Sunday, 4 August 2013

Security! British Gas safe and secure, soundproofing and updated pictures of the build.

So the final weeks are upon us! a lot is going on all at once so we can finish in time. This week I have taken delivery of a Home security system. I spent quite a bit of time researching the various options in the market for intruder alarms.

System requirements

1Wanted to be alerted when the alarm was triggered
2 Ability to monitor remotely and set alarm- helps in case I forget to set the alarm.
3 Ability to install additional  motion senors , door sensors etc

Wired or Wireless

Wired tends to be more reliable than wireless, however fitting a wired system is best to do when you're redecorating  , or renovating like I am so you can chase all the cables in the wall. Retro fitting a wired system can often be quite a messy task. Wireless technology has hugely improved over the years , and with improved battery performance I was leaning towards a wireless alarm.

A wireless systems were quoted cheaper due to the little amount of time it takes to install.

I contacted a few companies local to me but the quotes were coming in for around £1000- that was with me getting my builders to run any cables first too.

If I wanted to be alerted that the alarm had gone off I was looking at a around £25-30 a month in monitoring fees- this I thought was pretty expensive. Especially because the police would not be called straight away. Someone phoning me to tell me my alarm had gone is no more useful than a text or email.

I looked at ADT, Yale alarms , alarms on ebay etc.

The monthly fees ruled out ADT, Yale didn't have a remote app to set the alarm or check on it remotely. I didn't trust the quality of the alarms on ebay.

I discovered that British Gas have entered the home security alarm market with  , their alarm is called Safe and Secure.

This ticked all the boxes for.

1) Low monthly fee for Text alerts £8- ( If you don't want the text alerts you can save £8 a month)
2) iphone and android app to remotely monitor the alarm and activate / deactivate the alarm.
3) Easy to set up self install this is due to the fact it is also a wireless system
4) Not expensive

So what do you get?

For £199 you get the starter pack

1 hub- this is connected to your router via a cat5 cable. This can be hidden anywhere
2 two motion sensors (these can be upgraded to pet friendly sensors free of charge)
3 2 remote fobs- to turn the alarm on and off, like a car remote . I preferred this over having a keypad on the wall of the hallway like most alarms.
4 Smart plug- you can plug a light/radio etc to into the smart plug and remotely turn it on and off from the app. Smart plug also acts as a signal booster for all the sensors and home plug.
5 - Decoy box- looks like an external siren but doesn't actually make a noise

Optional accessories

External siren
Internal siren- basically deafens intruders
Carbon Monoxide detector
Gas leak  detector
Water Leak detector
Smoke detector
control / panic button

I didn't want a fully monitored service with police response as I am having IP cameras installed inside and have bought CCTV outside which can be remotely monitored. If the alarm goes off, I can remotely see if the bungalow has been broken into via the cameras and call the police myself. The alarm can also email a second person so I can give a family member access to the CCTV and they can see if anyone has broken in too.

I am awaiting for the walls to be plastered and then will install the alarm and go into more details on the interface.

The side extension has finally been tiled - which is good timing with the torrential rain we have had.

Inside the downstairs has been plasterboarded through out. I have wired the cabling for the 5 speakers in the lounge and HDMI cables throughout the lounge.

I have also run the cabling for the lutron keypads and intercom system.

Downstairs lounge ceiling needs to be plasterboarded and then we're ready for skimming! On the home straight.

Below is the study/3rd bedroom which was hard to picture with my phone.

I wanted to soundproof the room. After installing the best part of 20 speakers in the house the last thing I wanted to do was not be able to use it properly. I wouldn't enjoy cranking up the system if I knew the sound was travelling next door and inconveniencing the neighbours.

We only have one wall we share with next door which is the lounge and front bedroom . The extension wall is independent as is the loft dormer wall. The front bedroom will have have a wardrobe along the party wall which will naturally act as a sound barrier.

The main lounge wall was my concern.

To build and effective sound barrier I had to construct a free standing wall, it would mean I would lose about 120mm of my room but as the room is 5 meters wide I didn't see that being a big problem.

I left a 1inch gap from the wall and then had the builders build the stud frame. The frame had to be completely independent from the front wall to make sure sound didn't travel into the wall. The stud frame was filled with acoustic insulation.

Acoustic plasterboard was laid on top of the stud. Green Glue will be then applied to another layer of plasterboard. and then screwed on top of the first layer of plasterboard. Green Glue is a noise proofing compound that is applied using a silicon gun

This should effectively stop sound going through the wall.

I have also bought Hoody speaker hoods for the ceiling speakers. Not only do they help with meeting the requirements of building regulation as they help prevent the spread of fire, but they also prevent noise leaking from the top of the ceiling speaker. This coupled with insulation in-between the ceiling joists and upstairs floor should hopefully help prevent noise leakage.

That's all for now!


  1. Safe and Secure really looks impressive. With the features and services you get at that price, it's definitely a bargain. How much would the optional accessories have added to the price?

  2. I'm looking to purchase one of these kits but they are now discounted. Would you be willing to part with yours?