Home Improvement Tips

Alarms – A Quick Guide 2018

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Purchasing an alarm system for your home can be confusing at first, but with this short guide, you should be able to look out for the features that you need. This provides you with right advice to take the first step in your journey to buying the right alarm system for you. Each home is different, and each homeowner will have different needs.

What an alarm system used is for

Alarm systems are used for various things, but most homeowners use these systems to deter possible intruders from breaking into their homes, and to quickly detect any issues, like an attempted break-in, or nearby danger. Alarm systems are crucial because they’re reliable, ease to use, and long-lasting.

If you notice any damage to your alarm system or batteries require changing, you should always take action/replace it as soon as possible, because it’s a very visible warning sign to anyone looking to commit a crime.

Types of alarms

There are two basic types of alarm: wired and wireless. These alarm types have several advantages and disadvantages between them.

A wired alarm is reliable and less open to hacking or jamming, or batteries running flat.  It usually hasa long life and is operated simply via remote control or keypad, however, they can take much longer to install than their wireless counterparts. They often require professional installation and adding additional sensors or moving a control panel isn’t straight forward without more wiring. Wireless alarms, however, cause less disruption when being installed and many are simply ‘plug and play’. Varying from the very simplistic systems to ones with greater functionality.

Alarm system responses

Alarm system responses can vary, but they are usually split into two types:

  • Self-monitoring alarms, which use automatic dialling equipment to dial at least 3 people who have keys to the home in question to warn them that the alarm has been activated. These dialled people then must visit the property to check it out before the police can be called.
  • Call-back monitoring alarms, which send a coded signal to a facility that is constantly monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The operator at this facility then calls the household to determine if anyone is present, and if no one is, they then call the designated key holders. At that point, the police can be called.

Features to consider

As mentioned, different homeowners will have different needs, but here are some features that you should consider when looking for a new alarm system to buy:

  • A noticeable warning sign to deter intruders – this is usually an audible bell-like feature on the alarm box that sits on the outside of your house.
  • An easy way to alarm the homeowner – either a secondary device that can sound throughout your home, or a loud enough sound from the primary alarm if someone breaks in, or the system is damaged.
  • Immediate response from the alarm – there shouldn’t be a delay on the safety measures of the alarm, if something happens, you should know straight away. This can be by notification from an App, automatic phone calls or text messages from the alarm panel itself or via an external monitoring system.

You may be looking for other features on your alarm, such as pet friendly sensors. These are important for pet owners, because alarms will sense your pets, and you wouldn’t want your dog or cat to set off your alarm. It’s also worth considering how many and the range of accessories that can work with your alarm. Things such as vibration sensors, cameras, additional keypads etc can be useful when expanding the original system to suite the individual requirements of your home.