External sounders, what are they and what is their purpose?

What is an alarm system in the UK without a live working external sounder? I say in the UK as not many countries in the world have them on show quite the same as we do here on our homeland. Have a look around the next time you’re overseas, then compare when your back and we can almost guarantee you’ll notice a lot more in the UK.

Why is this? We can answer why we have them in the UK, but not a clue why they don’t have them so much in other countries.

External Sounders from a home or business owners point of view

  • External sounders act as a deterrent to potential intruders warning everyone that you have a security system.
  • If you are burgled the sounder will activate alerting anyone in or near the property.
  • The sounder activating should also be enough for an intruder to flee. Burglars generally don’t like drawing attention to themselves.

External Sounders from Intruder Alarm Installation Companies point of view

  • External sounders are the stamp on a job for intruder alarm installation companies.
  • If we install a system we don’t want that building being targeted. The external sounder does a fantastic job and has a great success rate preventing intruders attempting break in and entry.
  • Most alarm companies have their logo on their sounder. This does 2 things. It lets would be intruders know the system was installed by an actual intruder alarm company who specialises in security systems, and it acts as a little advertising tool for the alarm company.

How do they work?

The theory is simple. If your alarm is on and a device is triggered, the external siren will activate both audibly and visually with the siren screaming and the strobe light flashing. Sirens by law need to have a cut off timer so the siren will become silent after a set amount of time, but the strobe will continue to flash indefinitely until the alarm is switched off.

What’s inside and external sounder?

In the years gone by engineers would have to build up their own external sounders. This would include a cover, back plate, bell or siren, strobe, nicad battery and tamper switches. Old alarm companies had stickers with their logo that the engineer would apply on site. All good at the time, but the sticker would eventually become tatty and start to peel off.

An old nameless CQR Integra external sounder courtesy of Burglar Alarm Britain. In case your wondering, the number is out of service….I tried it.

Thankfully, those days are gone and they now come complete and ready to protect.  External sounders now include – Cover and Back plate with anti tamper switches on both, Sounder, Strobe, Comfort (warning) LED flashing lights, back up batteries, and a cut off timer. We have our Innovate Alarms logo screen printed directly onto our sounder covers which is way better and lasts years longer than the use of stickers.


Our SOUNDER PRO external sounder also includes an LED plate which lights up the entire unit. Our PRO sounder really does look the part and the LED plate adds that extra level of security as it’s a real head turner for any potential intruder.

So there it is; a brief little blog on external sounders, what they do, why we have them and how they work. If you live in or around Glasgow the chances are you have probably seen one of our Innovate Alarms sounders on a home or business. We have thousands out there. Want one? All you need to do is contact us.