Home Alarm Systems!

This home alarm systems web page is meant to assist those who have little to no knowledge of what makes up a security alarm & how the systems various add-on components & detection devices work.

A basic understanding of this information is an essential first step for identifying what one needs to electronically secure the perimeter of their home.

While their many similarities in what makes up wired, hybrid & wireless alarm systems, the content below points out some important differences between them.

If you are looking at purchasing a wireless alarm & you already have a basic understand of what makes up a home alarm system & how it works, you may want to visit my wireless home security system web page.

This page provides the pros & cons of the various wireless systems that are available in today’s market & outlines what security protocols need to be followed in setting up the system.

The Three Main Components In All Home Alarm Systems!

The control panel in every home alarm is the brain of the system & with its electronic & computerized alarm circuitry it performs like a central computer. The panel operates in accordance with the information it receives from the systems alarm components & detection sensors.

The features, functions & capabilities of each home alarm is determined by its control panel & the type of components & devices it is designed to support.   

In determining if an alarm system is suitable for one’s needs, the first thing most people look for is how many wired and/or wireless security zones the systems control panel is able to support.

This is due to each security device like an alarm keypad or a window & door sensor that gets added to the system, needs to be placed or entered into a security zone.

Once the number of security zones a certain system is able to support have been used, nothing else can be added to the system.

With a wireless home alarm system you will require a separate wireless zone for each & every alarm component & detection sensor that you will need to add to the system.

Hardwired systems are much different as multiple alarm devices can occupy a single zone. For example: You would only need one wired zone for all the window sensors in a certain room or area of your home.

Hybrid alarms allow you to add wired and/or wireless components & devices to the system, so the control panels for these systems will support a certain number of wired & wireless security zones.

With most quality alarm systems today having the ability to remain fully functional for the next 15 to 20 years, you may want to consider acquiring a system that supports more security zones than what you will currently need.

Having several additional zones that can be used to upgrade or expand your alarm coverage in the future can be very important, especially with a system that has the potential of remaining fully operational for the next two decades.

If you want to add wireless devices to a certain model wireless or hybrid home alarm system, you will have to use the components & sensors that were specifically designed for it.

Wireless components & detection sensors that are designed to work in one companies system(s) cannot function or communicate with the control panel in another manufacturers system.

With the exception of alarm keypads, most other wired components & sensors produced by different manufacturers will generally work in any hardwired or hybrid alarm system.


Alarm system keypads are an integral part of every security system. This is the component that you will regularly use to communicate & interact with your home alarm & you will repeatedly use it to arm & disarm your system.

It will greatly depend on the type & model of keypads that can be used with your system, as to the type of features & functions that may be available.

There are many different styles of alarm keypads, as there are some with voice, colour graphic touchscreens, digital & non digital displays.

Alarm keypads with digital display & graphic touchscreens allow you to monitor what is happening with your system.

For example: information sent to a keypad from the control panel can tell you if a certain window & door is opened & with a wireless system it can also inform you if battery power is low in a specific component or detection device.

Some keypads are equipped with a panic button & when pushed it will immediately trigger an alarm condition & transmit an alarm signal to your monitoring station.

Every home alarm system needs to have at least one keypad & it is also important to have it located just inside your homes most frequently used entrance.  This would be the most practical & appropriate location for arming & disarming your system when leaving & arriving home.

The large majority of wireless home alarms produced today are these self-contained systems, as the control panel, siren/alarm & keypad are all housed in the one unit.

If you are considering purchasing one of these all-in-one units, I encourage you to first review the information regarding these systems on my wireless home security system web page.


Alarms/sirens are also an essential component for any home security system. It is very important that interior & exterior sounding devices are loud enough to instil fear or panic into an intruder so they will immediately move on.

UL (Underwriter Laboratories) performed a series of test to determine how loud an interior alarm/siren needs to be for it to be effective. Their test results have established that an interior sounding device in a home alarm should not be rated lower than 105db.

While it is important for your interior alarm/siren to be loud enough to prompt an intruder to quickly move on, you do not want it so loud where it can cause permanent hearing loss for you or your family. 

There are several good websites that can give you a much better understanding than I could about how certain levels of sound could cause permanent hearing loss.

You will find reliable comprehensive information on this subject on the NIDCD (National Institute on Deafness & Other Communication Disorders) web site by clicking on the following link: NIDCD- Noise-Induced Hearing Loss.

Most cities & towns have bylaws that states how loud an exterior alarm/siren can be rated for & how long it can sound before the system will have to reset.

Without violating any local bylaws that may exist in your area, you should try to install an exterior sounding device that can clearly be heard inside a neighboring home(s).

Detection Sensors Used In Home Alarm Systems!

Window & door sensors are magnetic switch sensors & they are the most widely used perimeter detection device for securing various entry points in both residential & commercial properties.

There are two different types of magnetic switch sensors, one can be surfaced mounted & the other model can be recessed. The surface mounted sensor is housed in two small rectangular plastic casings, one holds a magnetically activated switch & the other one holds a magnet.

The magnet section attaches to a window or door & the magnetic switch is attached to its frame.

They are adjacent to one another when the point of entry is closed & there is a magnetic field created between them.

Once the window or door opens the magnetic field is removed & this causes a break in the sensors electrical circuit which triggers an alarm condition.

Recessed magnetic switch sensors are round in shape & they function exactly the same.

The magnetic part of this sensor is recessed in the side or edge of a window or door & the switch section is recessed in the frame.

The recessed sensors are a bit more difficult to install, but once they are set in place they are very unobtrusive, as they are basically hidden from view.

Motion detectors are interior backup sensors & there are generally three different types of these sensors that are used with most home alarm systems today. They are (PIR) Passive Infrared, Dual Technology & Pet Immune motion detectors.

To acquire a comprehensive understanding of these commonly used motion detection devices, please visit my motion sensors web page.

This page also discusses the importance of using motions detectors as interior backup sensors only & explains how they can significantly reduce the level of electronic security you need when being used as a perimeter detection device.

Glass break detectors that detect the acoustical sound of breaking glass are interior backup sensors. You also have glass break shock sensors that detects vibrations from a window being tampered with & these are perimeter detection devices.

A glass break acoustical detector can electronically secure multiple windows within the sensors range. A shock sensor only secures a signal window, but they are the ideal alarm sensor for securing windows that are hidden from view.

For a complete understanding of shock, acoustical & dual technology glass break sensors used in today’s home alarm systems, please visit my glass break sensors web page.

Non-Intrusion Detection Sensors!

With most quality hardwired, wireless & hybrid alarm systems, you can also install several types of non-intrusion detection devices that may be beneficial to you & your family in an urgent or emergency situation.

The most commonly used non-intrusion alarm sensors that are apart of many home alarm systems being used today are:

  • Smoke Detectors

  • Freeze Sensors

  • Heat Detectors
  • Carbon Monoxide Sensors

  • Water Flood Detectors

  • Temperature Sensors

In addition to alarm companies monitoring your alarm system for unlawful intrusions, you will also find many of them will also monitor non-intrusion detection devices.

If you want to install one or more of these alarm sensors & having it monitored 24/7, you may first want to ensure the monitoring company you choose can monitor the detection device(s) for you.

The content on this page along with the additional information you will find thru the web page links above, should provide you with a better understanding of the quality home alarm systems that are available in today’s market.

I sincerely hope the information outlined on this web page was in some way helpful & beneficial for you. You may want to consider bookmarking this site, as new & updated content in uploaded weakly.

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