Options for Burglar Alarms Sensors, Installation

Aug 16, 2013 burglar alarms, home security, sensors, 0 Comments
Options For Burglar Alarms


Burglar alarms are an easy way to increase the value of your home, as well as the safety and security of everyone in it. They can range from the very inexpensive and simple to the very expensive and intricate. In between, there is a whole world of choices available for you. I’m going to run through some of the various sensors that are available with home security systems and the various installation options that are available.

From the Very Affordable to the Very Expensive

I remember, years ago, one of the first “burglar alarms” that I ever saw wasn’t what anyone today would consider a true burglar alarm. It was nothing more than a $20 box with a wire loop hanging out the top. This loop was hung over the metal doorknob of a room or the front door of the house. If someone touched the doorknob, either inside or outside, and the alarm was turned on, galvanic skin response caused the alarm box to emit an ear-piercing shriek.

Alarm systems have come a long way since then. Homeowners now have a wide range of sensor types and systems to choose from, ranging from simple wireless sensors attached to the exposed portion of doors and windows all the way up to intricate and expensive panic rooms replete with bathrooms, kitchenettes, and whole-house video surveillance systems.

Burglar Alarms, Pulse ProductMost of us don’t have the money or inclination to create a safe room, but we still want to keep our family safe. So, what are our options as far as sensors are concerned?

  • Protect your doors and accessible windows with either wired or wireless magnetic switches installed either inside the frames or on the surface
  • Be alerted when someone is walking around outside your house with pressure pads strategically located outside the house
  • Set up an “emergency room” inside the house and install pressure pads in the floor outside it
  • Install motion sensors to protect certain large areas of the house from intrusion
  • Glass tampering switches can alert you when someone is banging on a window
  • Glass breakage detectors can sound the alarm when a window is broken
  • Protect your loved ones by tying smoke detectors into burglar alarms
  • Gain an added layer of protection by tying detectors for carbon monoxide and other gases into the system
  • Place motion-activated video cameras strategically around the house and property to provide the ultimate in security

Burglar Alarms Can Also Help with Home Automation

It’s the holidays and the family has arrived early. Everyone is still at work or school and unable to let your parents and siblings into the house. What do you do, run home and then back to work? How about disarming the alarm system and unlocking the doors using your smartphone? Today’s alarm systems are designed so they can integrate with home automation features, making them more efficient and useful-and adding significantly to the resale value of your home at the same time. We’ve got a great article on what home automation can do for you, since there’s too much detail to go into here.

Installation Options for Burglar Alarms

If you’re even basically dexterous, can read and follow directions, and know the difference between a plain and Phillips screwdriver, you can perform your own home alarm system. However, most of us don’t have the time or inclination to tear into a project of this sort. Most people hear the words “burglar alarm system installation” and their eyes glaze over thinking they have to tear into walls, floors, and ceiling to perform the installation. This is — but isn’t true in all cases.

I’ve written a few pieces for the site detailing wireless systems, both for home automation and for security systems. These require no cutting into floors, ceiling, or walls. Simply affix the sensors to the walls, doors, windows, etc., install the batteries, and connect their receivers to the main alarm control panel that you’ve attached to a wall in a secure location and plug the main controller into power. If you can pair Bluetooth or Wi-Fi devices, you can configure the system. Yes, it is that easy.

But what if you don’t want to worry about batteries dying all the time AND you don’t want have to pull wires and such yourself? Not to worry, most wireless sensors can also be plugged into a wall outlet-some of them can even communicate with the control panel through the power wiring.

For those that want a more polished and reliable system, there’s always professional installation. Companies like ADT specialize in installing full-featured alarm systems with the very minimum of muss and fuss. Those of us that specialize in installing burglar alarms have special tools-and skills-that allow us to install the majority of an alarm system without having to open up the walls in your house.

Additionally, you can have your burglar alarm monitored. This means that there is a network connection between the main control panel and central control station staffed by trained (and usually certified) professionals that will monitor the condition and state of your alarm system 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When problems relating to the operation of your alarm are noted, they will call you and arrange for the most convenient time to have a tech come out and repair it. If an alarm state is noted, they will contact you, or whoever is specified, and the proper emergency services.

For more information about burglar alarms, check out our resources here on Digital Landng.

Photo Credit: Trebz


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Mike is a certified low voltage installer with over 10 years of professional experience in the field, much of it working for Cable TV companies. He also has over a decade of experience in the computer field as a network engineer and support specialist. Mike's hobbies include installing high-end audio and video systems.

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