs and contracts vary by alarm company – we recommend getting a detailed quote ensuring that ALL costs are included, then use the AMCO price comparison calculator to compare costs and visit independent product review sites to evaluate product claims.

How AMCO monitored alarms work

AMCO’s monitored alarm systems are special as they come with *LiveTalk Monitoring* meaning that our highly trained 24/7 monitoring staff can immediately listen, talk and challenge intruders in your property.

The idea of our monitored alarm systems is that we immediately scare away burglars by talking to them via a 'speaker microphone unit' and call in the emergency services if necessary.


What happens when an AMCO monitored alarm is activated

Burglar breaking in

AMCO listens via microphone

Intruder breaks in and activates AMCO LiveTalk monitoring allowing AMCO to listen into property immediately.

20 seconds after alarm activation.

Burglar is challenged

AMCO challenges via speaker

Intruder is startled by AMCO staff verbally challenging via a speaker in the property.

5 seconds later.

Burglar leaves empty handed

AMCO alerts emergency services

AMCO alerts police. Intruder runs away quickly (empty handed).

10 seconds later.

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Article references

Credit: written by Julian Wild

Published Date: 10/8/12

Publisher: AMCO Security