Three quarters of Brits ignore burglar alarms

According to a survey of 2,070 UK residents, three quarters of Brits have ignored a burglar alarm, with a quarter admitting they did so as they ‘weren’t sure what to do’. It was also found that a fifth of people with fake alarms lived in London.

New research commissioned by price comparison website Gocompare.com aimed to investigate the way members of the public protect their own homes, as well as understand their general attitude to security and intruder alarms.

The survey found that 76% of Brits have ignored a building’s burglar alarm, whilst 85% say they have ignored car alarms. The most common reason for ignoring an alarm was that the person ‘wasn’t sure what to do’ (26%). Nearly a quarter (24%) said they have ignored alarms as they thought ‘somebody else would deal with it’.

Despite the majority of respondents stating that they ignore house and car alarms, 67% said that they would like a member of the public to take action by investigating or reporting it to the police if their own alarm sounded.

Just 29% of people said they owned and use an active burglar alarm. It was found that those on lower-incomes were more likely to own an active burglar alarm. 35% of households earning less than £20,000 had an alarm fitted, compared to 13% of households earning more than £60,000 a year.

A tenth of respondents admitted to having a fake home alarm fitted to deter burglars. The statistics showed that men are nearly 50% more likely to have a fake burglar alarm than women, with 29% of males aged 18-34 admitting to owning one.

The survey found that a fifth of people with fake house alarms live in London.

Ben Wilson, Gocompare.com’s home insurance expert, said:

“We all want to protect our homes and belongings, but our research has found that less than a third of people own and use an active home intruder alarm.

“Half (49%) of the home contents insurance policies that we analysed offered discounts for professionally fitted burglar alarms*. Just remember to ensure yours is activated, because if you get burgled and your alarm wasn’t switched on, your insurer could reject your claim.”

The police state that if there is evidence of criminal activity or something suspicious is seen, members of the public should call 999. In other cases, the non-emergency number 101 should be used.