Choosing the right alarm system for your home

We consider a layered security approach to be the best way of keeping would-be intruders out of your home. This means that even though we believe in having security gates and burglar bars, we also believe that having an alarm system to accompany them can’t hurt.

Thanks to today’s technology you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a home alarm system. It’s choosing the one that suits your lifestyle and budget best that’s the tricky part. After making two main decisions you’ll know what type of alarm system will best suit your lifestyle. These two questions are, will you go for a monitored or unmonitored system, and will it be wired or wireless?

Unmonitored alarm systems

An unmonitored alarm system is the most affordable, and thereby the most popular alarm system. With this type of system, you won’t need to pay a company to monitor your home’s security for you. An unmonitored alarm system still allows for the installation of sensors placed throughout the main areas of your home. If a burglar somehow manages to enter your home, as soon as they move through the beam of a sensor, a klaxon alarm will go off. These types of systems can be customised to include motion detectors, panic buttons and spot lamps too.

As an unmonitored alarm system, even though the noise is alarming and may scare off trespassers, the alarm isn’t connected to a security company help centre.  The down side to this type of system is that a burglar may not be scared off by the alarm, and neighbours may not hear the alarm, meaning it won’t offer the protection you’re looking for.

Monitored alarm system

When using a monitored alarm system, although more expensive, it is a far more secure option. If something triggers one of your home’s alarm system sensors, the alarm will alert your security company’s call centre.

After the sensor has been triggered, the security company will call your home and ask you for a password to determine whether they should dispatch security staff to come to your aid.

These days you even get nifty apps for your smartphone that help you keep track of your home’s alarm and security status.

Wired alarm system

If you go for a wired alarm system,  physical wiring will be installed in order to send information to a control panel. As a safety measure, the wires of the alarm system are usually well-hidden in the house somewhere, like in a bedroom cupboard for example. This type of system has a keypad that needs a code in order for the alarm to be activated and deactivated.

A drawback of installing a wired alarm system is the fact that it needs someone to physically wire the system into the walls. That isn’t the only downside though. If you stay in an area where thunder storms are common, then a wired system may not be the best choice seeing as electric storms can cause the system to go haywire. A positive aspect of a wired alarm system is the fact that it makes it easy to monitor activity of windows and doors, and it creates a steady current throughout the house.

Wireless system

As far as alarm systems go, wireless units are the latest in modern alarm technology. With a wireless alarm system you don’t have to worry about all the physical wiring that needs to be installed, or monthly monitoring bills. This type of alarm is a breeze to install. The way a wireless system is designed, it gives great flexible when it comes to positioning the sensors and detectors – although it does become a problem when you wish to fit sensors in close proximity to one another. Another positive aspect of installing this type of alarm system, is that it’s portable. That means that when you move houses it’s really easy to take the system with you to your new home.

A downside to wireless alarm systems is that they are rather expensive to maintain. Being wireless, the system runs on batteries which are in need of frequent changing. Another drawback is the fact that electromagnetic interference can disrupt monitoring activities.

We believe that any alarm system is better than no alarm system. So whichever system you decide to go with, whether it’s a monitored or unmonitored, and wired or wireless alarm, if it suits your budget and lifestyle, we say go for it.