How Alarms Work

A security system is made up of a number of complex electronic parts and whilst this can seem intimidating in reality most of the time they operate via a simple process. Most alarms are designed to be user friendly and straightforward to use.

Control Panels / Keypads & Remotes

Alarm keypadNormally located next to an exit / entry point a keypad allows you to set and unset your alarm and generally control the system. Keypads vary in design and layout however there are two main options being touch pad and analogue style press button (most common). Some security system makes have the bonus of having the capability to add remotes which give you the convenience of turning your alarm on and off from a distance e.g. in your car as you enter the driveway.

Depending on the model chosen, some alarms are hard wired and others wireless. There are advantages to both. Also high spec models allow electronic automation control from computers outside of the home or business, and give you the added advantage of control via smart phones too.

The control panel is the brains of the system and this is where the majority of electronic componentry is stored. The keypad sends electronic messages to the control panel telling it what zones to set and unset. The control panel is normally hidden away and stored in a wardrobe or roof space for safety. The panel box also contains the battery backup should there be a power cut.

From the control box a message is sent to the monitoring centre via the telephone line. If this line is tampered with or there is a power cut then a message is sent to the monitoring firm giving them the ability to dispatch a security guard to your property. This type of response gives you 24hr protection against a burglar.

Motion Detectors / PIR

Security alarm sensorMotion detectors or PIRs (Passive Infra Red) sensors are like eyes within your home or buildings rooms. They send out infra red rays that are undetectable by the human eye across a room in an arc shape. When the alarm is set and something interferes with that beam the alarm sends a message to the control panel causing a activation. It's at this point that normally an audible alarm goes off which is designed to alert others of a break in and scare the burglar away. There are many different types of security sensors and some are specifically designed to allow you to have a small pet in the house even the alarm is set.

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Glass Breaks / Window Contacts / Door Contacts

Window and door contacts are triggered when a contact is broken such as the opening of a door or window. They are made up of two devices that when pushed apart trigger an alarm activation. A glass break activates by sound and or vibration. A strike to a window can cause the sensor to trigger. This option is ideal for business security where valuable stock is often on display in front windows. If someone was to attempt a smash and grab your alarm would go off.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke alarmSmoke is a silent killer. When asleep if there is a fire many people don't actually wake up and thus inhale smoke until they die or wake up to late at which point the house is engulfed in flames.

A hard wired smoke detector gives you the added protection of being notified by an audible alarm and when monitored the security company can be dispatched to investigate. There is no replacement for personal heirlooms, so when you're away from your property or out of town you have the added benefit of knowing that should there be a fire someone will respond.

Some smoke alarms are photo-electric and these devices are more responsive to smoke giving you added time in a potentially dangerous situation.

Audible Alarm

An audible alarm notifies neighbours of a activation and is designed to be so loud it is uncomfortable for an intruder to remain in the building. There are two types of audible alarms one type for the inside of the home, the other a weatherproof alarm. Alarms situated on the outside of the home provide a visual deterrent not only when activated because most have a flashing light, but also they let a would be intruder know the house is alarmed and it is easier for them to choose another.

The interior alarm is most commonly resessed into the ceiling to make it difficult to disarm but also to make the most amount of noise.

Trained, knowledgeable security companies know how to site and install the right solution for you. They know how many sensors you'll need and most importantly where to place them. To find the right solution for you send your details via the contact form at the top of the page.


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