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“A1”, Westminster: alphabetical

A1 Security Systems "A1 Security Systems" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Nice Eurobell suggesting a Roman road, something very good, and an ambition to come first in alphabetical lists... • Spotted: Great Titchfield Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“A1”, Westminster: alphabetical

“Prime”, Newcastle: dog food

Prime NewBridgeSt Newcastle nr NE1 2ST 30176_800 "Prime Security Systems" burglar alarm, Newcastle upon Tyne • I've been to Newcastle several times, so am shocked to find this is the first (and indeed only) burglar alarm I've ever photographed there. And this from someone who has even photographed sounders in Hull and Hereford (which, let's face it, are not exactly on Tripadvisor's top 10 city breaks list). So, just as well that Prime suggests excellence. Or dog food. • Spotted: New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, NE1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Newcastle upon Tyne East
“Prime”, Newcastle: dog food

“Fab”, Cardiff: fab indeed

Fab Security System "Fab Security System" burglar alarm, Cardiff • Finally I made it to Wales, where I found this utterly fab FAB alarm. A keyhole and a Thunderbirds catchphrase – can't get more excellent than that. • Spotted: Womanby Street, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, CF10, Wales, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Cardiff Central
“Fab”, Cardiff: fab indeed

“Abel”, Falmouth: able

Abel "Abel" burglar alarm, Falmouth • OK, so it says Abel not Able – but Abel's founder, quoted here, says the name was intended to suggest the company was "able" (among many other things) – therefore qualifying for the category of excellence. Anyway, I like the Eurobell sounder; and I found it in the Cornish town of Falmouth, which is excellent in itself. • Spotted: Arwenack Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Truro and Falmouth
“Abel”, Falmouth: able

“Adept”, Bath: understated

Adept Fire & Security Systems Ltd "Adept Fire & Security Systems Ltd" burglar alarm, Bath • This logo with its strange pink spot suggests only borderline excellence, as adept is such an odd, understated word: the thesaurus offers flowery synonyms like adroit, accomplished, and dextrous. But it's more fun playing "antonym alarms", so my non-excellent doppelganger would simply be called "Inept fire and security". Which might not catch on. • Spotted: Miles's Buildings, Bath, Avon, BA1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bath
“Adept”, Bath: understated

“Alert”, Margate: awakenings

Alert Security "Alert Security" burglar alarm, Margate • Alert reads as both an adjective and a verb: boasting that the excellent security is awake (as one would hope), but also promising to alert security (and awaken all the neighbours too) in case of felony. It's not exactly Shakespeare, but it is quite clever. • Spotted: Fort Hill, Margate, Kent, CT9, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Thanet North
“Alert”, Margate: awakenings

“Precision”, Edinburgh: straightforward

Precision HighSt Edinburgh nr EH1 1SR 00588_800 "Precision" burglar alarm, Edinburgh • Another straightforward statement of alarm-appropriate excellence: I would have been more excited to find a firm called Inaccuracy, or Sloppiness. Red triangles are quite a popular motif, I've noticed – maybe it's something to do with suggesting a "stop" sign (though it also looks like a "play" button to me).• Spotted: High Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH1, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Edinburgh East
“Precision”, Edinburgh: straightforward

“Decorum”, Camden: genteel

Decorum Alarms "Decorum Alarms" burglar alarm, Camden • Surely the most genteel name for a burglar alarm firm ever, and appropriate for the decorous Hampstead borders where I found it. Should belong in a posh little sub-genre with Kudos from Bath, which featured right at the start of this blog, and which has the same type of clock-radio-alike sounder. • Spotted: Finchley Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
“Decorum”, Camden: genteel

“Elan”, Westminster: puzzling

Elan "Elan" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Elan – a funny word for a sounder, but it does mean excellence, of a sort. The thesaurus offers a plethora of slightly effete-sounding synonyms conjuring up a cocktail party at Blandings Castle: flair, style, panache, brio, esprit, verve, spirit, gusto pep, zip, vim, oomph. A jigsaw puzzle cocktail party, perhaps... • Spotted: Langham Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Elan”, Westminster: puzzling

“Ability”, Camden: generic

Ability Security Systems "Ability Security Systems" burglar alarm, Camden • Ability. Well, it's a form of excellence, albeit somewhat generic. "So, what particularly excellent quality does your firm have?" "Ability, mate." "OK, my good fellow, can't argue with that. You're hired!" • Spotted: Greville Street, Camden, London, EC1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
“Ability”, Camden: generic

“Pro-Guard”, Stroud: professionalism

Pro-Guard Security Solutions Ltd "Pro-Guard Security Solutions Ltd" burglar alarm, Stroud • There are lots of guard alarms, but this starey-eyed sounder is the only one offering the added excellence of professionalism. If you wanted unprofessional guarding, maybe you'd hire a certain quadratic firm who messed up a bit during the Olympics, ha ha. • Spotted: Threadneedle Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stroud
“Pro-Guard”, Stroud: professionalism

“Maxpro”, Stroud: extravaganza

Maxpro Security Systems Alarm Stroud "Maxpro Security Systems Alarm Stroud" burglar alarm, Stroud • Now we move from general business excellence to the self-proclaimed pros. In this case a superb 1970s disco extravaganza called Maxpro, which either stands for the maximum amount of professionalism possible, or some geezer called Max. • Spotted: Russell Street, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stroud
“Maxpro”, Stroud: extravaganza

“Boss”, Derby: top cat

Boss Security Ashbourne "Boss Security Ashbourne" burglar alarm, Derby • No arguing with this - it's da boss. And of course boss is slang for excellent, as well as meaning top dog. Speaking of which, I'd like to think it was inspired by Boss Cat rather than Bruce Springsteen, though probably it's neither. • Spotted: Town centre, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Derby South
“Boss”, Derby: top cat

“Executive”, Oxford: flunkey

Executive Alarms Oxford "Executive Alarms Oxford" burglar alarm, Oxford • Ah, executive - that all-purpose word intended to suggest high-powered business excellence, but which actually just means someone who does things, a functionary. As an adjective, it's usually added to bump up the price of something essentially crap which only a working flunkey would need, to elevate it one rung up the aspiration ladder - a polyester suit, say, or an Alan Partridge-style motel suite. Not that I'm suggesting this sounder is crap - it does boast a Ziggy Stardust-style lightning flash, after all. • Spotted: High Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East
“Executive”, Oxford: flunkey

“Class Systems”, Hackney: Marxism today

Class BroadwayMkt nr E8 4PH 40431_800 "ClassSystems.co.uk" burglar alarm, Hackney • You could read this as being a classy product, but looked at another way it's almost a Marxist statement, especially in the rapidly gentrifying area of the People's Republic of Hackney where I found it - on a posh shop surrounded by not-so-posh ones. • Spotted: Broadway Market, Hackney, London, E8, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch
“Class Systems”, Hackney: Marxism today

“Simply Quality”, Camden: scrolled

Simply Quality Security Systems "Simply Quality Security Systems" burglar alarm, Camden • I love this – the utterly boasty claim "simply quality", with a faux woodcut of a ribbon-bound scroll of excellence. Being a sad old graphic designer, I actually recognise it as a bit of early 1990s computer clip-art, no doubt intended for graduation invitations. • Spotted: Finchley Road, Camden, London, NW3, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn
“Simply Quality”, Camden: scrolled

“Status”, Stratford-upon-Avon: Mr Boasty

StatusAlarms Cook'sAlley StratfordUponAvon nr CV37 6PT 20121_800 "Status Alarms Coventry" burglar alarm, Stratford-upon-Avon • Starting today is the essentially boasty theme of excellence - whether a self-proclaimed quality of the burglar alarm firm, or conferred by the bell box upon the client. In this case it's the latter: with this sounder, you will gain status. I once saw one on a Prince of Wales pub, which is an ideal site. You can also get light bulbs (the old fashioned energy-gulping kind) called Status, which - like a burglar alarm - is either on or off, I guess. • Spotted: Cook's Alley, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Stratford-on-Avon
“Status”, Stratford-upon-Avon: Mr Boasty

“SDS Security”, Merton: tiny

SDS Security "SDS Security" burglar alarm, Merton • A funny old sounder with a tiny SDS monogram, which in typical style is repeated in more legible text right next to it. SDS later used swanky chrome boxes with a larger monogram and no repetition - there's an example here• Spotted: Merton Road, Merton, London, SW19, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Wimbledon
“SDS Security”, Merton: tiny

“Management Security Services”, Lowestoft: twisted

Management Security Services "Management Security Services" burglar alarm, Lowestoft • It's a bit faded, but this MSS monogram is so tortuously twisted it looks like a piece of modern art. MSS also stands for "manuscript", as do the initials of Midland Security Systems, who I haven't featured yet (but will soon). • Spotted: Town centre, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Waveney
“Management Security Services”, Lowestoft: twisted

“Lingfield Alarm Supplies”, East Grinstead: local

Lingfield Alarm Supplies Co Ltd "Lingfield Alarm Supplies Co Ltd" burglar alarm, East Grinstead • An attractive building-block monogram for what sounds like a small local company, yet I also found an ancient LAS sounder in Bath once - which is rather a long way from Lingfield on the sleepy Surrey border. Maybe it's one of those DIY jobbies. • Spotted: London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Sussex Mid
“Lingfield Alarm Supplies”, East Grinstead: local

“GAF Alarms”, Islington: punny

GAF Alarms "GAF Alarms" burglar alarm, Islington • One of my favourites, both for its awkward yet traditional 1920s-style monogram, and the fact that GAF is a sort-of pun on house, though I'm not sure if that's intended.• Spotted: Whitecross Street, Islington, London, EC1, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury
“GAF Alarms”, Islington: punny

“ATA Systems”, Bristol: intricate

ATA Systems Protegimus "ATA Systems Protegimus" burglar alarm, Bristol • Not sure if this is related to yesterday's ATA – the trestle-tabley monogram's quite similar, if somewhat ambiguous as to whether it says AA or ATA. The surrounds, however, are vastly more intricate: a heraldic array of shield, crossed swords, scary cyclops eye, what looks like a maltese cross poking out from behind, and all supported with a scroll bearing the Harry Potteresque declamation "Protegimus" (we protect). Leaving nothing to chance, then. • Spotted: Nova Scotia Place, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2013 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“ATA Systems”, Bristol: intricate

“AT Alarms”, Derby: clunky

AT Alarms "AT Alarms" burglar alarm, Derby • Called AT in the logo, and ATA in the monogram, with neither explained (Alarm Technology, perhaps). I wonder if the  clunky ATA is meant to conjure up the scales of justice? Because it looks more like a trestle table. • Spotted: Town centre, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Derby South
“AT Alarms”, Derby: clunky

“ASG Security”, Falmouth: sacrilege

ASG Security "ASG Security" burglar alarm, Falmouth • Oh sacrilege. You can just about see, underneath this sticker, the superb original Alarm Service Group design, which I eulogise here. Somebody went and replaced it with this awkward three-letter monogram, which remains unexplained, despite repeating the initials twice. • Spotted: Killigrew Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Truro and Falmouth
“ASG Security”, Falmouth: sacrilege

“ADT Security Systems”, Hackney: wonky

ADT Security Systems "ADT Security Systems" burglar alarm, Hackney • ADT is so familiar it's easy to overlook the logo, which is actually a rather wonkily-drawn three-letter monogram. Just for a change here's a variation on the famous yellow hexagon, and on its side, too. • Spotted: Shacklewell Lane, Hackney, London, E8, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington
“ADT Security Systems”, Hackney: wonky

“Midnight”, City of Westminster: mosaic

Midnight Integrated Systems "Midnight Integrated Systems" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Another time-monogram crossover: a mosaic of grey squares with gaps spelling out MIS, with a maroon square for the dot on the "I". Stylish but somewhat illegible, it's perhaps meant to suggest windows at night, or winking computer lights. Fortunately they've spelled out the full name below, which I've just noticed also has a tiny maroon dot on the "I". It looks like the designer put a huge amount of effort and thought into this – resulting in one of the most unusual and un-burglar-alarmy sounder designs I've come across. • Spotted: Langham Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Midnight”, City of Westminster: mosaic

“Aeon”, Bristol: eternity

Aeon Electronic Protection Systems "Aeon Electronic Protection Systems" burglar alarm, Bristol • Now we move on to astronomical time, literally - the term "aeon" has been used to describe the period between big bangs, though to the ancient Greeks it meant simply eternity. All that and a crosshair too. • Spotted: Royal Oak Avenue, Bristol, Avon, BS1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West
“Aeon”, Bristol: eternity

“AGE”, Great Missenden: slow response

AGE Security Aylesbury "AGE Security Aylesbury" burglar alarm, Great Missenden • Hope they didn't have to wait an age for a response, ha ha - lthough I think they will now, as I can find no evidence this firm is still trading. Presumably the initials actually stand for Aylesbury something-or-other. • Spotted: Town centre, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chesham and Amersham
“AGE”, Great Missenden: slow response

“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

“Western”, Falmouth: staring eyes

Western MarketStrand Falmouth nr TR11 3DF 02023_800 "Western Security Systems We Watch Day and Night" burglar alarm, Falmouth • Not the most obvious time reference, but the roundel at the top states "we watch day and night". And to reinforce the point, there's a pair of staring eyes - one in the light, one in the dark. Nice! • Spotted: Market Strand, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Truro and Falmouth
“Western”, Falmouth: staring eyes

“CPM”, Hackney: wordplay

CPM "CPM" burglar alarm, Hackney • Not sure if this rather minimal logo is meant to be a clever play on "post meridiem", as in "see you in the evening", but I shall give it the benefit of the doubt. • Spotted: Curtain Road, Hackney, London, EC2, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney South and Shoreditch
“CPM”, Hackney: wordplay

“AM”, Cambridge: shorthand

AM Alarm Maintenance "AM Alarm Maintenance" burglar alarm, Cambridge • An abbreviation for Alarm Maintenance, but handily for my "Time" theme, also shorthand for "ante meridiem". I'm also enjoying the sounder's black letter font and the frankly horrible colour scheme of the wall it's affixed to. • Spotted: Hills Road, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, CB2, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of South Cambridgeshire
“AM”, Cambridge: shorthand

“24-7”, Great Missenden: sleepy

24-7 "24-7" burglar alarm, Great Missenden • Phew! A sounder that operates 24 hours a day as opposed to, say, just school hours. Unless this means 24 minus 7, which is 17 hours operation a day, allowing already-sleepy Great Missenden even more snores. Notable for being the first numbers-only logo featured, and a nice design even though it does remind me of a cooker timer. • Spotted: Town centre, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chesham and Amersham
“24-7”, Great Missenden: sleepy

“Future”, Bath: timely

Future Security Systems "Future Security Systems" burglar alarm, Bath • So endeth two years of burglar alarms. But blub ye not (in the unlikely event that you were), because - amazingly, heroically, certifiably - I have at least another year's-worth to publish, though I won't always be writing "pithy" comments as in the past. And to usher in the new year, 2013's first theme is "Time", which I shall kick off with the, um, futuristic Future. Why? Well, 2013 sounds like a science fiction year, and also there's a big publishing company called Future based in Bath, where I found this sounder. So here's to the future. Cheers! • Spotted: Margaret's Buildings, Bath, Avon, BA1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bath
“Future”, Bath: timely

“Burglarm”, Winchester: eccentric

Burglarm Southampton "Burglarm Southampton" burglar alarm, Winchester • And finally, to see out 2012, one of my all-time favourite monograms, which I have been waiting two long years to feature – the eccentrically-titled Burglarm, whose monogram inexplicably features an S-shaped serpent struggling out of a letter "B". I suppose it stands for Burglarm Southampton, and since it's not a town noted for snake infestations, the slithering fellow must represent a burglar. Anyway, Burglarm are no more: founded in 1968, they were taken over in 2006 by the rather grand Berkeley Guard, who maintain a nice page of Burglarm history here. • Spotted: Town centre, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Winchester
“Burglarm”, Winchester: eccentric

“So Secure”, Greenwich: handbag-worthy

So Secure "So Secure" burglar alarm, Greenwich • I love this beautiful double S monogram, which is so sophisticatedly retro in its black-and-olive curvyness that it wouldn't look out of place on an Orla Kiely handbag. (That's a compliment, chaps.) However, perhaps not the most legible - it wasn't till I found a version with the website on that I realised the green circle meant it said "SoSecure". Until then I'd always read it as "SSecure", putting it in the rather large "SS" logo category (in the Security Services, rather than Nazi sense). Whereas in fact it kind of says SOS. Very clever. • Spotted: Herbert Road, Greenwich, London, SE18, England, 2004 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Greenwich and Woolwich
“So Secure”, Greenwich: handbag-worthy

“Contract Fire Security”, Westminster: extinguisher

Contract Fire Security "Contract Fire Security" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • This is great - the letters CFS wrangled into a fire extinguisher monogram. I wish they'd made it bigger on the sounder, so I've put an enlargement below. I wonder if this is the same Contract Security I featured in the "Shooting" theme last week? It was certainly found in the same area, ie Fitzrovia. • Spotted: Newman Passage, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster Contract Fire Security
“Contract Fire Security”, Westminster: extinguisher

“Town & Country”, Great Missenden: cop clamp

Town & Country "Town & Country" burglar alarm, Great Missenden • This is brilliant – a T and C made out of a clamp, looking like the opening titles for a 1970s cop show. Perhaps not strictly a monogram as it's part of a larger logo, but a top design anyway. The 1983-founded Town & Country's website shows they still boast the T&C clamp on everything from sounders to vans, now in resplendent 3D red. • Spotted: Town centre, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, HP16, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Chesham and Amersham
“Town & Country”, Great Missenden: cop clamp

“TH White”, Marlborough: vintage brand

TH White "TH White" burglar alarm, Marlborough • In lieu of a white Christmas, here's a White burglar alarm. It bears a classic monogram of the kind popular in the 1920s or even earlier, and the name T.H White has a good old-fashioned ring to it too. So imagine my surprise when, researching this, I discovered that T.H. White Group is a £90m Wiltshire firm with a finger in pies ranging from agriculture to storage, not to mention burglar alarms. They even publish a company magazine! And they were founded in Devizes in 1832, so maybe their logo is even older than it looks. Hmm, this monogram theme is turning up some truly vintage brands. • Spotted: Town centre, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8, England, 2007 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Devizes
“TH White”, Marlborough: vintage brand

“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

“AAI”, Camden: red triangle

AAI "AAI" burglar alarm, Camden • Today I start the theme "monograms". The UK definition of a monogram is "a design composed of one or more letters, typically the initials of a name" (though in America I think it is defined as at least two letters); and the initials should be specially-drawn, generally entwined in some way. There are so many monogrammed sounders I can't show them all in one run - it would go on for months - so I've decided to start with nine of my favourites, taking us up to the end of the year. Honourary pole position must go to Hertfordshire-based AAI, whose boss Andy Gilmore is a regular commenter on this blog. I always reckoned the AAI monogram had been designed to fill up as much of the sounder as possible, which he confirms: "Our logo was designed by my [business] partner's daughter-in-law, who was studying art. When designing the logo, we wanted something which was clear and obvious even from a distance." Apparently it was inspired by the Nu-Tron design, another of my favourites, and AAI base all their company's branding round their logo's triangle – never changing the shape of the bell box, even when switching manufacturer. And though AAI, like most monograms, also falls into the "unexplained acronym" camp, Andy Gilmore confides that the initials were based on Andy, Adam, Ian - the latter pair his first (brief) business partners, when he was just 14. What a great story! • Spotted: Percy Street, Camden, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
“AAI”, Camden: red triangle

“Wilton Alarms”, Islington: registration marks

Wilton Alarms "Wilton Alarms" burglar alarm, Islington • This definitely looks like a gun sight's crosshairs, though if I'm honest it also resembles the registration marks printers use to help line up their plates correctly. On the website of Wilton Alarms, the Dorking-based firm explain they're now known as Wilton Security Systems. Luckily they still retain this logo, so I narrowly escaped confusing them with Wilton Alarm Systems of Wilton in Salisbury,  whose unmistakable rapier-wielding wasp is one of my favourite sounder designs, as featured here. • Spotted: Wharfdale Road, Islington, London, N1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury
“Wilton Alarms”, Islington: registration marks

“Trade”, Camden: crosshairs

Trade Security Systems Plc "Trade Security Systems Plc" burglar alarm, Camden • This is a funny old logo. It's a bit hard to make out, as one of the colours has faded, and I'm not really sure what the design is meant to signify. However the thing it resembles most to me is the crosshairs of a gun sight, so into the "shooting" theme it goes. • Spotted: Warren Street, Camden, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras
“Trade”, Camden: crosshairs

“Sector Guard”, Southwark: targeting

Sector Guard Fire & Security Systems "Sector Guard Fire & Security Systems" burglar alarm, Southwark • A successor to yesterday's Sector Alarm, this still targets felons with crosshairs, albeit a smaller radar sweep. Inclusion of that ever-poular burglar alarm word, "Guard", is another nod in the direction of the military. • Spotted: Blackfriars Road, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
“Sector Guard”, Southwark: targeting

“Hunter”, Lambeth: art shoot

Hunter "Hunter" burglar alarm, Lambeth • What do hunters do? They shoot things. I rest my shooting-related case. Incidentally, I found this burglar alarm on the side of one of Damian Hirst's many studios, the one where teams of assistants used to make spot paintings for him. He's now had the entire road closed down (thanks, Dame, now I have to make a massive detour!) while the building is turned, at vast expense, into a swanky art gallery and restaurant. So the burglar alarm is no more. • Spotted: Newport Street, Lambeth, London, SE11, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Vauxhall
“Hunter”, Lambeth: art shoot

“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

“Shipman”, Southwark: hello sailor

"Shipman Security Systems Limited" burglar alarm, Southwark • On a river you require a ship (or at least a boat). An to run it, a salty shipman – not a made-up word to justify including this alarm in the "rivers" theme, but a medieval term for a sailor. Proof: one of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales" is called "The Shipman's Tale", aka "The Sailor's Tale". So it must be a real word. And having scraped the bottom of the seabed to connect this particular alarm to rivers, tomorrow I shall move on to another theme. • Spotted: Dolben Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark Above: some salty shipmen
“Shipman”, Southwark: hello sailor

“Coastal”, Folkestone: riverine

"Coastal" burglar alarm, Folkestone • Where do rivers go? To the coast, of course (except the ones that feed lakes, or dry up in the desert, or do weird things underground, etc etc). But in most cases they do head for the coast, so I shall file Coastal under Rivers. Even though Folkestone, where I found this, doesn't actually have any rivers – just a tiny brook called the Pent Stream. • Spotted: Town centre, Folkestone, Kent, CT20, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Folkestone and Hythe Above: not-very-exciting coastal Folkestone
“Coastal”, Folkestone: riverine

“Delta”, Hackney: creek

"Delta Security" burglar alarm, Hackney • According to useless Yahoo Answers, there are no river deltas in Britain, because there's not a vast enough area of flat land. But I've found one: the Wandle Delta. Admittedly it's just an forgotten little industrial creek off the Thames, but hey – we can't all be the Mississippi. In fact there are plans to smarten it up with posh housing, but I rather like how it looks now – must go and explore it before it's too late. Amazing the things you learn researching burglar alarms! • Spotted: Chatsworth Road, Hackney, London, E5, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hackney North and Stoke Newington Wandle Delta Tom Bolton 5502093622_235213cc86 Above: a great pic of the Wandle Delta by Tom Bolton – see more on Flickr here
“Delta”, Hackney: creek

“East Tower”, Westminster: bridgetastic

"East Tower Security Systems" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • I love bridges on burglar alarms but have only ever found two, the other being yesterday's Tamar. Tower Bridge of course spans the Thames, which like the Tamar is named after an ancient word meaning "dark flowing" – although muddy flowing would be more apt. East Tower are a long-running company, and I have many variations of their sounders, fortunately all bearing this wonderful logo. • Spotted: Vauxhall Bridge Road, City of Westminster, London, SW1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster Above: the real Tower Bridge
“East Tower”, Westminster: bridgetastic

“Tamar”, Exeter: gridlocked

"Tamar Security" burglar alarm, Exeter • Ah, the eternally gridlocked Tamar Bridge, slender link across he Tamar between Devon and Cornwall. It's not named after the Jewish temptress of Biblical legend (more's the pity), but an ancient British word meaning something like "dark flowing", as is the Thames. • Spotted: Town centre, Exeter, Devon, EX1, England, 2009 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Exeter Above: the real Tamar Bridge
“Tamar”, Exeter: gridlocked

“Severn Telford”, Ironbridge: industrial

"Severn Telford" burglar alarm, Ironbridge • Found on the River Severn near Telford, so does what it says on the can. Probably dates back to the Industrial Revolution, which started at the spot I found it – Ironbridge Gorge. Oh, and the Severn is Britain's longest river, don't you know. • Spotted: Tontine Hill, Ironbridge, Shropshire, TF8, England, 2008 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Telford Above: the River Severn at Ironbridge Gorge, near Telford
“Severn Telford”, Ironbridge: industrial

“Clydetec”, Glasgow: fired up

"Clydetec Alarms CCTV Door Entry" burglar alarm, Glasgow • I've heard of the Red Clyde, but representing it with a house in flames? Not doing wonders for Glasgow's image, surely. • Spotted: Lynedoch Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, G3, Scotland, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Glasgow Central Above: the mighty Clyde at Glasgow
“Clydetec”, Glasgow: fired up

“Waveney”, Sheffield: wavy

"Waveney" burglar alarm, Sheffield • The River Waveney separates Norfolk and Suffolk, and meanders through the Norfolk Broads. Although I found this sounder in Sheffield, some considerable distance away, the wavy logo suggests it is indeed named after the eponymous waterway. • Spotted: Queen Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Sheffield Central Above: the River Waveney at Beccles, not Sheffield
“Waveney”, Sheffield: wavy

“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

“Lee”, Camden: revitalised

"Lee Security" burglar alarm, Camden • This is probably named after a person, but as it's a popular sounder in East London, I like to imagine it references the fascinating River Lee (or Lea), a snaky waterway which branches into so many channels it's hard to keep track of. It used to be pretty much a ditch by the time it petered to an end at Bow Creek, but thanks to the Olympics has been totally re-landscaped and revitalised, and is now rather beautiful. • Spotted: Betterton Street, Camden, London, WC2, England, 2002 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras Above: the River Lee (aka Lea) at Bow Locks, London, where it meets Limehouse Cut
“Lee”, Camden: revitalised

“Isis”, Oxford: posh

"Isis Security Systems" burglar alarm, Oxford • Oxford's other famous river is the Isis (a posh name for the Thames), which like the Cherwell gives its name to a long-running student magazine. Isis was also an Egyptian goddess, and this sounder piles on the references with the visual pun of a startled-looking eye. I reckon that's a CR logo underneath it, another brand that's common in the town. • Spotted: Cornmarket, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Oxford East Above: fops punting on the Thames, aka the Isis, at Oxford
“Isis”, Oxford: posh

“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

“Camguard”, Aylesbury: Granta

"Camguard" burglar alarm, Aylesbury • This C in a sea claims to be guarding the River Cam, which as its name suggests runs through Cambridge, where it's also known as the Granta. The sounder however was found in unlovely Aylesbury, which is 60 miles away and on the River Thame. • Spotted: Canal Side Terrace, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Aylesbury Above: the River Cam at Clare Bridge, Cambridge. Punters ahoy!
“Camguard”, Aylesbury: Granta

“Avon Alarms”, Bristol: gorge

"Avon Alarms" burglar alarm, Bristol • There are several River Avons in the UK, because Avon is a derivation of the ancient British word for river: thus River Avon actually means River River. This charmingly discotastic sounder refers to the lovely "Bristol Avon", which runs through Gloucestershire and Wiltshire en route to Bath and Bristol, where it cleaves the mighty Avon Gorge then heads out to sea. Avon Alarms are a familiar sight in the city, which also used to be in the county of Avon, before it got turned into a "unitary authority". • Spotted: Clifton area, Bristol, Avon, BS8, England, 2006 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bristol West Above: the Avon Gorge, Bristol
“Avon Alarms”, Bristol: gorge

“Brook”, Camden: babbling

"Brook Security Limited" burglar alarm, Camden • Ah, brook - a tiny babbling burn, as opposed to the mighty waterways to come. Probably nothing to do with the nearby Tyburn, one of London's many underground rivers. • Spotted: Charlotte Street, Camden, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Holborn and St Pancras Above: a babbling brook (not in London, as you may guess)
“Brook”, Camden: babbling

“Avenue Alarms”, Winchester: tree-lined

"Avenue Alarms AAL" burglar alarm, Winchester • An avenue is a road lined with trees, but this was found stuck sideways on a mouldy wall – see below for its actual orientation. AAL stands for Avenue Alarms Limited, I'd guess. It looks like their label is stuck over another firm's sounder, but I can't discern which. • Spotted: Town centre, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Winchester Above: how the sounder was mounted. Below: an avenue
“Avenue Alarms”, Winchester: tree-lined

“A1 Alarms”, Southwark: straight

"A1 Alarms" burglar alarm, Southwark • The A1, running from London to York and Edinburgh largely following a straight ancient Roman route, is famously the UK's longest numbered road. This company probably meant their name in the sense of "very good", but seeing as I've found examples of their sounders in both London and York, perhaps they did have the highway in mind too. • Spotted: Bermondsey Street, Southwark, London, SE1, England, 2011 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark Above: part of the very long A1
“A1 Alarms”, Southwark: straight

“M25”, Borehamwood: flooded

"M25 Security Systems Ltd" burglar alarm, Borehamwood • As I write this, there is such severe weather across the UK that loads of roads and rivers are flooded. Something of a coincidence then, that my new theme is "roads and rivers". I start with London's orbital motorway, the M25, currently submerged in parts. • Spotted: Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Hertsmere Above: The M25 (unflooded)
“M25”, Borehamwood: flooded

“Westec”, Westminster: centred

"Westec" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • Finally, I'll end with a Westec with the screw-hole centred on the UK, rather than the Atlantic as in this one, which I started with. I was pleased to learn that the design was created in 1985 by the 14-year-old son of the one of the firm's owners, as he explains here. This is rather a rusty example, sadly, but it's the only one I've got. However the firm's boss tells me it still isn't the  final version, due to the slightly wiggly type – which looks to me like a typical result of computer-traced artwork circa the early 90s, and wouldn't have been noticeable high up. There's a correct version in the comment here• Spotted: Great Titchfield Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster. 
“Westec”, Westminster: centred

“Glo Bell”, Westminster: cheeky

"Glo Bell" burglar alarm, City of Westminster • This has no globe at all – just a cheeky pun (well I assume it's meant to read "global", unless it's some kind of glowing bell). I'm rather fond of Glo Bell's cheerful-looking sounders – there's another one here. • Spotted: Eastcastle Street, City of Westminster, London, W1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Conservative constituency of Cities of London and Westminster
“Glo Bell”, Westminster: cheeky

“Aptek”, Hull: fairgroundy

"Aptek" burglar alarm, Kingston upon Hull • You'll have to squint to see this – it's a tiny wire globe top right, with the initials AP in it. Quite an attractive logo actually, if more fairgroundy than burglar-alarmy. • Spotted: Town centre, Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1, England, 2005 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Hull West and Hessle
“Aptek”, Hull: fairgroundy

“USA”, Southwark: speeding

"USA" burglar alarm, Southwark • This is incredibly faded, but I'm pretty certain it's a stylised world globe next to the initials USA. It is a skilled design which looks very familiar, suggesting it was "closely inspired" by something more famous, such as the iconic 1983 AT&T logo by graphics godfather Saul Bass. • Spotted: Rouel Road, Southwark, London, SE16, England, 2010 • Politics: In the Liberal Democrat constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark
“USA”, Southwark: speeding

“CPA Alarms”, Islington: obscure

"CPA Alarms" burglar alarm, Islington • The strange logo at the top, which to me looks like a giant molar, is in fact some unidentifiable panels (presumably not a Richard Serra sculpture) on top of a globe. The legend around it reads "Pyronix Association of Security Specialists", which is totally opaque to me, as is the acronym CPA. Googling reveals that Pyronix is a major trade supplier and the three weird planks are their logo, but all in all it's a very obscure sounder design for the lay viewer. • Spotted: Caledonian Road, Islington, London, N1, England, 2012 • Politics: In the Labour constituency of Islington South and Finsbury
“CPA Alarms”, Islington: obscure