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Know Your Needs While Buying An Alarm System-Part 1

on Jul 08, 2009


While selecting a home alarm system, it is important that you know what your needs are. An idea about what you want from the system and a general awareness about the technology being used will certainly help in your efforts to secure the most effective protection possible for your home. Professional organizations like the Canadian Security Association (CANASA) can provide you the required information and empower you as a consumer. In a two-part series here, AlarmForce reproduces instructive material published by CANASA that educates the home owner and answers his questions regarding home alarm systems. It is part of our efforts to promote a better understanding among the general public about the home security industry through this blog spot.

Why should I buy an alarm system?

Independent studies have shown that premises with alarm systems are less likely to be broken into, and that if broken into, experience less property loss than homes without security systems. Electronic security alarm systems are recognized in Canada as an important contributor to the securing of life, property and possessions. A security system is an effective tool when used in conjunction with other crime prevention measures.

What should an alarm system do for me?

An alarm system is installed to deter and detect intruders. A basic security system will consist of both perimeter and space protection to secure your premises. The first stage secures vulnerable perimeter access points such as doors and windows; the second stage consists of space detection such as interior motion detectors, which monitor movement inside the premise. The level of security you purchase is determined by the number of protective devises and the sophistication of the system you will have installed.

How should a company evaluate my needs?

A company following best practices should perform a site inspection/security audit and discuss your individual security needs. Each person and premise is unique and the system should be tailored to fit your needs, lifestyle and price range. The company should provide you with an evaluation of your premises, highlighting the measures you can take to improve the security of your home, including the addition of an electronic alarm system. For example, the company proposing to install a security system might also suggest such simple measures as clearing brush around entranceways or installing better locks.

What is the difference between a monitored and a local alarm system?

Local alarm systems emit an alarm using a bell or siren, but they are not connected via a common carrier network (i.e. telephone lines) to a monitoring station; monitored systems are so connected. The value of a monitored system is that when there is an intrusion, a signal is transmitted electronically to the monitoring station which can then verify and/or dispatch the appropriate response authority. Monitored systems normally have a bell or siren as well. When a local alarm system activates, all you get is a loud sound and nothing else.

That ends the first part of the series. We will continue with the questions in our next and last part of the series. Stay tuned until then!