All security alarms are composed of four basic parts: the control panel, keypad, sensors and detectors, and the alarm sounders or sirens. The control panel is the heart of the system, because all the alarm devices are attached to the control panel. When the control panel is armed using the keypad and a sensor or detector is activated, the control panel activates the sounders and transmits a signal to the Central Monitoring Station.
Switch or contact sensors are the most frequently used alarm sensors in residential home security systems. They are electromagnetic devices installed at all entry points considered to be accessible from the ground and all windows or balcony doors adjacent to trees. When a door or window is opened, the alarm is triggered.
A security screen is the most secure way to protect a window and allow you to have windows open with the alarm system armed. Security screens are made of a special material that is installed in an existing frame. When the alarm system is armed, if a screen is removed or if it is cut large enough for someone to crawl through, the alarm will sound.
Sensors, panic and emergency buttons are connected to the control unit either by direct wiring or by wireless technology. A wireless system operates on batteries that must be changed periodically. Each sensor, panic or emergency button includes a transmitter, and a receiver is installed in the control unit. The wireless panic or emergency buttons can be carried from room to room. Wired and wireless systems are equally effective, provided security professionals install them.
The traditional method of communication is through standard dial-up telephone lines. However this is the least secure way of communication, since these lines are susceptible to vandalism, damage from storms, vehicle accidents, construction cable cuts or line repairs. More secure options are available such as Radio or Cellular backup transmitters, and these can be supervised by the Central Monitoring Station to detect transmission failures.
Based on the quality of the alarm system, the number of features you need to fully secure your home and property, and the size requirements of the system, costs can vary greatly. At Dehart Alarm Systems, we custom design your system to meet your special security needs. Call one of our Dehart Security Professionals to arrange a no cost home inspection and security system estimate.
To receive the best service from your alarm system:
· It's most important to establish and follow a routine. When activating the system, make sure all doors and windows are closed and that pets are removed from alarm-sensitive areas. 9 out of 10 alarms transmitted are false, and half are caused by improper operation.
· Do not treat the system like a new toy or demonstrate it to friends. If your system triggers an alarm unnecessarily, it will eventually lose credibility and you may stop using it on a regular basis.
· Improperly selected or installed sensors can also cause false alarms. Some sensors may react to changes in temperature, humidity or drafts from heating or air conditioning vents.
· Do not try to increase the protection area of a sensor by increasing its sensitivity. Some detectors have sensitivity adjustments, and if they are set too high, they could become an almost constant source of false alarms. Either use two detectors or purchase one that will meet your needs.
· Consult a reputable company of alarm system professionals such as Dehart Alarm Systems to advise you on the selection and placement of sensors that will best meet your needs.
Here are a few optional features that you should consider adding to your system:
· Additional Keypads in other areas of the home to conveniently arm and disarm the system or view the system's status
· Monitored Smoke and Fire detectors
· Sonic Glass Break detectors
· Carbon Monoxide detectors
· Water and Flood detection sensors
· Wired Security Screens to allow you to open your windows and still be notified of an intruder before they enter your home
· Hardwired or Wireless remote buttons for Police, Fire & Medical emergencies
· Wireless remote controls that allow you to arm & disarm the system from anywhere inside or outside your home. Also known as wireless keys
· Access your system with pda, iphone, smart phone, or any computer connected to the internet
· A remote telephone access module that allows you to control your system from anywhere in the world
Once your system is installed, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully, and be sure all members of the family know how to operate the system correctly. With some systems bateries will need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years depending on usage.
· If you set off your alarm accidentally, turn it off and contact the Central Monitoring Station to inform them that everything is OK.
· If your system is set off by an intruder and you are at home in bed, the safest thing to do is to lock yourself in your bedroom and call 911 immediately. (If 911 is not available in your area, call your local law enforcement agency). Tell the dispatcher that your security alarm has been activated. Give them your name, address and any information you can regarding the alarm. They will tell you what to do next.
· If your system is monitored by a Central Monitoring Station, your activated alarm signal will prompt a security monitor to contact you. If they cannot reach you, they will call the authorities and notify them of the alarm.
· Remember! If you hear an intruder or you feel that you are in danger do not wait for the Central Monitoring Station to call you. Call 911 immediately.