Intruder Alarms

Burglaries and robberies represent some of the most common crimes in the urban environment. Fortunately, experience shows that alarm systems may significantly decrease the chances of such invasions by deterring intruders and thieves from entering your home or business.

Alarm systems emit a shrill noise in response to a present and immediate danger. Additional advantages of a loud alarm sound include its ability to alert neighbors and passersby, and potentially even frighten intruders from the scene. The sight of an alarm system alone may be enough to discourage would-be thieves. Highly effective and often easy to use, this electronic security solution is a popular way to provide peace of mind for homeowners and business operators.

All alarms use sensors connected to a control unit via hardwire or wireless link. Sensors commonly detect changes in the environment such as the opening of a window or inside motion. Types of alarm systems range from small, all-in-one noisemakers to sophisticated, multi-zoned systems with color-coded computer outputs. The most basic alarm systems feature elements including a control panel, keypad, siren, indoor motion detector, door and window contacts, and a central monitoring station, if the system is monitored. More sophisticated features that can be added include glass break detectors, panic buttons, pressure mats under carpeting, and alarm screens for windows.

Alarm Monitoring

Once eCam professionally installs a high-quality alarm system, customers can choose whether or not they want monitoring. If they opt for this service, their alarm system will be connected to an independent NSI approved remote central monitoring station, which receives signals that report the conditions of the area being monitored.

Upon receiving a signal from a business or home, dispatchers immediately call that location to verify whether or not the alarm went off accidentally. Typically, whoever answers the phone must provide a secret password known only to them and the dispatchers. If the password is not provided or the call goes unanswered, an intrusion is presumed, and local authorities are dispatched to the scene or more calls are made to an approved list.

Alarm Sensors

alarm_sensorsSensors are the heart of an alarm system. These sensitive devices detect rapid changes in the environment, such as a window opening or glass breaking, that indicate an intrusion or breach of security. The information is sent to the alarm system’s controller, which can notifies the central monitoring station, if a client uses a monitoring service or call there designated number

Alarm sensors come in a variety of types and price ranges. Some detect motion, while others sense door and window openings, and still others sense glass breaking or the pressure of a footstep on carpeting. Here are some of the most common alarm types and how they operate.

Alarm Controllers

If sensors act as the heart of an alarm system, controllers act as the brains. Controllers take information from the sensors and process this into a code that alerts the number of your choice or the central monitoring station about what part of the monitored area is being intrude.

The control can connect to the central monitoring station in a few ways. Some high-end systems, such as those in government buildings and school campuses, use direct phone wires, or tamper-resistant fibre optic cable. More commonly in recent years, systems use a digital telephone dialer unit to dial the central station via the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and raise the alarm, either with a synthesized voice or increasingly via an encoded message string that the central station decodes. This call cuts off any other active calls from the premises and takes priority. Many systems are equipped with a backup dialler capability in case the primary PSTN circuit does not function.

Increasingly, voice over IP technology is being used to drive broadband signalling for alarm reporting. Older analogue systems can be migrated to broadband with the addition of an alarm server device that converts telephone signalling signals or data port traffic to IP messages suitable for broadband transmission. Subscribers can also ask the monitoring service to test the effectiveness of their alarm system. In “test” mode, any feature of the alarm can be tested, and the monitoring service can verify from where in the home they received the signal.

Alarm Report System

eCam customers who opt for alarm system monitoring receive reports to notify them of the activity related to the system being monitored. Reports are delivered to their specifications, in the form, such as e-mail or text message, that is convenient for them.

Some subscribers, especially business owners, find it helpful to receive news of all the comings and going related to their operation. They benefit from reports of daily activities, such as the movements surrounding the opening and closing of a store. Others only want to receive urgent notifications in the event of a security breach. A common form of report is delivered monthly by e-mail.