Choosing the right alarm system for your home or business

Alarm System Purpose

Alarm systems provide peace of mind to home or business owners, When installed correctly they will provide an audible alarm to draw attention and deter intruders away from your property.  One thing that hasn’t changed from traditional alarm systems is they provide visual indication and deterrent via flashing strobe usually located at the front of a residential or commercial property. Alarm systems secure specific locations within a home or business, Example: window opening, door, hallway, garage door etc, they can even provide specialized detection of events, Example, Detect glass breaking via a glass break detector, Detect movement via a PIR (Passive Infrared Detector), Detect windows or doors opening via a magnetic contact (otherwise known as a “reed detector”), Detect movement across space using a point to point beam detector or detect Smoke or fire via a smoke detector. Modern alarm system installations include push notifications to the home or business owner via smartphone app or dedicated monitoring station 

Why Alarm Systems are Effective

Alarm systems provide a visual deterrent to burglars and criminals by visually displaying the Siren and Strobe at the front of the home or business, when the alarm is active alarm mode the Strobe light will flash alerting people in the area that there has been a break in and the alarm is active. They also produce an audible deterrent at the front of the home or business if the alarm is set off by the intruder.Comprehensive alarms come complete with anInternal siren or screamer is designed to produce a defining sound making it physically unbearable to remain within the property driving unwanted home invaders out of the home or business. Alarm system reporting is an excellent and effective feature, Back to base monitoring is especially effective where a monitoring station provides 24/7 monitoring of your alarm system. they can also respond to alarm events by sending patrol response or police to the scene. Alarm system reporting via a self monitored smart phone app is another excellent tool and perhaps the way of the future as there are less costs and fees associated with this type of reporting system, Modern day phone apps are packed full of features including arm and disarm, push notifications to your smart phone, open and close garage door, real time detector status and event log for tracking.

Types of Alarm Systems 

Perimeter Alarm, a perimeter alarm is designed to secure the perimeter of a home or business by placing alarm detectors on door openings or windows. These detectors will allow you to be notified is an intruder tries to gain access via one of these entry points and then actively deter via the alarm sirens and strobes. The perimeter alarm is especially effective from a functionality point of view as the perimeter can be armed whilst you are home and sleeping. This provides unmatched piece of mind. Types of detectors found in a perimeter alarm include, window shock sensor, door shock sensor, roller door reed sensor, door reed sensor, window reed sensor, glass break detector, Curtain PIR detector, Shock and Reed Combination sensor. wireless beam detector, wired beam detector. 

Internal Alarm, Internal alarm systems are designed to be activated when someone enters the property and will most likely be activated after the burglar or home intruder has gained access to your property, this means they are effectively already inside your property when the alarm is activated. because the alarm sensors are located inside your home you can’t have the alarm armed whilst inside the property like you can with perimeter alarm systems. Types of detectors found in an internal alarm systems, PIR (passive infrared detector), Curtain PIR, Wireless PIR Detector, Wireless Curtain PIR Detector, Glass break detectors, Duress alarm buttons. Alarm systems also boast optional environmental detection like heat sensor detectors, flood sensors and smoke detectors, these can then repost back to the smart phone app or monitoring station via the alarm system panel providing essential information on these perimeters. 

Types of Alarm Detectors PIR Detector, PIR detectors are perhaps the most common and widely used detector in the security industry and for good reason. They are very effective at covering internal areas and large spaces with multiple entry points. They are a cost effective solution to securing open areas where multiple perimeter sensors would otherwise be required. 

Security Alarm Keypad, Alarm system keypads are an essential component of any alarm system, they are required from an install point of view and allow technicians to access the programming menus and structure of the alarm system making changes and customising the panel to suit the application or environment it is being installed to. The alarm keypad is also the interface for the end user allowing changes to alarm codes, bypassing zones, date and time changes, access to event logs and finding trouble on the system like battery faults. 

Security Alarm Control Panel, The alarm controls panel houses the main components required for the system to function. The main board is like the brain of the system and holds all the programming information your installer sets up for your system. The main board needs a power supply to function and this is also mounted inside the main panel box or enclosure. Because there is always a risk the mains power may be severed in a burglary attempt the system includes a back up battery. The back up battery will keep the system running when power is lost keeping the sirens and strobe lights active. The security alarm panel is the communication facilitator between the alarm system detector and the main alarm control panel. This information is communicated in two ways either via a security cable or via wireless transmission.

External Siren and Strobe, The alarm system is essentially an array of security detectors designed to alert the main control panel then produce an audible and visual alarm. This is where the external siren and strobe comes in. There are many different styles for modern day alarm systems but they are all essentially the same from a functionality point of view. Modern Siren/ Strobe boxes are water resistant and designed to be installed to a visual part of the property frontage to alert and gain attention.

Internal Siren or Screamer, When the alarm system is in alarm mode the internal siren or screamer will operate producing a defining sound level making it virtually impossible to remain in the property driving out unwanted intruders. There are modern flush mounted detectors available and the traditional “top Hat” style internal screamer. 

Magnetic Reed Sensors, Reed sensors are designed to protect an opening or entry/ exit point. They have a switch on one side and a magnet on the other, when the magnet is close to the switch the switch is closed. when the magnet moves away from the switch the switch opens causing the alarm event. 

Glass Break Detector, These sensors are designed to detect the specific sound or vibration waves created when glass brakes. they are extremely effective when covering perimeter windows and can produce alarm events before the intruder has gained access to the property by activating the alarm the moment the glass is broken.

Shock or Seismic Detector, An integral part of any perimeter alarm system, shock sensors pick up vibration levels created when someone is attempting forced entry to the property. 

Key Fob, the Key Fob is a great tool for any alarm system, its main purpose is to provide user functionality via the 4 buttons on the Key Fob. Common functions for the buttons are, Arm, Disarm, Panic, Open Garage Door. The Keyfobs can also be programmed to operate other functions like security lights ect.

Beam Sensors, Beam sensors are effective in detecting traffic across a defined area, like a invisible trip wire. One side is the sender and the other a receiver, when system notices a break in the beam (someone walks across the beam) the alarm will be activated. 

Smoke Alarm Sensors, These can provide a notification when your not home that there is a fire in your property, reporting straight to your smart phone app or monitoring station they can be very effective at preventing property damage caused by fire.

Summary
In this topic, we have looked at the purpose of an alarm system and how its features can be effective in securing your home or business, the specific types of an alarm system – perimeter or internal and the main differences between them. We have also covered some of the most common alarm system detectors designed to protect your assets, business, and family. In conclusion, an alarm system is a great tool that if used correctly can be greatly effective in increasing peace of mind for you and your family, business, and or employees. If designed and installed correctly the alarm system can integrate into your day to day activities complementing your overall security. 
Written by Core Tech Security.

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