Home alarm systems since their origination well over 100 years ago, share the same basic principle of securing entry points, like doors and windows, as well as protecting human life, animals and interior spaces containing valuables like art, electronics, guns, and collectible items by sounding an alarm. Today’s professionally installed home security alarm systems provide peace of mind and protection with instant notification of alarm events that could result in burglary (theft), home invasions (armed robbery), property damage, medical issues and potential loss of life situations. Monitored residential home alarm systems discourage break-ins and show a correlation with decreased theft.
The First Home Alarm Systems
Home alarm systems, or burglar alarm systems, have been around since the mid-1850’s and were originally designed to detect intrusion – unauthorized entry – into a person’s home. On February 21st, 1858, Edwin Holmes of Boston installed the very first electric burglar alarm. To detect intrusion, electro magnetic contacts were installed on doors and windows. Opening a door or window would cause the current to flow through the wire that triggered a hammer connected to a bell. The loud ringing alarm bell would alert the homeowner of the intrusion and potentially cause an intruder or burglar to flee.
Up until then, people had mainly relied on the loud chatter of their startled geese, the integrity of their guard dogs or mechanical ringing to warn of any intruders on their property.
Today’s Home Alarm Systems
Today’s home alarm systems still operate under the same principle but are much more technologically advanced. They not only detect intrusion or break-ins but can also detect extreme heat, smoke, carbon monoxide gas leaks, water leaks, glass-breaking and motion. In addition, many systems today include smart home automation for control of door locks, garage door openers, lights, switches, thermostats and many other wired or wireless devices.
2GIG – Honeywell – DSC – GE – Interlogix – Qolsys
Self-Monitored or Un-Monitored Home Alarm Systems
Until the idea of reporting alarms to a central monitoring station emerged in 1871, home alarm systems were self-monitored. This meant that unless someone was actually home or nearby to hear the alarm’s bell sounding, no one was notified of the alarm and thus ineffective. Having a central monitoring station connected to the alarm system provides 24/7 monitoring and emergency response even while sleeping or away from home. While you can still self-monitor your system today and it may appear to be the most cost-effective option, there are still many issues. Hiring a professional monitoring service is the safest way to go.
With self-monitoring, no one else is monitoring your alarm system. There is no backup! So if you are at home and become the victim of a home invasion you are incapable of notifying the police when you are forced to shut off the alarm system. Professionally monitored systems have a duress or distress code you can enter instead of your usual code that silently notifies the central station and will dispatch an emergency police response while appearing to just shut off the alarm system.
If you are self-monitored, away and an intrusion occurs your response or notification maybe delayed due to network issues, missing notifications, dead phone, meetings, being on a phone call, distractions, sleeping, etc. Even if you have a camera and see someone inside your home, many police departments will not dispatch without someone at the residence.
Don’t take a chance on it… it’s not worth it when most monitoring plans are only around a $1 a day.
Professional 24/7 Monitored Home Alarm Systems
Professional alarm monitoring services provide peace of mind, protection and some nice features that are not available if you choose to monitor your home alarm system yourself. One of these features is the ability to alert the monitoring service if there is an emergency in your home or business. You can setup a distress code with your monitoring service that alerts the monitoring service that you are in need of aid, but will deactivate the alarm system. A good professional alarm monitoring company will have quick response times, which is important for your safety and security.
Having a professional alarm monitoring service connected to your home’s alarm system does not have many disadvantages. It does carry a small monthly fee, but some insurance companies offer a discount to homeowners who have an operational alarm system in their home. A professionally monitored alarm system can offer you access to your home’s alarm system from an Internet-capable device, such as your phone, computer or tablet. You can also setup alerts to be sent when your alarm system is activated or deactivated. It’s important to remember that without professional alarm monitoring, police aren’t as likely to respond, unless an annoyed neighbor calls them to complain about the noise of the alarm that has been set off. Alarm monitoring is a necessary part of having an alarm system for any home or business. You can’t be too cautious when it comes to your family’s safety.
Home Alarm System Troubleshooting, Repair and Service
Having trouble with your system false alarming or not working properly or at all? Check out our alarm system troubleshooting and repair page for helpful information or to schedule a service call. We keep commonly used parts in stock and offer same-day, 24/7 emergency repair service as well if needed.
Home Alarm System Installation
Home security starts with a good plan of action. We can help you design and install a home alarm system. If you are building a new home or remodeling it is strongly recommended that you pre-wire for sensors, cameras and more. This will save you money and frustration in the future. Contact us today for more information.
Home Alarm System Upgrades
Whether you need a complete system upgrade or just some additional sensors added, we can help. Our premium 2GIG systems are a great upgrade for any size system and offer a lot of features at a great price. Our GE Simon / Interlogix systems are even more budget friendly but are not the best systems for very large homes.