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  Security Alarm System FAQ

Why Should I Have a Security Alarm System?

It is debated whether having a burglar alarm system decreases the chances of a burglary. In theory, if a burglar is aware a house has a system, he or she might move on to another home. Even if the alarm system does not keep a burglar from breaking in, the burglar has a tendency to stay a shorter amount of time. This may decrease the number of items stolen and the extent of damage done.



What Should a Security Alarm System Include?

Most systems rely on a combination of contacts placed at doors and windows and motion sensors. Motion sensors, however, do not detect someone until they are already in the house. Motion sensors should NOT be used as the primary means of detection. It is best that all exterior potential points of entry have contacts that sense when they are open.

Glass break sensors are also available and recommended.

The basic elements of a standard home security system include:

  • Control Panel: This is the location where the system wiring terminates
  • Keypad: This is where the system is armed and disarmed. Additional keypads can be installed. For example, a keypad can be installed next to the homeowner's bed. If the alarm sounds in the middle of the night and the security system had the capability, the keypad display could indicate which door, window, or motion detector caused the alarm.

  • Interior Motion Detector: Passive infrared, microwave, or photoelectric detectors sense changes in a room caused by human presence. Special motion detectors are available for people who have pets.
  • Door and Window Contacts: Magnetic contacts form a circuit between a door and doorframe or a window and a sill; when the door or window is opened (and the system is on), the circuit is broken and sounds the alarm.


  • Backup systems. A typical monitored home security system offers a 24-hour backup component that kicks in should your phone lines get cut by a potential intruder. A radio or cellular backup system will send a signal to the central monitoring station that the phone line was dropped thus ensuring that the alarm signal gets to the proper authorities









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