How much do alarm systems cost?

Securing your premises is an essential step for any start-up to take. But what alarm system costs should you consider? Learn what you’ll need to budget for here

Whether you need a simple bell device that rings when an intruder enters your property, or your business requires a more complex system that offers high-level protection, alarm systems are a key part of a start-up’s security plan.

In this article, we’ll provide specific information about the cost of alarm system installation and other fees to factor in when selecting devices that are best for your business.

For a more general overview, read our guide to commercial alarm systems for small businesses.

In this article, we’ll cover:

You can go to the section you want to learn more about straight away. Or, read the whole article to get an in-depth understanding of security alarm system prices.

Alternatively, if you’re ready to compare quotes for business security now, simply complete the form at the top of the page.


1. What are the different types of alarm systems?

When considering alarm system costs, you’ll first need to decide on the type of device your business requires. Essentially, there are three types to choose from:

Type of alarm What does it offer?
Basic alarms This consists of a bell-only device that makes a loud ringing sound if someone tries to enter your property while the alarm is on. This type of alarm offers a basic level of protection with a ‘do-it-yourself’ approach at a low price point
Alert alarms This type informs your chosen contact(s) via text message or phone call so offers a notification service. As this requires more resource, you can expect this type of system to be in the mid-range price bracket.
Monitored alarms With this option, your alarm is connected to an external monitoring centre with dedicated staff monitoring the systems. It offers real-time coverage and is at the higher end of the price spectrum.

There are some other factors that are likely to affect the cost of alarm system installation for your business.

You can conduct a risk assessment to help you understand the specific security needs of your start-up, including what the potential risks or threats to your property may be. Similarly, take into account the value of the contents of your premises too.

These factors can help the decision-making process to give you an idea of the type of alarm system your business needs, and in turn, how much funds to set aside for it.

Also, additional elements to the security system – such as the type of sensors used and if the device is wired or wireless – can influence what you can expect to pay to protect your premises.

So what do the costs look like? Read on to find out in the next section…


2. Alarm system costs: A breakdown

In this section, we’ll look at the details of the cost of alarm system installation. This means thinking about the different factors that go into finding the overall amount your business should budget for.

Security alarm systems prices include multiple aspects, such as:

  • Installation
  • Maintenance/services
  • Alarm system equipment
  • Monitoring packages
  • Size of premises

For example, a start-up in a small coworking office space and a business that’s in a large retail park or warehouse will have different requirements. In turn, the level of protection the alarm would need to offer – and thus the price – is likely to change.

Factors such as how many entry and exit points are needed, the area of the premises, as well as the nature and value of the goods on-site will all affect the type of system required and the cost.

You’ll also need to think about some key questions, as the answers to these will influence the price your business will ultimately pay too. These include:

  • Does your business need an alarm-only package, or will a monitoring service need to be included too?
  • What is the contract price and length? For example, review the monthly price and duration, as well as if any fees apply should you need to break it early.
  • Are the installation and maintenance fees included in the general package price, or do they have to be paid for separately?
  • If opting for a professional installation, will you use a national or local alarm company? Each has their advantages and disadvantages. For example, a national company is likely to have a broader knowledge base. On the other hand, a local company may have inside knowledge that’s specific to your area.

You’ll also need to think about the time involved – whether that’s for your labour if you choose a DIY alarm option, or for the possible disruption to your business for a professional fit-out.

The former option is ‘free’, although you pay with your time away from running your business.

However, this also depends on the type of alarm system you go for, as the more complicated systems are likely to need a specialist to install them.

Plus, you’ll need to factor in additional costs for extra features, such as if you’re adding in CCTV surveillance or smoke detectors.

You should also review the immediate cost, as well as the ongoing monthly charges, to give you a true indication of the total cost.

Factor Cost
Self-installed basic alarm system Around £200; may be lower
Professional alarm system installation £500-£1,000 (depends on security requirements)
Monitoring service £20-£30 per month approximately

If you want to find out more about prices and speak with suppliers, simply complete the form at the top of the page to compare quotes for business security.

As part of planning for the security measures that will protect your start-up, you should also consider cyber security.


What are the next steps?

At this point, you’ve learned more about the types of alarm systems available to your small business, as well as what you can expect to pay for them.

What should be your next step? From here, for further information, you should speak with suppliers – Startups.co.uk can help with this too. Just fill in the form at the top of the page – it’s free, easy and quick.