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Types of Alarm Systems

There are many different types of home and office alarm systems to choose from, depending on your requirements for costs, reliability, and any specific areas of security you may want to focus on. Each solution is made differently based on whether it’s local or monitored, the type of sensor it uses, and its wiring, among other things. A local alarm is the most basic solution for home security. It allows you to add sensors in different areas of the house that will set off a loud alarm if it senses any intruders. In a monitored alarm system, on the other hand, the alarm is connected to a monitoring service. In the event that the alarm goes off and a break-in occurs, the authorities will be alerted for you. You can also purchase a monitored alarm system to detect fires.

Alarm Sensors

Once you have decided between a local alarm and a monitored alarm system, depending on the extent of protection you’re looking for, it’s time to consider different alarm sensors. Some sensors are more reliable than others, and some merely have a different focus.

Here is a breakdown of some types of alarm sensors you may want to think about:

  • Contact sensors, also known as magnetic sensors, are installed on doors or windows and are activated by both normal and forced entry when the system is armed.
  • Passive Infrared Motion (PIR) or dual technology detectors sense changes in temperature and/or motion. When armed, these sensors can be triggered as a person enters the room.
  • Shock alarms are window alarms that work to detect the sound of glass breaking.
  • Environmental alarms protect you from natural events, detecting smoke/carbon monoxide or loss of power

These are just some common types of alarm sensors, but there are others to consider as well. You can also include special features in your alarm system such as panic buttons, stress buttons, or video monitoring. 

Wired vs. Wireless Alarm Systems

Alarm systems work by transmitting signals from the sensor to the control unit through wires or wireless means. Wired alarm systems, though more expensive, tend to be the most reliable. They can better power your alarm sensors, as they do not require batteries and instead are hard-wired to an alarm panel. If wired properly, they are tamper-evident as well. Wireless alarm systems, on the other hand, rely on batteries for power, making them easy to install and less expensive, but also less reliable. They are easy to relocate if you’re moving as well. Another option to consider is the hybrid alarm system, which uses both wired and wireless sensors. This type of alarm system brings you the benefits of both.

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