What are the key components of intruder alarm systems?
Intruder alarm systems are designed to monitor, detect and deter unauthorised entry to your property. This may seem obvious, but how do can you tell a good intruder alarm from a bad one? Different alarm systems work better in different applications, so it’s important to have a grasp of the kind of technology that goes into an intruder alarm system to make the most informed decision. While a visible intruder alarm may cause a burglar to think twice before breaking into your premises, it’s the nuts and bolts of that system that really count when a break in does occur. So, what are the various components that make up an intruder alarm?
The Control Panel
Spire intruder alarms typically utilise a Texecom 32 Zone Panel. These panels are the ‘brains’ of the system, analysing and acting upon signals received by detectors around the premises. The control panel is where you’ll be able to set parameters, access codes and essentially tell your system what it needs to do. The control panel will know the number of zones (typically rooms) in a given location, be able to alarm individual zones at your request and have a set number of remote keypads it can accommodate to prevent tampering.
All of our systems use a hardwired keypad. While they may not seem like an important detail, they keypad is how you interact with your system and it’s imperative to have one that’s user friendly. The keypad will be your main point of contact with your alarm system, enabling you to activate or disable the alarm and tell the control panel what to do. Some keypads will also show you the location of any alert (perfect for larger properties). Because ours are hardwired, there’s less risk of disconnections or tampering via remote connections.
PIR Motion Sensors
These motion sensors at the ‘eyes’ of the system, able to detect movement inside your property. They should be very carefully placed in order to ensure your alarm system works optimally, and it’s best to get an expert to do this for you. Things like avoiding direct sunlight and ensuring they’re not placed near sources of heat like radiators will also increase their effectiveness. Spire use PIR systems which are pet tolerant.
Door contacts will be able to tell the control panel whenever a door is opened, and depending on your settings this will flag an alarm. When installing door contacts it’s essential to ensure they’re correctly aligned and the right distance apart, so that the system can detect intruders without fail. A good installer will be able to hide any wires so as not to raise suspicion and catch intruders off guard.
Wireless Panic Alarm
This isn’t standard with all systems, but we include one of these with each installation. A wireless panic alarm can be placed anywhere around the home, usually at a place that’s convenient to reach where you spend most of your time. This will allow you to trigger the main alarm remotely should anyone manage to break in without tripping the main alarm system. When we’re home, we tend not to set any alarms so this is a perfect solution for those who spend a lot of time home alone of feel particularly vulnerable.
While a maintenance visit isn’t a physical component of an alarm, it’s nevertheless vital to ensure a safe and secure property. At Spire Security, we carry out 2 maintenance checks per year – one remotely, and one with a visit to your premises. This ensures that your system is in full working order all year round, and gives you the peace of mind you deserve when you leave your home unattended.
Police URN and Dualcom Digi Air
A Unique Response Number (URN) let’s the police or your allocated keyholder know when an alarm has gone off. With the URN, the recipient will know precisely where the alarm has gone off so they can make arrangements to responds. A Dualcom Digi Air system keeps an open channel to your keyholder, so any responders are alerted to an alarm instantly.
Spire Security are proud to be accredited to the most stringent international standards as recognised by the SSAIB. We’re also Safecontractor approved to give our customers absolute peace of mind when it comes to the installation, monitoring and maintenance of all intruder alarm systems.