Burglar alarms are in electronic form. A simple set-up of an alarm system includes a sensor that is connected to one or more control units. When the sensor is triggered, the control unit seeks for a way to announce the alarm.
Basically, alarm systems can either be hardwired or wireless. The wired systems are usually used with sensors, smoke detectors for example, which demand power for reliable operation. Wired types come with the advantage of detecting tampering. However, wired systems are expensive to install. On the other hand, wireless alarm systems are easier to set-up. Instead of wires, they utilize transmitters. Wireless systems require constant supervision and maintenance to ensure efficient operation. If for example, the sensors or batteries have not been constantly checked, the system may not perform at its peak.
Alarm monitoring is employed in systems with a remote alarm output. In such systems, the control panels are connected to predetermined monitors, and they are configured in various methods. One includes a direct connection of the system to a responder, or a central station, such as a police quarters. However, this kind of configuration is becoming less popular because it is expensive. Direct monitoring connections can usually be found only in Local Government institutions, State, or school campuses where there is a dedicated security.
More conventional alarm systems make use of Public Switched Telephone Network, or PSTN. This configuration features a digital phone dialer unit which will dial the central station, which in turn will announce the alarm. The monitoring system can identify the physical location of the sensor that has been triggered with the use of certain programmed encoders. Most alarm control panels are designed with backup dialer ability that can be used when the primary PSTN route is not functioning well. The secondary dialer can be connected to a separate phone line (or an encoded radio, mobile phone, or internet interface gadgets) to entirely evade the PSTN. This is because if the primary lines have been tampered, alarms could still be raised via the redundant dialers and early warnings of pending problems can be advised.
In situations where the building is remotely located, PSTN service may not be feasible and channeling a direct line may be too expensive, there is still a way so your security can be monitored. And that is by using wireless phones or radio networks as the principal communication line. The use of the Internet as a main communication method is still very controversial within the alarm monitoring business. This is because an alarm signaling method needs to observe urgency and immediacy, and the authorities are doubtful of the quality of service of public internet.
When monitored, the alarms and speaker phones permit the central station to communicate with the owner, or even with the intruder. For monitored burglaries, the speaker phones let the central stations to convince the prowler to back off and give up as police units have been sent off.
Considering some factors, such as the location of the zone triggered and time of the day, the alarm monitoring center may perform various actions automatically. Some instructions they may initiate include calling the police stations, fire department or ambulance. They may also choose to check if the alarm is true. Some systems come with video surveillance to capture the actual acts of intrusion or other emergency cases on tape.