Demand for alarm systems has been on the uptrend especially in places where the risk of homes being burglarized is relatively high. The demand has spawned quite a lot of security companies catering to different niches in the sector and carrying a wide range of brands and models of security alarm systems. Formerly mere add-on services such as 24-hour monitoring services are now standard in many building security packages.
Classification based on Connection
Given this wide range of available security alarm systems, different classifications and categories of home security products have been established. One such classification of alarm devices is based on how the different components of an alarm system are connected. Based on this criterion, security alarm systems are categorized either as wired or wireless models.
Both types have avid proponents and each has its set of benefits and drawbacks. Note that there are hybrid systems that use the properties of both types but for purposes of comparison, only two types will be discussed in this article.
Wired Alarm Systems
Historically, wired alarm systems are the predecessor of all models currently in use. Simply put, wired alarm systems are linked electrical devices that are connected by electrical cables or wires. In this type of alarm system, the different system components—the sensors, the sirens, the strobe light, and the control box are connected using electrical wires that should be concealed and secured. Powering the system usually involves off-grid consumption with the optional use of batteries to ensure system operability even during power blackouts.
Proponents advise the use of wired alarm systems if homeowners are thinking of installing a more permanent security system for their residence. In addition, wired models are generally considered highly reliable and that after installation, wired alarm systems do not require maintenance at all. The drawback to wired security systems, however, is that they require cutting through roofs, walls, doors, windows, and other parts of the house in order to secure and conceal connection cables.
Not doing so and just exposing the wires would make it easy for burglars and other intruders to cut the connection, thereby deactivating the alarm. For this reason, the installation of wired systems is rarely a do-it-yourself affair since skilled security technicians are required to professionally determine the best locations where the cables are to be run but hidden.
Wireless Alarm Systems
In wireless alarm systems, the system components are linked using radio frequency transmitters. For example, when a sensor such as a microphone detects a suspicious sound, a radio frequency transmitter attached to the microphone will send a signal to the control box.
The control box’s RF receiver gets the signal, the control box will then follow a pre-programmed security protocol. The protocol may include sending a radio signal to the siren or strobe light in order to activate both and warn occupants that there is a security breach.
There are wireless models that are excellent choices when homeowners intend to install their security systems by themselves. This is because wireless alarm system components are battery-operated and do not require cables to be set up. Another benefit include is its high degree of expandability. That is, other detectors and sensors for other emergencies such as fire, pollution levels, and medical conditions may be integrated into the system.