Choosing the Right Alarm for Your Home

Most home owners at some stage will need to make a decision about which alarm system they install. At first this is a seemingly basic research and purchase process; however you soon start to realise there are more options available than you thought possible. Add to this increasingly difficult decision process; the fact that more often than not technical terminology and acronyms are used and you really could be here for hours if not days.

For that reason, we have tried to break down into an article a list of four key questions which will give you a better understanding of the home alarm systems market and ultimately help you figure out what type of alarm is most suitable for you.

1. Wires or no wires?

Probably the biggest decision you will need to make. So let’s tackle it first. The two main types of home alarms are ‘wired’ and ‘wireless’, meaning exactly that; one is ‘wired’ into the mains and forms a circuit whilst one relies on radio frequency. Decades ago this decision was made on reliability; as wireless alarms, through being powered by batteries and sometimes self installed were thought the inferior product. Technology has come on leaps and bounds, meaning the primary reason to choose a ‘wireless alarm’ over a ‘wired’ is convenience; no big installation. Whilst typically ‘wired’ alarms are chosen for their ‘monitored’ nature (explain later) and often more comprehensive packages.

2. Do you want to install it yourself?

If the answer to this is yes; then a wireless home alarm is the product for you. As mentioned above; technology has really moved on in the last few years, meaning self installed home alarms are now of a very high standard.

3. Do you want it to be monitored?

A few years ago, ‘monitored’ alarms mainly formed part of more ‘upscale’ alarm installations, but are now commonly available across the alarm market. The term ‘monitored’ relates to the fact that if and when your alarm is triggered, you or a 3rd party are informed remotely (instead of just the alarm ringing). Wireless alarms typically have a personal monitoring option, which on more recent products allows the alarm to notify you or family members via Smartphones or email to the fact your alarm has been triggered. Wired alarms often allow for a 3rd party monitoring service, where if triggered a real person at a monitoring station will alert you and try to help.

4. External or Internal Alarms or both?

So you have decided you want an alarm but where do you want it installed? Typically a lot of homes choose an exterior alarm but the positioning of the alarms would have to be perfect to ensure you target every potential point of entry. Combining this with an internal alarm would mean you can sleep safely at night. Here are some of your options for internal alarms:

Passive Infrared Detectors (PIDs) – This is generally a recommended alarm for those who want a simple yet effective home alarm system. It works by measuring the temperature of the surrounding area and sounds the alarm when anything unnatural is detected.

Photo-Electric Beam (PEBs)- These alarms use beams of infrared light to “light” up the monitored area. Just like in the films the alarm sounds when an intruder’s movement passes through the beams. Beams can be either stationary or moving.

Glass Break Detectors (GBDs) – They do exactly what they say they do. Whenever glass is broken in your home these alarms produce a frequency ranging from less than 20 Hz.

5. One off cost or monthly fees?

This one is worth thinking about. In some cases, depending on the provider you will need to pay a monthly subscription fee in addition to the initial outlay of buying the alarm. This fee varies depending on the service level and provider, but typically covers police fees and the fact your alarm is being monitored by humans. On the other hand some systems allow you to simply pay for the initial set-up and then that is the only cost associated with the alarm (apart from batteries and electricity of course). Bottom line is read the fine print, shop around and have a rough idea about the type of service you want or budget you have.

These alarm buying tips are brought to you by Yale home alarm systems.  Yale Alarm systems are committed to bringing awareness of the security you can get for your homes.


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