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Alarm Systems

Choosing the right alarm system to suit your business or home can be a real minefield.  There are many different options available and you need to be sure that you choose the correct one to meet your individual needs.  The guide below gives you an overview of the options available to help you make an informed decision.  Remember, you are more than welcome to give us a call at any point, and we would be more than happy to answer any questions that you might have.

There are four main types of alarm systems

  1. Audible-only alarms
  2. Self- monitored alarms
  3. Auto dialler alarms
  4. ARC – monitored alarms

Audible-only alarms

These systems are set using a code or a keyring fob. The fob is swiped across the control panel instead of entering a code on the keypad.  To deactivate the system, you complete the same action again.

When the alarm is activated, sounders will be triggered from mounted boxes on the walls of your building internally and externally. The external sounder will also flash.

The external sounder will only continue for up to 20 minutes to prevent excess noise pollution, particularly important for your neighbours in the middle of the night.

Type of Alarm Pros Cons
Audible-only alarms If you have a chance intruder, the loud noise and attention is likely to scare them off This is the basic level of protection.  If no one hears the noise, or does but does not respond, the intruder can carry on.
  Low set up and maintenance costs Experienced intruders can remove external sounders
  Battery back-up of the mains connection is cut  

Self- monitored alarms

We recommend the installation of Agility 3 to self-monitor your property.
Your Smart Home

This removes the cost of having a company monitor your alarm system.  A system such as Agility 3 sends an alert via the cloud to the app if an alarm point is triggered within your property.   At the touch of a button, you can view your cameras, set and unset the system as well as receive status updates.

Type of Alarm Pros Cons
Self monitoring Cheaper than paying monthly monitoring fees Not reliable if you have poor internet connection
  Uses existing broadband technology Broadband must be on 24/7
  Battery back-up of the mains connection is cut  

Auto dialler alarms

There are two types of auto diallers – Speech dialler and GSM dialler.

A speech dialler will be connected to your alarm panel.  If the alarm is activated, the speech dialler will call the numbers that you have pre-set into the system.  A message that you have recorded will be played, giving the listener instruction on what they need to do.  You can list several people and it will try each option until someone picks up.  This is particularly useful for homes in populated areas where the key holders are likely to live close by.

Type of Alarm Pros Cons
Auto dialler - Speech Cheap to run and maintain An intruder could cut the line so the speech dialler would not be able to dial out
  Uses existing phoneline You need a landline, which not everyone has these days.

A GSM dialler works in the same way but uses mobile networks and text messages.   You can set up the system to either call or text the key holders when the alarm is activated.  If you are confident that it is not a real burglary, some GSM alarms will allow you to remotely reset the system by texting a code.

Type of Alarm Pros Cons
Auto dialler - GSM Cheap to run and set up You need to buy a SIM card and pay for calls and text
  Good if you don’t have a landline Must keep a PAYGO SIM topped up at all times
     The network signal must be excellent

ARC – monitored alarms

ARC stands for Alarm Receiving Centre.  This means that your alarm system is monitored by a team of staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year. Most commercial premises use this type of system although they are also becoming more popular with residential properties too. Shipman Security is an ARC, and you can be confident that you will receive a swift response to any alarm activations.

If an alarm is activated, the monitoring station will know about it instantly and can contact the keyholders, home owner or police straight away.  The signal path is always monitored, so if an intruder tried to tamper with it, the ARC will be notified.

Type of Alarm Pros Cons
ARC – monitored alarms All alarm activations are sent straight to the monitoring centre so any action can be taken immediately. You will need an annual subscription to the monitoring station.
  You can use an existing landline. Your alarm will need to be maintained yearly by the alarm installation company
  This is the most secure type of alarm system as no activation will be ignored.  
  This is suitable for the highest identified level of risk  

If you are unsure of which system is right for you, please contact us here and we will be happy to come and carry out a free site survey for you.