Which Alarm?

How to choose the right burglar alarm , which alarm
How to choose the right burglar alarm

I have been helping customers over the past years on how to choose the alarms to best suit their needs and perfectly fit their pocket. There are a wide variety of burglar alarm brands available in the market. First let us decide on wired or wireless alarms.

Pros and Cons of wired and wireless alarms

Pros & Cons

Wired Alarms Wireless Alarms Conclusion
Cost Intruder Alarm control panel and associated devices are cheaper but there is additional cost involved in labour as it takes double the time to fit an alike wireless alarm All devices in a wireless burglar alarm system is more expensive than wired one but are easy to install. So labour cost can be waved off No much difference.
Maintenance The back up battery in the control panel and siren needs to be changed and tested every 3-4 years There is a bit of saving in this regard as wireless alarms has to be serviced every 2 years Can save a bit on wired in this regard
Decor There can be a sight of trunking or cables around the corners if cables are not run internally. But, the sleek design of the siren and control panel are really mind blowing if your choose Risco LightSys wired alarm. Perfect finish and no harm to the décor of your house Here, the winner is wireless home security system.
Performance Meets British Standards Meets British Standards Equal weightage
False Alarms Equally reliable, but can trigger false alarm due to power failure if the alarm isn’t maintained regularly. Wireless Alarm that function on 868MHz frequency are less prone to false alarms. Read our blog on how to stop false alarms

 

Both are Reliable
Security Wired Alarms gives tamper alerts if a wire is cut even accidently. An installer has to come and fix this before the system is ready for use again. Professionally installed British Standard Alarms cannot be jammed by external means Wired & Wireles Alarms are secure
Future Expansion Involves more labour if planning for an extension in future. Easy to add additional sensors to the existing home alarm system in future Wireless saves a bit of money here.

So now we have decided on wired and wireless alarm, let us move on to security alarm features. More feature, more money. The price range in the table below includes the product cost and professional installation fee.

Feature Supports Price Brands
Bell Only – Alert an incident by sounding the siren Wired & Wireless £ Yale

 

Bell + Telephone Alert – Alerts the designated person and few other numbers through pre-recorded messages at the time of an event through phone call from your landline. Wired & Wireless ££ Yale

Visonic

Pyronix

Bell + Mobile Alert –   Alerts the designated person and few other numbers through pre-recorded messages at the time of an event through phone call from a SIM installed in the system control panel. Wired & Wireless ££ Yale

Visonic

Pyronix

Bell + Call Alert + Messages/Push notifications on your phone Wired & Wireless ££ Yale

Visonic

Pyronix

Bell + Call Alert + Messages + Smart phone App to control your security system remotely Wired( Risco LightSys )   & Wireless £££ Yale

Visonic

Pyronix

Risco

Bell + Call Alert + Messages + Smart phone App + Camera Sensors to identify what triggered the alarm or even get a picture of the what happened at the time of alarm Wireless £££ Yale

Visonic

Pyronix

Risco

Here Yale is a diy option and doesn’t meet British Standards while all other systems need to be professionally installed by a trained engineer.  Don’t worry if you are not a diy expert, we can install them for you.

Terms to know before you buy a Burglar Alarm

A burglar alarm is an electronic device that emits a loud noise and alerts the owner and designated friends or family members by phone when someone attempts to make unauthorized entry to a building or other premises. I should say it puts burglars off from entering in the first place, or cause them to flee the crime scene when the alarm is triggered.

There are several brands of alarm kits available in the market but all of them have got the basic sensors (PIR) and a main control panel (heart of an alarm system) to invisibly secure your home. The sensors fitted at the corners of your room and on the doors can detect any unexpected motion. They then signal the control panel about their finding. The control panel then takes predefined action as programmed. A SIM card is installed in the control panel or it is be directly connected to your telephone line to initiate the alert to designated numbers. Also, it triggers the external and internal siren to flee away the burglar. There are modern systems with camera sensors, which can send you the pictures of the crime scene. These camera sensors also help you to confirm that it was not a false alarm in case it occurs. (Read our tips to avoid false alarms here). These high-end burglar alarms are no longer an exception to the smart phone Apps. You can arm and disarm your security system from your smart phone.

Here are some of the technical terms you come across while choosing a burglar alarm.

IP Module (Internet Protocol Module)

The IP Module is an easy to add plug-in module that enables the system to communicate over a TCP/IP network. It can be used as the primary communication or as a back up to a GSM or PSTN communication in case of communication failure. The IP module enables sending email alerts and system status information and also enables remote programming of the control panel by alarm engineers.

GSM Module (Global System for Mobile Communications)

The GSM module is an easy to add plug-in module that enables the system to communicate over the mobile networks for reporting, controlling and programming. It can be used as the primary communication or as a back up for the IP or PSTN communications in case of communication failure. In addition, users can enjoy peace of mind by receiving real time SMS, voice messages and email alerts. The GSM module also supports two-way voice communication, which is beneficial for elderly care, allowing two-way communication with users in times of emergency.

PSTN Module (Public Switched Telephone Network Module)

The PSTN modem is an easy to add plug in modem that enables the system to connect over telephone in places where required and is particularly useful for low budget installations. The plug in PSTN Modem can be used as the primary communication or as a back up to the Cloud connection or GSM or IP communication in case of communication failure.

The type of alarm you choose will depend on the level of security you’re after and how much you’re willing to pay for it.