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APE, Frome, 2008

“APE Bristol” burglar alarm, Frome • More informative version of the simian soundwaves also featured here. • Spotted: Town centre, Frome, Somerset, BA11, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat […]
APE, Frome, 2008

Crime Stop, Birmingham: avatar

Crime Stop Protected "Crime Stop Protected" burglar alarm, Birmingham • Used as my avatar yet I've never previously published this round version. So here it is, in all its shadowy intruder-like glory. • Spotted: Meriden Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Birmingham Ladywood
Crime Stop, Birmingham: avatar

Audible Security, Birmingham: flowery

Audible WaterSt Birmingham B3 DSCN6120_800 "Audible Security" burglar alarm, Birmingham • Blimey, well I'd hope it would be audible, it's pretty useless otherwise. Though it'll have to be pretty loud to pierce through the tsunami of flowers cascading from the window box above it (see below). • Spotted: Water Street, Birmingham, West Midlands, B3, England, 2013 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Birmingham Ladywood Audible WaterSt Birmingham B3 DSCN6119_1200
Audible Security, Birmingham: flowery

Apollo Alarms, Lambeth: sunrays

Apollo Alarms "Apollo Alarms" burglar alarm, Lambeth • Found near the Archbishop of Canterbury's gaff at Lambeth Palace, this features un-Christian Apollo, favourite Greek god of burglar alarms. So maybe that triangle of radiating waves is meant to be sunrays, rather than the more usual soundwaves.• Spotted: Lambeth Road, Lambeth, London, SE1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall
Apollo Alarms, Lambeth: sunrays

Padley, Brighton: blaring

Padley Security "Padley Security" burglar alarm, Brighton • This is a bit odd, as the name seems to have nothing to do with the sun. Maybe the image is meant to be a blaring bell, or a flashing light. Or maybe it's just a celebration of the sunniness of Brighton. • Spotted: Queens Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Brighton Kemptown
Padley, Brighton: blaring

Ades Burglar Alarm, Bristol: red moons

Ades Burglar Alarm "Ades Burglar Alarm" burglar alarm, Bristol • I really like this weird old 1970s disco-style logo I found in Bristol, home of one squillion burglar alarm firms. It's probably meant to be soundwaves emanating from a bell, but looks more like a lot of crescent moons surrounding a planet, so I'm including it in the astronomy category too. The colour of the box may be significant: Ades is an unusual surname thought to derive from the Hebrew for "red". • Spotted: Gloucester Street, Bristol, Avon, BS2, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
Ades Burglar Alarm, Bristol: red moons

B.D. Security, Fulham: barking

BD ChelseaHarbour Hamm&Ful nr SW10 0XD 6118_800 "B.D. Security" burglar alarm, Hammersmith and Fulham • I have long been waiting to show this excellent cartoon logo, in which which I think B.D. stands for 'barking dog'. There weren't any guard dogs in earshot when I photographed it, though; maybe the firm is based in Barking. • Spotted: Chelsea Harbour, Hammersmith and Fulham, London, SW10, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chelsea and Fulham
B.D. Security, Fulham: barking

Alarm Vision, Cardiff: spiky

Alarm Vision "Alarm Vision" burglar alarm, Cardiff • This is great. I love the way the Welsh feel driven to put red dragons on everything – and how can you not like a tiny mythical creature poncing around in a spiky monogram-cum-waveform? • Spotted: Quay Street, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10, Wales, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Cardiff Central
Alarm Vision, Cardiff: spiky

ACS, Westminster: scary

ACS "ACS" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Wow, these are impressive all-encircling waveforms, like something from a scary 1950s sci-fi movie. Bring on the theremin music! • Spotted: Duke of York Street, City of Westminster, London, SW1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
ACS, Westminster: scary

Matrix, Aylesbury: waveforms

Matrix Fire & Security "Matrix Fire & Security" burglar alarm, Aylesbury • Now for a few sounders which demonstrate their techiness via the medium of waveforms, which here appear to emit from a worryingly low-tech megaphone. • Spotted: Cambridge Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Aylesbury
Matrix, Aylesbury: waveforms

Disc Security Systems, Glasgow: real CD

Disc Security Systems "Disc Security Systems" burglar alarm, Glasgow • Scotland seems to sprout even more musical alarms than Norwich. I've already featured Disc, but this is a much better photo. How I love these sounders - I mean, each one has computer-readable lettering and an actual, real CD on it! How cool is that? If each one played a different Scottish musical "legend" - eg the Bay City Rollers, The Proclaimers, The Krankies - that would be the icing on the cake. • Spotted: George Street, Glasgow, G1, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
Disc Security Systems, Glasgow: real CD

Bell Alarms, Glasgow: angular

Bell Alarms "Bell Alarms" burglar alarm, Glasgow • I've already featured many a bell, and here's a wonky angular one bearing the Scottish flag and a tiny owl. So, it probably doesn't sound that great. • Spotted: Saucihall Street, Glasgow, G2, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
Bell Alarms, Glasgow: angular

Fife Alarms, Edinburgh: shrieky

Fife Alarms "Fife Alarms" burglar alarm, Edinburgh • Another medieval instrument, and even shriller than the clarion, a fife is a small, shrieky flute beloved of marching bands. It's also a place in Scotland of course, which is probably what this alarm was named after. • Spotted: Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Edinburgh North and Leith
Fife Alarms, Edinburgh: shrieky

Clarion, Camden: shrill

Clarion "Clarion" burglar alarm, Camden • A clarion is a medieval brass trumpet, shrill in sound and popular with cavalries. Hence the term clarion call, and its suitability for a burglar alarm. I like the Chanel-style double C logo too; there seem to be quite a lot of double initials in these sound-based alarms. Maybe the kind of person who chooses musical names also responds to melodious alliterative repetitions (hey, deep). • Spotted: Covent Garden area, Camden, London, WC2, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
Clarion, Camden: shrill

Siren Alarms, Stroud: noisy

Siren Alarms "Siren Alarms" burglar alarm, Stroud • I featured a much more attractive mermaid-style Siren here: this is pretty basic despite the two red Rs. But sirens can be musical too, and not just in noisy rap, drum'n'bass etc: consider the classical piece Sirenes by Claude Debussy (who admittedly never featured any burglar alarm-type sirens), or the avant-garde works of composer Edgard Varèse, who often did. • Spotted: High Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stroud
Siren Alarms, Stroud: noisy

Trio, Camden: thrice

Trio Trio Trio "Trio Trio Trio" burglar alarm, Camden • It's a trio, and it's written three times, geddit? • Spotted: Richardson Mews, Camden, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
Trio, Camden: thrice

Vocal Vale, Norwich: choral

Vocal Vale "Vocal Vale Great Yarmouth" burglar alarm, Norwich • Another classical music reference, with another double initial, and again found in Norwich - I wonder if it's related to yesterday's Sonata Security? Conjures up Welsh miners singing in a valley (or something). • Spotted: Town centre, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Norwich South
Vocal Vale, Norwich: choral

Sonata Security, Norwich: tuneful

Sonata Security "Sonata Security" burglar alarm, Norwich • I've featured a lot of sound and music-based alarms without ever having a dedicated category (apart from bells), so here's one now. Sonata is rather a tuneful concept for a sounder, and look how the double S makes a kind of snakey heart... very upmarket. The only other classical music reference I've come across so far is Berkeley Guard, run by the scion of a famous composer. • Spotted: Town centre, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Norwich South
Sonata Security, Norwich: tuneful

“Ides”, Glasgow: fateful day

IDES Intruder Detection and Electrical Services "IDES Intruder Detection and Electrical Services" burglar alarm, Glasgow • The Ides was part of the fantastically complex early Roman calendar system, as in Julius Caesar's fateful assassination date, the Ides of March (aka March 15, 44 BC). Probably a coincidence, as this is an acronym for the firm's unwieldy full name, but enough to get it in the "Time" category. • Spotted: Merchant City area, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G1, Scotland, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central
“Ides”, Glasgow: fateful day

“Smiths Security”, Oxford: stripey blazer

Smiths Security Est 1850 "Smiths Security Est 1850" burglar alarm, Oxford • In the US this wouldn't be considered a monogram, as it's only one letter – even though the origin of the word monogram is "monogrammos", Greek for "consisting of a single letter". And generally, I am focusing on two or more letters for my monogram theme. However this triangular letter "S", which takes up as much space as humanly possible on the sounder, is so superb it has to feature. Not only does it resemble a stripey Edwardian blazer, and look like the kind of burglar alarm you'd find Patrick McGoohan tampering with in The Prisoner's creepy Village - it says "Est. 1850"! Can't argue with than. Sadly, Smiths Security now have a far less idiosyncratic design. • Spotted: High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East
“Smiths Security”, Oxford: stripey blazer

“Marksman”, Bristol: take aim

Marksman Security Ltd "Marksman Security Ltd" burglar alarm, Bristol • Today I start a brief and brutal run of shooting-related sounder designs, both deliberate and coincidental. The word "marksman" is a fairly unambiguous reference to firearms, as are the target-like soundwaves (if that's what they are)... so, take aim! • Spotted: Broad Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“Marksman”, Bristol: take aim

“Roding”, Tower Hamlets: wasteland

"Roding Security Services" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Another river-cum-creek, the Roding weaves through Essex before reaching the Thames via Barking Creek and Creekmouth, crossing a strange industrial wasteland that's been the subject of both literature (Iain Sinclair's psychogeographic ramblings) and art (Jock McFadyen's vast bleak paintings). But what's that in comparison to being immortalised on a burglar alarm? • Spotted: Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow Above: the River Roding, just before reaching the Thames at Barking
“Roding”, Tower Hamlets: wasteland