Home Alarm Systems

According to statistics provided by the FBI, property crime in 2012 caused a loss of $15.5 billion and burglaries were 23.4 percent of all property crime. Some would contend that this could’ve been prevented with the help of security alarm systems. Some say keeping a dog can be the most effective way to protect your property. However, does your mutt come with state of the art smoke detectors, panic alarms, fire detectors, monoxide detectors and security sensors? And can it be hooked into the police or fire department for an immediate response? This maybe an unfair comparison but when you weigh the benefits and take statistics into account, it appears the scales tip in technology’s favor.


How Residential Alarm Systems Work?

These systems work in two basic modes:

Home Alarm Systems
Home Alarm Systems

At-home mode

With this mode, sensors in the specified range are automatically activated. This means that when a door or a window is opened, the alarm goes off. Simple.

Away mode

This mode automatically activates all the motion sensors in a given area.This means that the alarm goes off if someone tries to force their way in, or if the motion detectors sense movement.

What goes into a Security Alarm System?

It will most likely be made up of several components. These include,

  • Control panel–This is the central control unit of your security alarm system

  • Key fobs –Device used to remotely arm and disarm the system

  • Motion detectors – Detect movement in targeted areas

  • Panic buttons–Used to request immediate help in case of an emergency

  • Touch pads – Used for diagnostic operations, as well as to activate and deactivate alarms

  • Sirens – Used to create loud acoustic sounds to alert

  • Video monitoring (CCTV cameras) – Used to create a video link with the monitoring team

  • Window and door sensors – Used to sense movements and break ins via windows and doors

In addition to this, if you hire a security company to monitor, the company may add another component called the central monitoring station.

Central Monitoring System

You can choose to hire a security company to monitor your home through your security alarm system. If you choose to do so, the security company will likely alert the local fire or police department given your alarm system is activated.

Types of Home Alarm Systems

Singular security alarm systems serve the purpose of protecting your home from intrusion, while dual security alarm systems come with both burglar alarms and fire alarms. Furthermore, smart property owners are increasingly favoring the installation of wireless security alarms. These are battery-operated systems, meaning they keep on functioning even in case of power cuts or outages.



Q:How to choose a home alarm system?

A:Choosing a home alarm system can be a daunting task as it is something that you cannot afford to go wrong with. There are certain considerations that you need to take into account when choosing a home alarm system. 1. Ensure that the company you choose is licensed and has received a high rating by an authorized agency. 2. Evaluate your security needs and look up relevant equipment; go through all the specifications and reviews carefully. 3. Choose a company that provides round the clock monitoring services. 4. By keeping your security requirements in mind, select the security system components you would need. All of these steps should be given importance as they ultimately determine the effectiveness of your security system.

Q:How much does an alarm system cost?

A:This depends upon individual needs, the type of security system, the kind of monitoring service and the equipment involved. If a large area needs to be covered, then obviously a number of sensors and detectors will be required. However wireless security systems may allow you to save some money on installation charges. A wireless security system may also allow you to expand at less cost as compared to a wired system. The kind of detectors and sensors that you use with your security system could also be a contributing factor. The cost of monitoring services may include a basic monthly monitoring fee. A onetime activation and installation fee may also be covered in the total cost.

Q:Which home alarm system is best?

A:Which Home Alarm System Is BestHome alarm systems come in different shapes, quality and sizes. There is no single alarm system that can be termed as the best; the best alarm system is the one that successfully protects you and your family. However, there are certain measures that you could take to ensure that the alarm system you go for is the best for you. One of these is to ensure that the alarm system equipment manufacturer is licensed; most reputable companies are also a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA). Monitoring services form an integral part of the alarm system, when getting one installed you should ensure that your service provider has a dedicated monitoring station and is also a member of the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA). For optimal performance it is recommended that you choose a manufacturer that has received a high rating from an authorized body. Buying all the equipment from the same manufacturer could be beneficial as you may be able to avoid compatibility issues. These measures may help you get a high performance security system.

Q:Can I still have pets in the house and use my alarm system?

A:Yes, but it comes with certain restrictions particularly with regards to the various kinds of motion sensors. You cannot activate regular motion sensors and have your pet roaming in the area at the same time. You will either have to make sure that the pets are restricted to a particular section of the house, which does not have sensors, or you could get pet immune motion sensors installed instead of the regular motion sensors.

Q:Can I set my alarm with a pet left inside?

A:You can activate your alarm system with a pet inside if you are sure that the pet will not pass through areas that have activated motion sensors. Or you might want to look into pet immune motion sensors. These motion sensors are designed to ignore movement of living things below a certain weight limit.

Q:Can I operate my alarm and stay inside my home?

A:Yes you can. Most alarm systems come equipped with an 'At Home' and an 'Away' option. The 'At Home' option is designed to disable certain sensors while keeping others intact. For instance, the motion sensors might be disabled to make sure you don't end up activating the alarm system, when you go to get a glass of water at night.

Q:Will an alarm system give me total security?

A:An alarm system is one aspect of a secure environment. It will not give you sure shot protection against all sorts of crimes. It is however, a system that will fortify your defenses and reduce the risk of potential mishaps substantially. To get maximum security, combine an alarm system with proper locks, clever landscaping, protective windows and doors and a lot of vigilance on your part.

Q:How much does alarm monitoring save on my homeowners insurance?

A:A study conducted by the Electronic Security Association found that the ten largest insurance companies offer discounts up to 20% if the home is equipped with an alarm monitoring system. At times, the discounts may be large enough to pay a portion of the monitoring or installation costs of the system. Exact savings due to alarm monitoring will vary according to different insurance provider's policies.

Q:Can the central monitoring station tell if my alarm system is non-operational?

A:There are certain companies which let you know through their central monitoring stations if your system isn't working, for whatever reason. At the very least, monitoring stations notify you if your home security system is experiencing operational issues such as broken sensors or low batteries, etc.

Q:Why would my alarm system shut off when I go upstairs? Is it broken?

A:If your alarm system is not functioning properly and regularly shuts off on its own; there may be some issues you must immediately check. For example: the system may have faulty wiring, the signals may be disrupted (for wireless alarm), the batteries of the alarm may be weak and need replacement. If you can't figure out the problem, it is recommended you call your home security provider for help.

Q:In case when my power is cut will my alarm system still work?

A:Usually alarm systems come with a back up battery to supply power in a situation where there is a power cut. These batteries may be charged by solar energy or your home electricity. If you want to make sure you have a back up battery, you would need to contact your sales representative.

Q:Are home invaders deterred by alarm systems? Why or why not?

A:A number of factors need to be considered to find out if an invader will be deterred by your alarm system. If you live in a populated area, a loud alarm can scare the intruder away. Plus, it depends on the invader and what equipment is he carrying to turn the system off. If your security company has a quick response rate, it is not likely that the burglars will invade your house.

Q:Should I get an alarm system for my house in Mountain View?

A:According to Neighborhood Scout, the crime index for Mountain View is 33, which means that it's only safer than 33 percent of all cities in United States. Besides, the crime rate in the city is considerably higher than the national average in US. Keeping in mind the crime data of Mountain View, it is preferable that you have an alarm system at your home for better security of your life and property.

Q:What features should I look for in a home alarm system?

A:Home alarm systems come with a variety of features and user preferences for alarm systems also vary, depending on their needs. However, some features can benefit many users. These include easy installation and disarming of the alarm system. You may also look for pet friendly motion detectors, backup batteries in case of a power outage, and loud sirens.

Q:What is the best unmonitored alarm system?

A:Signing up for monitoring services through a home security company is not mandatory. You will not have to pay a monthly or annual monitoring fee. However, if the alarm is triggered, there will be no law enforcement back up available unless you call them yourself. You can search through our page to find out what companies are offering security products and services.

Q:Are alarm systems worth the money?

A:Property crimes are on the decline, but are still a nuisance and threat in many neighborhoods. The effects of a burglary go beyond financial loss, and can affect you and your family emotionally as well. An alarm system can help lower the risk of being burglarized. Burglars usually avoid homes with security systems installed. A onetime investment in an alarm system can protect you and your family in the long run.

Q:How to disarm my home alarm system when I come home?

A:In case of most alarm systems, a method called the "entry delay" is used. The door closest to the main alarm keypad is programmed as the "delay zone" which triggers a countdown upon activation. This countdown time is usually between 45 and 120 seconds, giving the homeowner enough room to get to the alarm keypad and disarm the system. If your system goes off immediately after you enter your home, then you need to reprogram it. If you installed it yourself, just check the manual for instructions relevant to disarming. And if you had your company install it for you, then it would be advisable to call them for support.

Q:How can I disarm a home alarm system?

A:This depends on the sort of system you have, and the company you have purchased it from. Most alarm companies will provide you with a unique four to five digit code that you will need to put into your system to deactivate it. Other systems might have a manual override button that shuts the entire system off. If you can't figure it out, go through the manual that came with the system, or call the alarm company.

Q:Is there any Home alarm ( protection ) system that use internet line instead of PSTS?

A:Traditionally, most monitored home security alarm panels installed by alarm system companies are Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTS) or landline powered home security systems. Today, there are home security companies which offer wireless home security systems which make use of either WIFI or LAN connections to protect your home. However, they do have certain downsides. For instance, they are vulnerable to hackers, viruses, worms, and may even go down if there is a power outage.

Q:Is a home alarm system considered part of a house when selling?

A:It normally depends on the owners, whether they want to offer a home alarm system as a part of the house. Owners may charge some extra money for selling the alarm system along with the house. However, it is not always necessary to offer a home alarm system while selling the house. If the system is portable or wireless, sellers may take the system with them instead of selling it.

Q:How to make sure your alarm system has a battery backup?

A:If you want to check whether your alarm system has a battery backup, you can check the specifications of your alarm system on its manual. You may also contact the alarm system company and ask the sales representatives about the battery backup and the duration of the battery in case of power outage.

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