How much does private security cost
Horrible news in the modern media, one's own sense of security and stories of perpetrators from acquaintance ensure that more and more people in the private as well as in the commercial sector want to equip themselves with electronic burglar protection solutions. The market is literally littered with cheap alarm systems that promise quick security. But how cheap can and should an alarm system be without losing its effectiveness? We would like to shed a little light on the often confusing price landscape of security technology and make the costs of an alarm system as well as follow-up costs more transparent.
What are the costs of an alarm system?
We want to anticipate one thing right away: Simply buying security technology is not enough. For effective alarm protection, a few more steps are required that are too often not considered when purchasing a system. You may face the following costs in this context:
What does a good alarm system cost?
The word “good” is certainly very subjective and everyone sets different standards for what a good alarm system must be able to achieve. Nevertheless, certain basic data can be determined that provide a rough overview of the probable chances of success of an alarm system.
For those interested, the question arises: What do I need to maintain these security standards? And as a result: What will it cost me to maintain these standards?
These components should include an alarm system
With alarm systems, of course, it is important to ensure that the components are always put together according to individual needs and are precisely adapted to the requirements of the environment to be monitored. Complete alarm systems sets represent a minimal amount of basic equipment, often without any further functionality. The price of the basic sets can vary widely. A range of 200 to 500 euros can be considered as a guideline for the cost per set. Given these prices, however, it is not surprising that inexpensive alarm system sets rarely cover exactly the right number of components for the respective requirement and cannot be compared with a tailor-made, individual security solution.
Nevertheless, there is a small selection of alarm system components that should definitely not be missing:
- The burglar alarm center: It is the focal point of a functioning alarm system, in which alarm signals are received and processed. In many cases, the EMZ is installed in a concealed manner in order not to allow direct access for any intruders.
- A control panel: The visible control panel is used to arm and disarm the burglar alarm center; the EMZ also enables communication with the user by providing information on the status of the alarm system on the display of the control panel.
- Different detectors: The different detector sensors act as the eyes of the alarm system, because they register every situation that deviates from the norm. Possible types are: infrared detectors, ultrasonic and / or microwave motion detectors, door or window magnetic contacts, glass break detectors or structure-borne sound detectors.
- The signaling devices: Last but not least, the signaling devices are an important part of a functioning alarm system. They indicate on site that an alarm has been triggered, for example by sirens, loudspeakers or flashing lights.
- Intuitive usability that is understandable even for laypeople
The process and the interaction of the components of an alarm system are always the same: The detectors register a movement, a contact interruption or the like and send a report to the alarm center. This converts the information and triggers the signaling device on site. When the EMZ is connected to an emergency call and service control center, the alarm is automatically forwarded to the control center staff via a transmission device. It all happens within a few seconds.
In addition to these basic components, alarm systems can of course be expanded with many additional options and other components in order to increase their effectiveness.
This is how the costs of an alarm system are composed
If you take these basic components of an alarm system as a starting point, you can roughly compile a cost overview that provides an initial overview of the costs that can be expected for a small version of an alarm system.
|Alarm center||440 euros|
|Control panel||180 euros|
|Alarm siren + flashing light||250 euro|
|per wireless opening detector||100 euros|
These numbers are only intended as a rough guide. However, the actual costs for an alarm system can vary greatly depending on the design, quality standards, certification, manufacturer, etc.
Price range for security technology
|Alarm system basic set||200 to 500 euros|
|Radio sensors, motion detectors||10 to 90 euros each|
|Radio alarm center||300 to 500 euros|
|Radio remote control||100 to 200 euros|
|External alarm siren||250 to 400 euros|
|Security Camera||30 to 800 euros|
|material costs||25 to 170 euros|
Example costs: The Wachmann family want to be safe in their single-family home
Günter Wachmann's family returned to their own home after a lovely family vacation and were surprised by sheer devastation, theft and damage caused by burglary. The Wachmann couple therefore decided not to allow such a break-in to happen again. In order to feel safe again, the single-family house with six rooms on the ground floor and the first floor is to be secured. Günter Wachmann roughly estimates how many components he needs and buys for his electronic burglar protection.
In addition to the on-site signaling device, he opts for mobile operation via his smartphone and an alarm system with an app. For the technology, a few additional functions and installation material, the family incurs costs for your alarm technology of around 6,000 euros.
Mr. Wachmann wants to organize the installation of the system and the networking of his own components himself. When programming the alarm center, however, he already reaches his limits after a few hours and costs another almost 4,000 euros for installation material and a self-employed installation electronics technician.
Alarm system as required: you can count on these prices
One thing has already become clear: There is no such thing as ONE alarm system and there is no such thing as ONE price for security technology. The costs for an alarm system are much more closely related to the requirements that are placed on an alarm system. Therefore, the following section should give you an overview of the individual backgrounds.
Commercial & corporate costs
The requirements for securing commercial real estate and company premises must, on the one hand, enable a quick response in the event of an alarm, and, on the other hand, provide effective protection when someone is not always on site at the weekend or in remote industrial areas. These main requirements need to be combined, which is often made possible by wired alarm systems in combination with motion detectors and peripheral protection measures. In the commercial sector in particular, the costs are heavily dependent on the size of the property to be protected. The larger, the more detectors and signaling devices must be installed. In the commercial sector, it is definitely worth thinking about renting an alarm system, because the investment costs can rise immeasurably. Maintenance, defective or destroyed technology not yet included. For a small commercial alarm system with a monthly rental fee and activation, the costs start at around 150 euros, always depending on the property.
In contrast to alarm systems for companies, the requirements for private households, single-family houses or condominiums are significantly lower in terms of effort. As a rule, entrances and busy rooms, such as living rooms, are included in the monitoring. For private households, the protection of the residents is the top priority. Therefore, an outer skin surveillance, in which the entrances, like windows or doors, are secured against manipulation and intrusion, is often part of the surveillance concept. This makes it possible to secure the building, even if people are inside the property. A basic version for private households is available if you purchase your own and without connecting to an NSL at the cost of the individual components listed above. An alarm system without personal investment but with connection to an NSL is already available at monthly service fees for less than 100 euros.
Guard service costs
An alternative to purely local alerting is the integration of a security service. With the help of a connection to a service center, security personnel can be called in directly at the first alarm signal, who drives to the property, looks at the situation and alerts the police if a burglary is confirmed. The costs for a security driver are made up of the costs for the connection to the NSL, the personnel costs in hourly rates and kilometer flat rates. The activation causes additional monthly costs between 19 and 250 euros - always depending on the size of the property and the intensity of the work. A set-up fee for the creation of action or process plans is added once.
But beware! The commissioning of a security service with a security guard driving to the property has decisive disadvantages, which should be included in the decision: According to VdS guidelines, the security services have up to 20 minutes until an employee has to be on site. In addition, there are normal road traffic and possibly difficult weather conditions, which can further extend the arrival time. In exceptional situations it can take up to 45 minutes. It remains questionable whether the perpetrators can still be caught and what damage can then still be prevented.
Remote monitoring costs
However, as part of the connection to an emergency call and service control center, modern technology now offers scope for measures that are more effective than personal security guards. With remote monitoring, as used in live burglar protection, a live connection to the emergency call control center is established within a few seconds of an alarm. The employees there see and hear into the property, can detect a real alarm or filter out a false alarm. Once a burglary has been verified, employees remotely initiate a live approach to the perpetrator in real time and alert the police at the same time. In any case, the alarm will be processed as quickly as possible. The monitoring is ensured 24/7 without the need for someone to be permanently on site. In any case, this is significantly more cost-effective than with personal security guards. There are no travel costs or personnel costs, as this service is usually billed as a monthly flat rate that already covers activation, service, technology and possible follow-up costs. Such a live security solution is available from around 100 euros per month, depending on the type and size of the property.
Costs for an alarm system with VdS certification
A further specification with regard to the costs for an alarm system is made if a VdS-certified system is required. This is often required by insurance companies after a risk analysis and is intended to ensure certain standards for property protection. This certification by VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH can be required if high values have to be insured, disturbances such as smoke or fire may be present or the insured property has already been broken into several times. But some industries are already fundamentally obliged to have the alarm system installed according to VdS standards in order to even get insurance cover.
The VdS certifications ensure trust among insurance companies and policyholders and enjoy a good reputation, as all components, systems and services used are state-of-the-art and meet high test requirements. Among other things, the following services can be implemented in a VdS-standardized way:
However, the high security standards for technology and services are associated with additional costs due to the increased effort. The activation costs increase due to the necessary acceptance of the system by an expert from VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH. Since VdS-approved alarm systems also require higher maintenance costs due to shorter maintenance intervals and more documentation, the certification is also reflected in the monthly coverage costs. With a personal investment, these additional costs are regularly incurred by the operator; with a rental solution, this additional expense is already taken into account in the monthly service fee.
In order to include the risks, the degree of danger and the insurance volume in the standardization, VdS Schadenverhütung GmbH has specified a classification.
- Class A: Simple protection against overcoming attempts in the armed and in the fuzzy state; Average sensitivity of the detectors
- Class B: Medium protection against overcoming attempts in the armed and in the fuzzy state; Average sensitivity of the detectors
- Class C: Increased protection against attempted overcoming in the armed and in the fuzzy state; increased sensitivity of the detectors; extensive monitoring of the safety-relevant functions
Which standards have to be met is again an individual decision. Here, too, the costs can be largely based on the risk classes and vary accordingly. A precise analysis and consultations with a specialist installer are therefore urgently required if such specifications exist. The costs for an alarm system according to VdS standards are therefore not only based on the individual requirements, but also on the structural conditions. For a rough classification it can be said that a small alarm system according to the VdS standards of risk class C is available for an upscale private property from a five-digit sum.
This makes it clear that with the security of a standardized burglar alarm system according to VdS, a higher security standard becomes possible, but that this also causes more costs than a non-certified alarm system.
Maintenance and other follow-up costs
With our example of the alarm system from the Wachmann family, as well as with our cost overview for the individual alarm system components, it quickly becomes clear that the costs do not stop with the pure technology. Often it is only with the long-term use of alarm systems that additional costs become apparent that were not planned or accounted for before the purchase.
At the very beginning, of course, the installation costs should be mentioned. This requires both material and human resources to install, network and program the alarm technology. Depending on the size of the property, outdoor area or apartment to be protected, this can take a lot of time. Anyone who is tech-savvy has a clear advantage here. However, installing an alarm system yourself always carries the risk of making mistakes during installation. These can quickly become a disadvantage in the event of a break-in, e.g. if a detector does not react, the alarm center is not properly networked or the alarm system does not forward signals. Certified specialist installers can remedy this and ensure the safety of an adequate and technically perfect installation of the system.
However, installation by a specialist company results in additional costs that vary widely and cannot be presented as a lump sum. In any case, it is worthwhile to find out more and get offers before buying. The saved costs when installing an alarm system yourself are relatively irrelevant if no protection is guaranteed.
Once the alarm system has been installed, one is provided for. Or?
Not quite, because regular maintenance is mandatory to guarantee fail-safe operation of the security system. Regular operation, technical wear and tear, power or network failure or even standby operation make critical failures otherwise possible. Annual, full maintenance of the entire system is recommended to enable full functionality. Proven and comprehensive protection can only be provided by a qualified contractor.
The range of costs for annual maintenance ranges from around € 200 to € 500 per year, depending on the type and scope of the system.
System technology failure
Of course, no system is perfect. Sensitive, technical devices in particular need regular maintenance. But even that cannot guarantee that the technology will not break down at some point - be it for wear and tear or for other reasons. These costs must also be taken into account when purchasing an alarm system. New components have to be bought, installed and configured.
The failure or defect of devices is of course even more annoying if it occurs shortly after installation. The components then have to be exchanged and replaced after a very short time.
Lower costs for the alarm system
The previous sections clearly show that, depending on the type of alarm system, certain costs always have to be borne by the owner. But there are also ways to reduce fixed costs or monthly flat rates and thus save money when buying an alarm system. The following three options help to reduce the cost of burglary protection.
Funding of the alarm system by KfW
If you take some money into your hand to invest in burglar protection, the federal government will not leave you alone. The Federal Ministry of the Interior for Building and Home Affairs (BMI) awards burglary protection funding of up to 1,600 euros through KfW, the Reconstruction Loan Corporation. This funding is available as a grant for burglary protection measures in existing buildings. The first 1,000 euros of an alarm system are subsidized with 20%. If the security solution costs more, everything else is subsidized with 10%. With this KfW subsidy you can reduce the cost of an alarm system and save money. You can find out exactly how this works here:
In order for the grant to be granted, there are various requirements that the project must meet:
- The application for funding must be submitted to KfW via a grant portal before the start of the measure.
- The alarm system must be installed by a specialist company / installer.
- The alarm system must at least meet DIN EN 50 131 Grade 2.
Lower the insurance premium
If the new alarm system meets certain standards, you can still save indirectly with it. The insurance premium for home insurance is calculated based on the potential risks that arise for the location of the building. A burglary as a potential danger makes up a considerable part of the sum. With the installation and use of a high-quality alarm system, however, this sum insured can be reduced in a targeted manner. However, this is only possible if the alarm system also reduces the risk of a break-in; a dummy, for example, cannot logically do that. For the reduction, however, the safety technology used must meet a few requirements:
- The insurer must be informed of the installation and type of alarm system
- The alarm system must be VdS certified
- Installation must be carried out by a professional installer; Professional installation, programming and commissioning must be confirmed
The minimum requirements for VdS certification can be found in our blog post:
State the alarm system in the tax return
The federal government also supports building security measures with tax breaks. In this sense, household-related craftsman services can be listed by the owner in the tax return and thus claimed. When installing an alarm system, the entire working time of the technician can be deducted. Own work or own installations are not included here. The craftsmanship must be carried out directly on the property or the property. Outside work, for example in a workshop, is not included. Household-related handicraft activities, including the installation of an alarm system, can be deducted up to 1,200 euros. In other words, handicrafts with an invoice amount of up to 6,000 euros can be submitted.
However, please note: Only the labor costs of the contracted company are tax deductible. Working materials, travel or machine costs cannot be listed here.
An alternative: Rent an alarm system with a complete service package
There are now alternative models available compared to buying an alarm system and installing it yourself. Specialized specialist companies provide the components and offer installation as part of an overall package. Services and maintenance work then often still have to be paid for separately.
Increasingly, there are also entire service packages to be found on the market for alarm technology and security systems, in which private customers and companies can outsource the entire security issue to a service provider.
The corresponding provider then takes care of all activities relating to the alarm system in a complete service package. In addition to tailor-made and optimized project planning of the entire system for the respective environment, this also includes the provision of the necessary technology, installation, connection to an emergency and service control center, alarm processing, regular maintenance, the replacement of defective devices and all necessary service work.
For most providers, this cost model is based on a monthly flat-rate service fee: a pre-determined contract period is agreed within which all services relating to the alarm system are already included. The respective user of the system receives the technology without investment costs and all technology is left for use.
The service fee is conveniently calculated monthly so that the costs for the alarm system can be precisely planned and calculated.
With some providers, this all-round package also includes connection to an emergency call and service control center (NSL). This can be in the form of a classic security service that drives out to the property in the event of an alarm. However, this can also take place via remote monitoring, in which the employees can handle the alarm from the control center in the event of an alarm and address the perpetrator in real time.
The costs for an alarm system are difficult to define precisely because there are many influencing factors that influence the price of a security solution: the location and the environment to be protected, the quality of the technology used, the functions of the alarm system, the type of installation, maintenance and care and much more. Rough values for orientation can be shown for the individual components of an alarm system, which together allow an overview.
Complete alarm systems sets are available for a small amount from 200 to 500 euros, but rarely contain a sufficient number of necessary components and cannot provide comprehensive protection, especially when self-installed. The technology, which in some cases is inexpensive, cannot replace professional security technologies and accordingly cannot provide such a high level of reliability in alarming.
Alarm systems for rent or in complete service packages have now become a real alternative to investing in your own.
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