What are the benefits of having an ALARM & SECURITY system?

One of the biggest misconceptions today is that having a camera surveillance system is the best way to prevent burglaries.

Unfortunately, a camera system will not prevent a robbery, and is useless in protecting a home without an alarm system. The best way to understand this is by imagining that your home has been broken in to. Now if you only 

have a camera system to protect your home, you will have footage of the incident, but all your belongings will still be gone. If you had an alarm system installed instead, you may not have been burgled in the first place. 

According to a study by the Australian Institute of Criminology, having a functioning alarm system installed is one of the biggest deterrents to a potential intruder, second only to having a dog. An intruder will target homes that they can access with the least amount of notice. 

When you have an alarm system installed, it will make a large amount of noise if set off. This is often enough to not only prevent your home from being targeted, but also to scare off anyone that does attempt to break-in.

Over the years we have installed many alarm systems in homes after a break in, as unfortunately it is often an afterthought to do so. A well designed alarm system, that is installed and utilised to its full potential, is crucial in protecting your home.

HOW DO I ACCESS A SECURITY OR ALARM SYSTEM?

It is our mission to provide alarm systems that are simple to use and suited to your needs. Often when a complicated system is installed it becomes frustrating for the user, and this can lead to the system not being used to its full potential. It is important to consider what option would work best for you. Spending a few hundred dollars to upgrade or add on one of these options may be the difference between a infuriating experience and an easy one.

Using a Pin Code

The majority of alarm systems are armed with a single button, and disarmed with a pincode. It can be helpful to use a pincode when arming your system as well, for extra security. Individualised pincodes can be utilised to track who was the last to leave, and at what time. This is particularly applicable in a commercial setting, as it allows you to monitor your employees’ comings and goings.

Using a Remote Control

Remote controls have been increasingly popular in recent times. When you add a remote control to your alarm system, you can turn it off and on with the simple press of a button. When you press the button to arm/disarm your system, a small chirping sound is emitted and a little blue light flashes to reassure you that the system has been armed/disarmed. 

The additional benefit of using a remote, is that the additional buttons can be connected to or configured for other things, such as roller doors or lights. If you have an older alarm system, there are third party remotes that can be integrated with it. It is unlikely you would need to upgrade or change your alarm system to add this option.

Using a Smartphone Application

Using a smart phone application to control your system has become an increasingly popular option. This is due in part to the removal of old phone lines and the ease of functionality. If you are considering this option, it is important to factor in what brand of system you choose, and if functionality outweighs the cost. We have a free phone application that we can provide for any GPRS monitored alarm system, which can can control a majority of the systems available. 

Most alarm manufacturers charge you a monthly fee to receive phone notifications from your alarm, and for a slightly larger fee you can have full control room monitoring. Alternatively, there may be a large upfront cost for equipment, and free application with 3 years of support (terms and conditions apply). Before deciding to do your own monitoring via a phone application, be sure to visit here.

Using Access Control

Access Control is predominantly used for commercial application or high end residential buildings, where integration into lighting and personnel tracking are important. We have a variety of integrated access control and security options are available here.

using white entrance card at door entrance card reader

How many sensors would I need in my system?

3D rendering of an apartment, aerial view, with surveillance spots

Potential Entry Points

It is important to consider the potential entry points in your home: not every window, door or room in your house needs to be covered. In most circumstances you can cover your home thoroughly with less than 5 sensors, and some open plan homes can get away with as little as 3. Don’t aim to cover doors, as an intruder is unlikely to use them. Instead, cover the route people need to take to get to the rooms of value, as well as the room itself. 

Different styles of homes will require a different layout of sensors. An older Queenslander, for example, often has many separate rooms. For such a layout, it is best to cover the common areas and walkways of the house, as well as the rooms that hold the majority of your valuables. Important sensor locations may include:

› The Master Bedroom:
This room is likely to have the majority of valuable items in your house, and an intruder will often go there first in search of jewellery or keys.

› Hallways:
Hallways can be a great location for a sensor, as they cover the space between multiple rooms

› Study:
If you keep a lot of valuable items in the study and there is a window in there, add a sensor in that room.

› The Alarm System:
Don’t forget to cover the alarm itself. It is part of standards in Australia to install a detection device to protect the system. If an intruder can disable the alarm before it goes off, the whole system is useless

ITEMS OF VALUE

There is a difference between an expensive item, and a valuable item. Consider that large curved LED TV in your living area that you paid $12k for. You have it insured, and you know it is not an item that is easy to move. This may be an expensive item, but it is very unlikely an intruder will attempt steal it. It is also easy to replace, and therefore not one of the valuable items you need to protect. 

A valuable item is one that is irreplaceable, or at least difficult to replace. Consider instead if your laptop was taken. Maybe it is also insured, but consider the time you would need to spend restoring everything on there: your photos, videos, programs, those spreadsheets you saved to the desktop and not to cloud storage. Perhaps your wallet gets stolen, and you have to replace all your cards and your licenses. 

Consider what items in your home are irreplaceable, or difficult to replace: they are what you need to protect.

Self-monitoring vs Control Room Monitoring

Remember the primary purpose of your alarm system is to scare off the intruder, thus minimising the damage to the property. Monitoring is an additional level of security for your alarm system. 

If you are considering how you would monitor your system, think about what would be your action plan in the event of an incident. Are you likely to respond yourself to your premises in the event of an activation or would you be more comfortable having a response team? Is a notification likely to wake you up when you are sleeping, away from your premises?

Connecting your system

The primary part of your system, and potentially the most expensive, is its connection to a phone line or internet. This can be expensive, as it takes a lot of work to cable an existing premises. On average, its can cost over $400 to run the cabling from your internet modem, to the location of your alarm system.

There are wireless options, but they will need to be synced or programmed to connect with your existing modem. This can be problematic if you, or your service provider, change the modem settings/replace the modem. Each time this happens, the alarm system would need to be reprogrammed. This can become very expensive if you don’t have IT experience and/or have ongoing connection issues with your internet. 

The cost of reprogramming your system a few times will be more expensive than spending the $400 to install the cabling for a wired system. With a wired solution, if there are any changes to your modem or its settings, you can simply plug the cable back in for the majority of systems to function again. 

Installing a Network Card

A majority of alarm systems will not be ready to connect to the internet straight away, and you may need to purchase an additional card. For example, Bosch 3000 systems require a B426-M internet interface card, and Paradox systems require the IP150 Module. There are many variations of internet cards, and it is best to do some research on your system before purchasing one. This will also inform you on what you can expect from your system once it is connected.

Application Functionality

Consider if your chosen application will do everything you want it to. Most applications will allow you to remotely turn your alarm system on and off. Some will allow you to access the history of the system: what happened at what time. Others will allow you to program pincodes and control outputs such as lights and roller doors.

It is important to note that push notifications are not an included feature in most applications. Some applications will provide push notifications, but will charge you an ongoing amount to do so, and others have push notifications as standard. Don’t assume that your application will provide push notifications, as this may cause later expenses that you were not anticipating.

THIS IS WHY IN SOME CASES THE ONGOING COST OF FULL MONITORING IS MUCH MORE BENEFICIAL AND COST EFFECTIVE!