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Understanding the Technology Behind Wireless Home Burglar Alarms

When you want extra convenience and don’t want to deal with wiring, you must go wireless! Wireless alarm technology has been a godsend for people who want added security without compromising the efficiency of an alarm system.

These systems are great for people who want to install alarms around perimeters, inside the home, or in secluded places around the home. The benefit of going wireless is that you don’t have to deal with several feet of wires just to connect one alarm.

With a wireless alarm system, you can hook everything up to the internet and get up-to-date information about the status of the alarm.

However, there are a few pros and cons to consider when going with these types of burglar alarms. In this guide, we will cover how these alarms work, behind-the-scenes the technology that enables wireless security, and how to get the right type of alarm.

COMPONENTS OF A BURGLAR ALARM

Burglar alarms, whether wireless or wired, have more or less the same components. The only thing that is different in both types of alarms is a wi-fi module that enables the alarm to “communicate” to the central system and a battery encasing to power the alarm.

The main components of a burglar alarm include:

  • The control panel – controls the alarm system and is integrated with other components to sound an alarm when an intrusion is detected.
  • Sensors – used to detect movement, noise, and pressure to sound an alarm to alert the owners.
  • Keypad – main interface where the user can arm or disarm the alarm.
  • Sounder – a speaker that makes a loud sound when the sensor picks up an intrusion.
  • Batteries – the system either relies solely on them or as a backup power supply.
  • Application – in the case of a smart alarm, you can access the alarm using a separate mobile or desktop/web application.

PEEKING UNDER THE HOOD

How does wireless technology in burglar alarm systems work? The answer to this lies in cloud computing.

Web 2.0 introduced cloud computing, a concept that allows data processing to take place over the internet instead of locally on a machine. This technology initially enabled users to save data online and use web applications instead of locally installed software for various computer tasks.

However, web 3.0 has taken things up a notch by not just improving and expanding on the concept of the Internet of Things and Cloud Computing, but also by introducing Artificial Intelligence in security.

A wireless alarm is equipped with a Wi-Fi or radio module which allows the device to communicate to a nearby hub. In most cases, Wi-Fi alarms are the go-to burglar alarms due to their robustness and features.

The wi-fi modules inside the alarm connect to a wi-fi signal which enables the device to communicate to a server. In most cases, the manufacturer of the alarm will provide dedicated server space and a mobile application to access the alarm remotely.

The mobile application can allow the user to tweak the settings of the alarm. For example, you can use the application to change the sensitivity, volume, and coverage of the alarm with a few simple taps.

More importantly, you can also access the event log of the alarm and see detailed information about any potential breaches the alarm detected. These alarms are called “smart alarms” because they work independently and can even alert the user(s) and the relevant authorities in the case of a breach. This makes them active security devices instead of passive ones that require separate monitoring.

Since these devices are wireless, they work using batteries. Most modern burglar alarms come with a rechargeable or changeable battery. Since the system has simple components, it provides a long-lasting battery which means that you don’t have to change or charge them as often.

Furthermore, if you have a socket nearby, connecting the alarm to the socket can enable it to use the grid during normal usage and the battery during blackouts, providing comprehensive security.

Wireless alarm systems are excellent for when you want to install an alarm in secluded places like the back shed, attic, back alley, yard, or other places where having a wire can be cumbersome.

TYPES OF WIRELESS BURGLAR ALARMS

Wireless burglar alarms come in several form factors. These alarms are suitable for a wide range of applications but almost all of them use the same wireless technology.

The type of alarm you choose for your home depends on the requirements and the level of protection you’re looking for.

Bells-only burglar alarm

As the name suggests, a bells-only burglar alarm makes use of sounds, and sometimes flashing lights to deter crime. These alarms are standalone, meaning that they don’t alert the authorities automatically and rely on alerting nearby people.

In other words, they require someone to be constantly present to keep a check on when and if the alarm is triggered.

These alarms are cheaper and simpler, and while they do have a wireless version of bells-only alarms, they can’t connect to the internet and only function using internal batteries that are required to be changed periodically.

Dialler burglar alarm

The dialler burglar alarm works exactly like the bells-only alarm with the additional feature of the nominated keyholders being contacted when the alarm is triggered.

The systems are linked to the phone line or in the case of wireless alarms, a GSM mobile network or Wi-Fi router, and allow up to three to ten numbers to be saved to be contacted in such emergencies. It contacts the people according to the level of priority they are saved with and stops as soon as someone responds.

This is an overall better option, but it still doesn’t provide foolproof security or access to the settings of the alarm via the web.

Monitored burglar alarms

In addition to sounding an alarm as soon as the sensors pick up any unusual activity, monitored burglar alarms alert a professional monitoring centre, also known as the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). This is a fool-proof and comprehensive alarm system that covers all bases and provides maximum security for secluded spaces.

Using secure alarm-signalling services such as DualCom and BT RedCare that operate via phone line and GSM ensures that the ARC is always notified of a break-in, professional burglar alarm monitoring guarantees that the alarm never goes unnoticed and that action is always taken.

Smart burglar alarms

As mentioned above and similar to monitoring systems, smart burglar alarms send out alerts in the form of push notifications in case of a break-in.

These alarms are also integrated with other smart devices (IoT Integration) such as CCTV cameras and lights, and are managed via an app.

When a smart alarm is triggered, the smart lights can turn on to scare away the intruders. This integration with other security measures makes the smart burglar alarm a great choice for providing comprehensive safety and security in all areas of the home.

WIRELESS PERIMETER BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEMS

Wireless perimeter burglar alarm systems are a comprehensive way to protect the outside area of a home. These alarms are the first line of defence and are an excellent deterrent Wireless technology is crucial for perimeter burglar alarm systems because it allows the system to be versatile and reliable without having to depend on excessive wiring.

These alarms work in the same way as the burglar alarms mentioned above, however, they can be equipped with advanced sensors.

Various sensors are used to pick up on different types of intrusions. Wireless alarm systems equipped with these advanced sensors continuously send data collected from the sensors to the control panel which processes the data to provide intelligent security.

Different types of sensors can be used for wireless burglar alarm systems. The most common ones include:

Passive Infrared (PIR) motion sensors

Also known as PIR sensors, these are the most common types of sensors used in alarm systems that detect motion.

They are reliable and a relatively affordable choice for perimeter security that works by detecting changes in the ambient temperature, as well as body heat. This type of alarm is triggered if the sensors detect movement or temperature spikes due to the presence of an intruder or foreign object.

Door and window sensors

These come in two parts, one of which is fitted on the door or window, and the other on the door frame or windowsill. These sensors detect pressure changes in the environment and trigger when someone forcefully enters an area that is covered by the sensor.

In simpler systems, when the door or window is closed, the two parts of the sensor are joined together to form a closed circuit. However, when the window is opened, the circuit breaks and the device sends the signal to the control panel to sound an alarm.

In advanced systems, the sensor can detect pressure on a surface and sound an alarm accordingly. This is useful for places with pets and can help avoid false alarms since a human would exert more pressure than an animal on a window or entrance/exit.

Glass break sensors

Brazen criminals may cause a lot of damage just to get inside your home! This includes causing damage to your home by breaking and shattering things.

Glass break sensors pick up on the varying bands of frequencies that are generated when a glass breaks and instantly trigger an alarm in case a door or window is broken.

WIRELESS BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEM BENEFITS

Wireless burglar alarm systems provide several benefits over wired alarms. Here are the top benefits that you can expect by investing in a wireless system:

Quick installation

The installation of wireless alarm systems is rather quick and easy and can be done within minutes, without having to make any substantial structural changes such as drilling holes and dealing with tricky wiring.

In some cases, these alarms can even be plug-and-play which means that you can install them on your own and configure the alarm using the mobile application in a few easy steps. However, it is advised that you get the alarm installed by a professional service provider who will guarantee the efficiency and efficacy of the alarm.

Portable and hassle-free

Since these alarms are wireless, they are very easy to move around. You can change their position or install them in a new location entirely, and it would take hardly a few minutes.

However, most professional installers use additional securing hardware that makes the alarms tamper-proof which means that you would need to call in the professionals if you do want to move the alarm.

Remote smartphone access

Wireless alarms are state-of-the-art systems that don’t just offer ease of installation but also convenience and added security in the form of remote monitoring and control via a smartphone app.

Battery backup

Although wireless alarm systems work using electricity, they can be switched to a backup battery in case of a power fault or outage. This way, you’ll be able to stay protected, even if the rest of your home has no power.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST WIRELESS BURGLAR ALARM SYSTEM?

When choosing the best wireless burglar alarm system for your home, you need to consider a few important factors:

Wi-Fi/Radio Signal Strength

Since wireless alarm systems work using radio frequencies, they can work effectively up to a certain radius only, beyond which they might lose signals and valuable information. Keep in mind that while the alarm may work independently without a wi-fi signal, you may not be able to access it in real-time on a weak signal.

Therefore, it is best to install a system or a modem with a long reception range, especially for large properties.

Back-up Power

Wireless alarm systems work using the electricity from the main power supply as well as internal batteries.

However, make sure that the system remains connected to the grid 24/7. This way, you can get maximum security and only use battery power in the event of a blackout.

Additional Features

You may invest in a burglar alarm system that has basic features such as motion sensors or break-in sensors, or you may opt for an advanced variant that also connects to other security hardware like CCTV cameras, smoke, flood, and carbon monoxide detectors, etc.

Several additional features can be found in modern wireless burglar alarm systems. For example, some alarm systems may only trigger to scare away intruders, while others notify security companies and the relevant authorities automatically.

Smart Integration/IoT (Internet of Things)

Most homes these days make use of IoT devices. These devices can connect to the internet and provide additional control to the users using a mobile or web application.

The benefit of IoT technology is that it can integrate with every device. This way all the devices can be controlled via a single platform!

If your alarm system has this feature, you can connect it to your smart security lights, CCTV cameras, and smart locks to make your home more secure and efficient.

CONTACT CALDER SECURITY

At Calder Security, we provide a comprehensive range of security solutions that include not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services for your home burglar alarm systems.

Here’s why you should choose Calder Security for your home burglar alarm needs:

  • We offer professional installationmaintenancemonitoring, and repair services for all kinds of burglar alarms, along with professional keyholding services.
  • We are SSAIB-approved contractors and all of our burglar alarm installations are carried out by qualified, experienced engineers that comply with standards: PD6662: 2010, DD243 and BS8243, required to qualify for police assistance.
  • Our systems meet the stringent requirements of BS4737 and European Standard EN50131 (Intruder Alarm Systems in Buildings).
  • We have both wired and wireless systems and can also advise you on which is the best choice for your property.
  • Our expert installers guide and train users before leaving the site, making sure they are comfortable with the system and understand how it works.
  • We offer a 24-hour emergency call-out and can help you when your alarm goes off at 3 am if needed, and we can also talk you through fault fixes over the phone.

Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts for more information on the technology behind wireless home burglar alarms.

Photo by Gonzalo Facello on Unsplash