Do-It-Yourself Wireless Alarm Systems
Wireless alarm systems communicate with the main control panel without using wires. This means they can be installed by just about anyone that has access to a few simple hand tools. An alarm system in your house can be beneficial for two reasons. First, it gives you a sense of security and peace of mind, knowing that most people will be deterred from trying to break in if they know a house has a security system. Secondly, if you plan to sell the house in the future, the alarm system, as a home improvement, can raise the resale value of the property.
Wireless Alarm Systems: Easier to Install
Regular alarm systems require that the sensors have a physical connection to the main alarm system control processor unit. Because of this fact, most of them are better suited to professional installation. If they’re not professionally installed, they can be installed incorrectly and large messes are left for the homeowner to clean up. Additionally, the homeowner will normally need to know how to perform basic wall repair or they’ll have to run the wires exposed, which is gaudy and will actually detract from the value of the home.
The biggest advantage with a wired home alarm system is that you don’t have to worry about the batteries powering the sensors dying, or the cost of having to replace the batteries once or twice a year.
With wireless systems, this isn’t a problem. The control panel is mounted near a convenient wall receptacle and power is supplied. Batteries are installed in the sensors, and the sensors are then programmed and mounted. That’s pretty much it. Some systems may require you to “pair” the sensors with the control unit, somewhat like how you pair two Bluetooth devices. With this completed, the processor is then programmed for the number and location/type of sensors, PIN numbers are selected and programmed and you’re done. As we used to say when we were kids, “Easy Peazy.” Although the control panel for wireless alarm systems requires household power, since you can hook up a backup battery to power the system in case of power failure, maintaining your protection even in a power failure.
What To Expect with Wireless Alarm Systems
Wired alarm systems give you a wide range of sensor types that protect a variety of different entry types and areas. Some of these sensor types include:
- Glass breakage detectors mounted near or on windows to detect the sound of glass breaking.
- Ultrasonic motion detectors that detect movement inside controlled areas such as hallways and large rooms.
- Door switches mounted inside door frames to hide the sensors from view that detect when a door is opened.
- Surface mounted door switches that mount on the outside of doors such as garage doors to detect when these doors are jimmied or opened.
- Inner frame mounted window switches that mount inside window frames to both hide the switches from view and make them harder to defeat. They detect when a window is opened or jimmied.
- Surface mounted window switches that mount on the window frame, making them harder to defeat when the window is opened.
- Panic switches that cause the alarm to initiate an alarm condition immediately when activated.
As I mentioned above, all of these sensor types require a physical wire to be run between the sensor and the control panel. With wireless alarm systems, you can have the same types of sensors installed, with the difference being they all operate in a certain radio spectrum to communicate with the alarm system control panel and don’t require wires of any sort. There are some sensors, however, that can have a power cord, instead of being powered by a battery. These have the benefit of working as long as there is house power and you don’t have to worry about a battery dying.
Where Can You Find Wireless Alarm Systems?
Some of the bigger alarm companies, such as ADT, have from time to time offered wireless alarm systems, however, not all offices offer this product line. However, ADT gets most of their products through Tyco and Tyco also owns the Visonic name. As a professional security system installer, Visonic is one of my preferred companies to work with for obtaining security products.
When my customer’s budget isn’t large enough for Tyco/Visonic, I send them to DSC, another Tyco company. As you can see, Tyco is very involved in the home security products market. They’ve got the years of experience that give me confidence that I’m installing quality products that my customers will appreciate and be able to use for years to come.
One of the places I send my customers to investigate the products that are available is the Alarm System Store. They offer products from the top names I mentioned above, as well as Honeywell and General Electric.
So, are you ready to grab a couple of screwdrivers and help me install your system?
Photo credit: Rev. Xanatos Satanicos Bombasticos (ClintJCL)
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