Wired or Wireless?
Wireless driveway alarms are in general as reliable as wired driveway alarms. Obviously there are exceptions to everything and if you think you can spend £20 or £30 and obtain something that will be reliable and give you the peace of mind you are looking for, then we have some bad news for you. To get a reliable product that will give you the security you need, you will need to spend over £100. Anything less is going to be pretty and filled with dodgy electronics.
If you have a regular sized driveway and you have a home security system, you will probably be able to simply add a wired detector for the driveway. This will then be controlled by your home alarm panel. If you know the company who installed the alarm, they should be your first call, but we always recommend getting 2 or 3 companies to quote you.
If you have a long driveway, multiple entrances or do not already have a domestic alarm system, then a wireless driveway alarm will be your best option. Wireless alarms come in two forms essentially. These are –
Mains powered. There will be a receiver / siren unit that plugs in to a standard domestic power socket and a wireless detector for the driveway. These are the most common type. The detector will send an RF (Radio Frequency) signal to the receiver, which in turn will sound an alarm for several seconds.
Battery powered. There are few of these on the market and if you are considering one of these, we strongly suggest a unit that is SBD approved by the police. These systems normally communicate an alert via an SMS text message directly to one or more mobile ‘phones. It should be noted that this type of unit with SBD approval will cost upwards of £300 but will notify you anywhere at any time. SBD approval means that the device has been thoroughly tested and approved by the Association of Chief Police officers to a high standard.