The History of Home Security in the United Kingdom

The history of home security is interesting, with the concept […]

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November 18, 2023

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The history of home security is interesting, with the concept of protecting one’s dwelling being as ancient as human civilisation itself. Over the centuries, the methods and technologies employed to protect homes have evolved. The progress reflects changes in society, technology, and the nature of threats. In this blog, we delve into the rich history of home security in the United Kingdom. We’ll explore the milestones and innovations that have shaped the safeguarding of homes.

The History of Home Security

Ancient Origins

The roots of home security in the UK can be traced back to ancient times when early human settlements sought to fortify their dwellings against external threats. In medieval England, for instance, castles and fortified manors were constructed with moats, drawbridges, and thick stone walls to deter invaders.

Locks and Keys

The advent of locks and keys marked a significant leap in home security. In the 18th century, British locksmiths like Joseph Bramah and Jeremiah Chubb introduced advanced locking mechanisms. These greatly enhanced the security of doors and windows. Chubb’s detector lock, patented in 1818, was groundbreaking, as it signaled an attempted break-in.

Victorian Innovations

The Victorian era witnessed a surge in innovations aimed at improving home security. Window bars and shutters became commonplace, and the use of gas lighting and early forms of alarm systems gained popularity. The rise of the middle class during this period also led to increased concern for the protection of personal property, fostering the development of security technologies.

The Rise of Alarm Systems

The 20th century ushered in a new era of electronic security systems. Augustus Pope patented the first electric burglar alarm in 1853. However, it was not until the mid-20th century that these systems became widely accessible. Advances in technology allowed for the development of more sophisticated alarm systems. This includes those connected to monitoring services and emergency services.

CCTV and Surveillance

In the latter half of the 20th century, Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) emerged as a game-changer in home security. Initially used for commercial and public spaces, CCTV systems gradually found their way into residential settings. The ability to monitor and record activities around the home added a new layer of deterrence and evidence collection.

Smart Home Security

In the 21st century, the integration of smart technology has revolutionised home security in the UK. Smart locks, doorbell cameras, motion sensors, and interconnected systems accessible through smartphones give homeowners unprecedented control and monitoring capabilities.

One way in which smart alarms have progressed in recent years is through the NoEntry by Sonis house alarm. Typically, house alarms have relied on Passive-Infrared Motion Sensors (PIRs) since their conception approximately 50 years ago. However, using patented sound-signature technology, NoEntry has eliminated the need for any PIRs (and in addition to this, door and window sensors). This means, that contrary to other home security systems on the market, NoEntry by Sonis covers all doors and windows in your home from a single unit. This is opposed to others which would require multiple pieces of equipment.

Legislation and Standards

The UK government has played a crucial role in shaping the landscape of home security. Legislation and standards, e.g. the British Standard for Intruder Alarm Systems (BS EN 50131), were established to ensure the reliability and effectiveness of security measures.


From medieval fortifications to cutting-edge smart home security systems, the history of home security in the United Kingdom is a testament to human ingenuity and the continuous pursuit of safety. As technology continues to advance, the future promises even more sophisticated and integrated solutions to protect the sanctuaries we call home.

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