Wireless Burglar Alarms – Is There A Radiation Threat?

I just purchased a wireless burglar alarm.  And now after reading about radiation from wireless devices, I’m not so sure it’s safe.  Could you please provide me some info about this?  I can't seem to find info specific to wireless alarms.  I have no idea how much radiation, if any, is being released.  And, does the radiation come from the sensors or the panel?  Any specific info you could provide on this item would be much appreciated.  Thanks. Melanie

I received this question from one of my readers.

I find the more time goes by, the more I interact with different people on this, the more I realize that electromagnetic radiation is a bigger problem for far more people than I ever could have realized.

What opened my eyes to the EMF issue was my cell phone. One day in February 2002 I took my cell phone out of my pocket to answer it, as I had done so many other times, and I felt this searing pain. And that's how it all started for me. And that's why I'm talking to you now.

Up to that day in 2002 I was just an ordinary Joe going about my work with no health issues whatsoever. I was like 99.9% of the population I was totally ignorant to the dangers of cell phones and EMFs in our lives. And it's not as if I live in cloud cuckoo land, I consider myself to be relatively well-informed on many subjects, I have a business degree and a professional qualification, I read a newspaper most days, I prefer radio to TV for the news, I have a broad circle of friends. Yet I'd never heard of this thing.

Well this is exactly where we are on the subject of wireless burglar alarms; as Melanie says, there's very little information, far less than there is on cell phone radiation. So let me enlighten you a little bit.

What Are The Health Dangers Of Burglar Alarms?

The biggest danger is that your burglar alarm is a wireless burglar alarm. These systems often use DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) technology. If your burglar alarm uses this technology or similar this means that you are being exposed to radio frequency (RF) radiation. Cordless phones use this technology.

Doesn't sound too bad?  I've talked about the radiation from DECT cordless phones in earlier posts – these things are just as bad if not worse than cell phones in terms of electromagnetic field (EMF) exposures. The reason I consider them so potentially harmful is that unlike a cell phone your cordless phone gives out electromagnetic radiation 24/7 in your home, even when you are sleeping.

If you have a wireless burglar alarm in your home it's the same scenario, possibly worse. Most homes have a couple or three DECT phones, if your wireless burglar alarm has sensors in all the rooms your exposures are potentially higher.

What Can Be Done?

You could just rip it all out. If you think there is the slightest chance that you would be suffering adverse health effects from your wireless burglar alarm then I wouldn't hesitate to do so.

Much depends on your personal situation. If you are just concerned about these EMF exposures and have no symptoms you're probably inclined to not do anything. If you have symptoms then it will be easier to take action on this.

Either way, you do need to take action. It's not because you don't feel any effects that the EMFs are not impacting your health. The starting point is to take some readings with a radio frequency EMF meter to see what your exposure levels are exactly and identify the EMF hotspots.

Then you can contact your burglar alarm installer to see about re-positioning some sensors, or wiring sensors or turning off the microwave transmitters in the sensors when you're in your home.

What Are The Other Dangers From Wireless Burglar Alarms?

Another concern is EMFs from the transformer used in burglar alarm installations. These transformers are often of poor quality and may give off high electromagnetic fields. The second biggest threat comes stems from the fact that the circuit wires are not earthed.

Take the sad case of Ray and Denise Studholmes’ son Simon.  Simon was diagnosed with leukemia in November 1990, nearly two years after the family moved to their three-bedroom home near Bolton, UK.  As Simon slept, his head was less than 3ft from an electricity meter and a burglar alarm in a hall cupboard. He died in September 1992, aged 13. Simon’s parents have disclosed that tests after their son's death revealed that the two appliances gave off EMFs more than six times more powerful than the recommended safe limit. Mr and Mrs Studholme believe that their son would still be alive if he'd not been subjected to the strong electromagnetic fields in his bedroom from the burglar alarm and electric meter.

In the case of Simon the problem would appear to be not just the burglar alarm. But then the culprit is rarely any one device. Most homes have a variety of devices generating electrosmog cordless phones, WiFi, CFL lights, dirty electricity from electric wiring. Not to mention exterior generated electrosmog from a neighbor’s WiFi or a nearby cell phone tower.

Wireless Burglar Alarms Unbearable For Some Electrosensitives

There are people with heightened electrical sensitivity (EHS) who can even feel when a wireless burglar alarm is switched on.  Thankfully this is not my case and I hope it's not yours.

I hope I'm making my point on this. Look at your burglar alarm and start asking some questions. Is it wired? Wireless? Where are the sensors? Where is the transformer? If in doubt as to your exposures get some readings.

Take action sooner rather than later!

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  • Martha Warnes said,

    Thanks for the above information. I’ve been wondering if I had been affected by EMF some years ago while living in Toronto. There were a number of places that made me ill almost immediately after entering: several high-end jewelry stores; the gem section of a museum; an alcove in a performing arts centre where there were exhibitions of famous paintings. Presumably, the one thing that all these places would have in common – burglar alarm systems. An electrician told me that I was picking up the ultrasonic sound waves from the burglar alarms, so it makes sense that I was being affected by the EMF – I would get extremely nauseated, my head felt as though it were being squeezed in a vice, and my equilibrium was not quite right. There’s no mention above as to how people actually felt when they were being affected by EMF.

  • Lila Riser said,

    Thank you for your most helpful info. site. I’m becoming more aware of the dire effects of EMFs after doing some web research, and ‘am having my Smart Meter removed soon. The more I read the more aprehensive I become. An excellent book I just purchased, is Zapped by Ann Louise Gittleman. I’m worried as my sister in No Ca
    is having a wireless burglar system installed tomorrow !

  • RRK said,

    I have a wireless home security system, and the company said to unplug the small transformer. The system has a larger metal box and smaller plastic one in my hall closet, and that small one still has lights flashing. The man at the security company assured me that unplugging that transfomer will stop communications and the transmission of microwaves, but is that correct? The other unit and the one by the door still are lit up, with no change, has communication truly stopped? Has any microwave radiation now stopped from being emitted from my home security system? Thank you in advance for your kindness of answer

  • Lloyd said,

    Security systems are usually fitted with battery back-up so I wouldn’t be so sure that just unplugging it will disable the wireless…the only way to be sure about this is to measure with an EMF meter…an RF meter.

  • bob said,

    Do these alarm radiations, microwaves, electromagnetic affect food? Does it in any way affect the safety of ready to eat food when am holding it and an intruder alarm goes off due to my movements?

  • Lloyd said,

    Studies show that ‘cooking’ food in a microwave oven causes nutrient and antioxidant depletion……microwave ovens use the same technology as our cell phones and DECT appliances (incl. alarms) etc….its quite conceivable that prolonged EMF exposures from alarms and other RF radiation devices damage our food.

  • Nina said,

    Hello Lloyd,

    I’m really concerned about the wireless alarm in my house. I live in a property which doesn’t belong to me and we have the wireless alarm installed. I attach a link to it. http://www.phonewatch.ie/system/files/3/original/sales-brochure.pdf

    I have the main control unit installed in the bathroom which is roughly 5-6 feet from our living room. Then, there are sensors in the house. Do you think this kind of system uses the cordless phone technology? I’m not too sure…and what can I do to minimize its impact on us if the main occupier of the house still wants to use it for his part of the house? Will the main panel and its proximity will continue to produce strong EMF even if I ask to have the senors in our part of the house switched off? I would be very very obliged for your answer!

  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    Hi Nina
    If your alarm is wireless then you will be exposed to radio frequency radiation….which is similar technology to that used by cell phones and cordless phones. Call the company that installed the system and ask them to confirm that its wireless. Shielding doesn’t seem to be an option (if you shield the alarm won’t work)…to minimize your exposure to this radiation you need to reduce the amount of time you are spending in close proximity to the emitter/receptor units….which means you need to know where these are…the alarm company can perhaps tell you….an RF meter will tell you for sure.

  • Nina said,

    Lloyd, thanks so much for your answer. I will try to equip myself with a meter. I hope you won’t mind if I ask another question – what kind of shield would be best and cheapest? Could I place it over the wall, behind which is the main station with two antennas? The main unit is roughly the size of 20cm x 25cm.

    Thanks in advance.


  • Lloyd Burrell said,

    Per my reply above “Shielding doesn’t seem to be an option (if you shield the alarm won’t work)”…get some RF readings then decide on the best option.

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