Skip to main content

It’s 03:25am. You’re finally drifting off to sleep when a piercing sounds jolts you awake. It’s a neighbour’s intruder alarm system.

As annoying as it may be, the sound of a nearby fire or intruder alarm system could indicate a genuine issue. It’s important to stay vigilant when you hear a neighbour’s intruder alarm system and not just ignore it.

The following step-by-step guide will teach you the appropriate way to respond to what could be a life-threatening situation.


1. Observe

The first step to take when you hear a neighbour’s intruder alarm system is to observe the situation. Try to identify which house is producing the noise and observe it for any suspicious activity. You likely won’t know whether it’s a fire alarm or intruder alarm system that has been triggered, so be on the lookout for suspicious activity in both circumstances. Can you see any smoke? Or can you see anyone suspicious fleeing the scene? Ask yourself these questions as you observe the property. Your observations must not be fleeting; it is important to keep checking for around 5-10 minutes to see if anything develops.


2. Notify

Contact your neighbour via call or text if you have their contact details. This will alert them to the situation if they aren’t at home. They’ll also be able to inform you if it’s a false alarm.


3. Stay safe

A ringing alarm may mean that your neighbour is in danger, but you mustn’t respond by putting yourself in danger also. If you notice smoke coming from the house, you should not attempt to enter, or even approach, the property. Likewise, if you notice an intruder coming out of the home, do not confront them. Doing either of these things could cause you serious harm, putting your own life in danger as well as your neighbours. Stay hidden, collecting as much information as possible to relay to the emergency services. If you feel that you need to get closer to fully observe the scene, ensure you keep a sizeable distance between yourself and the property and remain hidden as best you can.


3. Contact the authorities

If you’ve observed anything suspicious, you should report it by calling the relevant authorities.

  • If you witness suspicious activity around the property but don’t believe a crime is in progress, call local police on the non-emergency number: 101
  • Do you believe a crime is currently in progress and the perpetrators may still be at the scene, call the emergency number: 999
  • Can you see smoke coming from the property or have suspicions of a house fire, call the emergency number: 999

However, if you have been observing and have witnessed no suspicious activity or issues, you don’t need to call the emergency services straight away. Many triggered alarms are false alarms, and calling an emergency service to the scene without any evidence of an issue could prevent somebody else receiving help when they legitimately need it.