The Basic System
Whether it is because you live alone, because several burglaries have taken place recently in your neighborhood, or because you have some valuable assets; if you are considering installing a home alarm system, it is a good solution. But one needs to consider certain conditions.
An alarm system is made of several components, connected to each other, to ensure your safety. The most important are the control panel (it is the brain of the unit), keyboard (there is a code composed to enable or disable the system) and an alarm.
While the control panel should be hidden (the system would become inoperative if a thief was able to pull it out), the keyboard is usually placed near a door (after entering the home, the user usually has 30 seconds to turn off the system).
In addition to the main components, a base system also includes two or three perimeter sensors (magnetic contacts) which are installed on the entrance doors; including most of the garage doors (some garage doors are very safe so they do not need it).
These detectors are composed of a magnet placed on the door panel and a switch on the frame or inside it. Because of this when an intruder opens the door, the alarm goes off.
The basic system is also accompanied by one or two motion detectors. They detect the presence of an intruder either by body heat (infrared waves detector) or by his/her movements (infrared beam detector or ultrasonic).
Note: Some motion detectors are specially designed to identify people living in the home and pets (if they do not weight over 80 pounds).
This basic system is usually enough to keep you well protected. If you fear the thieve may enter your home through a window and the detector volume would act a little late, you can install the windows accessible from perimeter sensors (some allow you to leave them ajar) detectors or glass breakage (the latter are sensitive to the noise made when the glass breaks).
Want to alarm yourself when the theft occurs? The keypad of the alarm system includes an emergency call button for this purpose. You can also have one installed at a location more strategic (e.g., near the bed or in the bathroom). You can also choose to wear an accessory on your neck, wrist or waist, which is equipped with such a button.
Wireless Connection and Operation: Wireless Alarm Systems
Today, the market offers more wireless systems and hybrid systems (some components are connected and others not).
Wireless systems are more expensive than most systems. More importantly, they are often less safe. The reason is that the control panel, keyboard, and alarm are assembled in a single device because of which it becomes easy for an intruder to break the control panel before the alarm sounds.
Some manufacturers have circumvented the problem by offering systems in which the alarm sounds at the same time the door opens – a remote control allows the occupant to turn off the system before entering the house. For their part, hybrid systems are an excellent choice, the main components are arranged in a traditional way, and detectors can be installed in places difficult to access. Another advantage is that the installation does not require drilling holes, which is appreciated, for example, in a house with wood of great value.
In Conjunction with a Central
To be effective, your alarm system must be connected to a central monitoring station – according to some experts, the system alone is practically useless, especially when the neighbors are distant or absent. It should, however, if this system (owned by the company that sells you the alarm system or under contract with it) does its job well.
Make sure it is approved by a recognized body, which means it has a qualified staff and advanced equipment. Then ask about the protocol to be followed in case of emergency. Whom does the system call first- the occupants of the house, the police or the people you have listed? Finally, ask about the speed with which the system follows the protocol.
How it works
Generally, each occupant of the house has its own code it uses to activate and deactivate the alarm system. Some people may get a code for a limited period, for example, the housekeeping staff for Wednesday only. It can also arm the alarm system in different ways according to our activities and time of the day.
For example, when you are inside the house, you can activate only the magnetic contacts on doors and windows which will circulate freely and alert you if someone tries to enter. At night, you can arm the system to be able to go to the bathroom and kitchen. Finally, when absent, it offers complete protection by arming the whole system.