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Soundwaves

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

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

“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

“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

“Cherwell”, Oxford: apocalyptic

"Cherwell Fire and Security" burglar alarm, Oxford • I love this: a "W" made of fire, leaping apocalyptically from a pool of soundwaves. Pronounced "Churwell", the Cherwell is one of Oxford's two famous rivers, and also lends its name to a venerable student newspaper (these days, a website). The other famous river? That's tomorrow. • Spotted: High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East Above: punt rollers (to help foppish punters avoid the weir) on the Cherwell at Oxford
“Cherwell”, Oxford: apocalyptic

Ghost under “GC”, Chelsea: comeuppance

Ghost under "GC Fire & Security" burglar alarm, Kensington and Chelsea • And now mighty Chubb gets its comeuppance, with just two measly corners peeking out from beneath a somewhat less venerable brand (albeit one boasting soundwaves – always a good point). • Spotted: Beauchamp Place, Kensington and Chelsea, London, SW3, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Kensington
Ghost under “GC”, Chelsea: comeuppance

“Guardwell Ltd”, Camden: self-explanatory

"Guardwell Ltd" burglar alarm, Camden • A name that falls into the "does what it says on the can" category – I doubt there are any firms called Guardbad. Note also the nice retrofuturist "GW" monogram, suggesting a waveform in a circle. One from a motherlode I found in the Kilburn High Road several years ago – if I ever run out of burglar alarms all I have to do is pay another visit, as there must be enough dodgy old bell boxes above the shops there to last at least another year. • Spotted: Kilburn High Road, Camden, London, NW6, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
“Guardwell Ltd”, Camden: self-explanatory

“Abba”, Lambeth: Swedish disco

"Abba" burglar alarm, Lambeth • Oh yes, an ancient Abba alarm with soundwaves in the background. Named after a Swedish group formed in Stockholm in 1972, or possibly a north London electrical shop I ran across recently, also called Abba. • Spotted: Brayburne Avenue, Lambeth, London SW4, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall The other Abba
“Abba”, Lambeth: Swedish disco

“AM Security Group”, Brighton: swelling sides

"AM Security Group" burglar alarm, Brighton • Not a super-rare case style, but unusual and striking nevertheless with its swelling sides. You see these mounted horizontally too, and with the right design and colourway such boxes can look stylish – though this isn't one of them. The busy logo manages to cram in references to time, a bit of a key at the end of the 'M', and radiating from the 'A' is a spiky circle that suggests a bandsaw or a gun sight, but is probably meant to be soundwaves. • Spotted: Old Steine, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Brighton Kemptown
“AM Security Group”, Brighton: swelling sides

“ESS”, Tower Hamlets: bottom-lopped shield

"ESS" burglar alarm, Tower Hamlets • Here's a rarely-seen shape that's very similar to Banham's proprietary shield, but with the crucial difference of having its bottom lopped off. Although ESS is an unexplained acronym, l happen to know that this psychedelic soundwave design belongs to Essex Security Services, who seem to regularly update their logo and sounders – not to be confused with ESS (Electronic & Security Services) in Northern Ireland, or ESS-Security Ltd of Leeds. Not the most exclusive set of initials, clearly. • Spotted: Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, London, E1, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow
“ESS”, Tower Hamlets: bottom-lopped shield

“Friedland”, Newham: solar-powered pouch

"Friedland" burglar alarm, Newham • I can only describe this as a "pouch". It looks a bit like a paper shredder, but I think the grille on top is a solar panel. Web research shows that Friedland is a division of Honeywell, whose name occasionally crops up on vintage alarms, and who still boast the same logo. • Spotted: Marshgate Lane, Newham, London, E15, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of West Ham
“Friedland”, Newham: solar-powered pouch

“Golden Security Systems”, Brent: dull but gilded

"Golden Security Systems" burglar alarm, Brent • After 318 entries, my first burglar alarm from the borough of Brent – which shows I don't often venture into deepest North London. Gold is an appropriate element for the Totteridge & Whetstone area, home to some of London's most expensive property – although given that Whetstone looks to me no more attractive than Streatham, just a typical dull and dusty, traffic-snarled suburb, Totteridge is clearly the more gilded end. This golden oldie is affixed to Whetstone's small and snorey parish church, St John The Apostle (below), and incorporates a naive monogram with what I take to be sound waves, thus cramming three classic security themes onto one superannuated bell box. • Spotted: St John the Apostle Church, High Street, Whetstone, Brent, London, N20, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chipping Barnet
“Golden Security Systems”, Brent: dull but gilded

“APS”, Bristol: tangled metaphor

"APS" burglar alarm, Bristol • A tangled visual metaphor, for sure: a one-eyed arrow-shaped house, with another arrow for a nose, joined by a dotted line (or a very ill-advised facial tattoo) to some soundwaves coming from its single ear, which presumably represents this sounder. The typography is equally complex, with four different fonts, and even the box is an unusual shape and colour – the few other examples I've found have blue sides, whereas these are green. It's all very neatly laid out, and gives the impression that every detail was agonised over – all told, a most unusual sounder design. • Spotted: Corn Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“APS”, Bristol: tangled metaphor

“APE”, Bristol: hairy hominid plus cheeky fly

"APE Fire & Security" burglar alarm, Bristol • Starting today: a bonkers burglar alarm bestiary. Animals are one of the most popular themes for security firms' logos, and they're not always fierce, with at least 50 per cent ranging from from cuddly to crazy. I'll be posting, in alphabetical order, all the creatures I've found so far, excluding birds and dogs, which are so numerous they get their own categories. Thus I start with Ape (plus cheeky house fly), which combines several top security tropes in one minimalistic design: soundwaves, naive monogram, unexplained acronym, and an unfortunate connotation, as presumably it's not really meant to suggest a large hairy hominid. Given the soundwaves I'd guess it stands for something techy like Audio Protection Enterprises, and the pre-dtp logo suggests it's a long-standing firm. (Googles Ape Fire & Security). Yes, this firm is the first thing that turns up, established 1977 and still going strong with an up-to-date website. But as to what Ape – or as their blurb has it, A.P.E. – stands for, there is no mention.• Spotted: St Nicholas Street, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West Above: a real ape (Photo by Matthias Trautsch)
“APE”, Bristol: hairy hominid plus cheeky fly

“Detecta Link”, Lowestoft: Detecta Dull

Detecta Link burglar alarm, Lowestoft, 2007"Detecta Link Fire & Security Systems" burglar alarm • To catch a thief requires detection, and detection is by its very nature painstaking and procedural, but do alarms featuring a detection theme have to be so dull? The answer, it seems, is yes: and this snorey object is one of the more interesting ones, because at least it's a bit 1970s, and features sound waves. (In general, concentric circles or arcs seem to represent sound, rather than light.) There are duller to come. • Spotted: Town centre, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Waveney Detecta Link burglar alarm, Lowestoft, 2007
“Detecta Link”, Lowestoft: Detecta Dull