Wired Vs. Wireless Burglar Alarms – The Facts

If you’re looking for a burglar alarm for your home or business (Click here to read our top ten tips for protecting your home) one of the first choices you’ll have to make is whether to go for a wired or a wireless system.  Below we lay out all the facts to help you make the right decision.  Let’s start with the most important.

1.  Installation Cost

Whilst the parts involved are more expensive, the labour time required to install a wireless system is a lot less than a wired one (half the time normally).  The result is that we can now install a wireless alarm for less than we can a wired one in most instances.  If you are a business with cable trays or suspended ceilings then the cabling/labour element will fall and the balance may swing in favour of wired.

Overall winner: Wireless

2.  Running costs

Wireless systems run on batteries which we recommend changing every two years.  These have a cost over and above the price of maintenance and the price of the panel battery used as a power back up for both wired and wireless systems.  How much more depends on the number of detection devices on your system but it is not normally a large number and it is only every other year.

Replacement parts are more expensive for a wireless system than for a wired one, however all our parts come with a 1 year guarantee.

Overall winner: Wired

3.  Reliability

Back in the bad old days wireless alarms were notorious for false activations.  However after more than 10 years of research and development they have more than caught up with their wired counterparts. In most people’s opinion both systems are as reliable as each other.

Overall winner: Tie

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4.  Disruption and Aesthetics

This is a clear winner for the wireless operated system.  No wiring means a far tidier installation.  No ugly cables have to be fitted around doorways or hidden in unattractive plastic trunking and there is no need to start drilling holes through walls.  It also means a much shorter installation time (for wireless systems we are in and out in under a day) so less disruption to you the customer.

Overall winner: Wireless

5.  Flexibility of the system

Extensions to a wireless alarm system are simple.  We simply install the new detector, programme it into the system and it’s done.  Wired systems are more complex, disruptive and time consuming as inevitable wiring issues raise their head.

Another string to the wireless system’s bow is that detectors can be located in the optimum positions, whereas wired systems are often dictated to by cabling issues.  For example in either a home or business the customer might not want cables running all round the room to the far corner and may opt to have the detector in the corner closest to the panel.  This may not be the optimum position but it is a sacrifice with a wired alarm that all too often must be made.

Overall Winner: Wireless


Given that both systems are equally reliable we advise the majority of our customers to install wireless alarm systems.  They are more flexible, cheaper to install and faster to install.  What’s not to like?

Got questions? Give us a call or send us a message using the form below

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Or give us a call on 01227 762128 and we’ll answer any questions that you may have!

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