The installation of burglar alarms is becoming commonplace in both commercial and residential buildings.
Anybody who has looked for a home security system knows there is a plethora of products to choose from.
DIY kits can be purchased for under ten dollars, while more complex, professionally installed home security networks can cost several thousand dollars. However, research shows that the majority of alarm systems adhere to the same fundamental principles.
This essay will analyse these ideas and investigate several distinct types of alarm systems. Some of the most reliable alarm systems are also the simplest, as you will see.
Burglar alarms are electronic security systems that use interconnected devices and a central control panel (the "Brain") to deter burglaries, break-ins, and other criminal activity.
There are many different names for the same fundamental security system, but they all refer to the burglar alarm. In its most basic sense, it refers to anything that is protected by a network of interlocking parts and mechanisms.
In fact, having a burglar alarm that is properly installed and serviced greatly reduces the likelihood of a break-in.
Due to the vital role they play in alerting you to the presence of burglars, alarm systems are a standard fixture in the security systems of many homes and businesses.
Here, we'll discuss some of the most often asked questions regarding these pieces of equipment, such as, "What is a burglar alarm?" and "how do burglar alarms function?"
Useful Information About Burglar Alarms
Why burglar alarms are a must-have for any building, whether residential or commercial, is a question with a simple solution. Put another way, time is of the essence during break-ins, and burglar alarms help get the word out to nearby residents that security has been breached.
Knowing what a burglar alarm system is, why they're useful, and how they operate is therefore fundamental.
Alarm systems can be set up in a variety of ways, but typically involve a network of motion detectors, door/window sensors, and a control panel. All of these parts function as a unified system to keep your home or business safe from intruders and notify you or the police if something suspicious is detected.
Safeguarding the Periphery
The most fundamental burglar alarm systems look for intrusions, like opened doors or windows, in the building's outside. Open-circuit or closed-circuit electric circuits are used to accomplish this.
The most typical setup involves a closed circuit. The electric current is interrupted when the path is broken, such as when a door or window is opened. The alarm goes off and the system is triggered. If an intruder cuts the power, the circuit is disrupted and the alarm goes off.
To activate the alarm in an open-circuit system, the trigger must be activated (by opening the window, for instance) so that electricity can flow through the circuit.
Monitors for Doors and Windows
Multiple events can activate burglar alarm systems. Door Sensors are capable of activating them, as they feature magnetic switches built into the door frame that trigger when a corresponding magnet on the door is brought into alignment with the switch.
The switch is pulled closed along with the door, completing the circuit. In order to activate the alarm relay, the door must be opened, which disrupts the path. A switch is installed in the casing of the window, and a magnet is kept in the door; this configuration is also utilised for Window Sensors.
When a door or window is closed, it presses a little button embedded in the frame, which releases when the door or window is opened. The alarm is set off when the button opens with a spring.
When to Use a Burglar Alarm
As such, where do we find the most common applications for burglar alarms, and what do we use them for?
Uses for burglar alarms are varied and numerous, including the following:
- Offices, warehouses, and factories are examples of industrial districts.
- Private dwellings and carports
- Places of business, such as stores, restaurants, and hotels
- The Facilities for Storing Things
As was shown above, alarms have a wide variety of applications; they are useful anywhere there is room for enhancement in terms of safety.
The Operation of Burglar Alarms
You should know that there is a wide selection of burglar alarm systems on the market, each one designed for a certain set of needs and customers. It is equally important to think about what you would like to happen if the system is triggered.
There are primarily three categories of burglar alarms:
- Bells-only systems, whereby just an alarm is triggered, and that's all
- Systems with speech dialers or communicators that will send a message to several nominated phone numbers
- Monitored systems, where signals from the alarm system are sent to a particular call centre and then acted upon by external means
Most burglar alarms follow a standard procedure regardless of design:
- Sensing motion occurs when door and window sensors detect the closure of a door or window by sensing the frame's contact with the door or window. There can also be motion detectors strategically placed around the building to sound the alarm. Multiple detectors can be used to secure a site's perimeter.
- An alarm has been sent to the control room:
- Any data collected by detectors or sensors is relayed to a central hub that is connected to all other installed components.
- This contact initiates the alarm countdown if the circuit is disrupted.
The siren goes off:
- A warning will sound unless the abort code is entered. A bell or siren mounted on the exterior wall of the building is linked to the system. This gadget is responsible for sounding an alarm in the event of an incursion. Additional deterrence comes from an internal sounder that notifies anyone in the building that an occurrence has been identified.
- Stopping the siren :
- This control panel is where the alarm system's activation and deactivation procedures take place, by fob or numerical code.
- Apps for smartphones also allow users to remotely disable or activate alarms.
Destruction of the Circuit
A simple electric circuit installed in a doorway is the most basic form of burglar alarm, second only to the family dog. No matter the use, electricity can only flow when a channel is provided between two points of opposite charge. In order to activate or deactivate a power source, you must either open or stop a circuit.
Flipping a switch opens or closes the circuit in a flashlight. An intruder alarm works by alerting you of an incursion attempt, such as when a door or window is opened.
There are two main types of warnings like this:
- When the door is shut, the electric circuit is completed, creating a closed-circuit system. As a result, power can be sent between the two ends of the corridor even when the door is closed. But if the door is opened, the circuit is broken, and the electricity stops flowing. This sets off the alarm.
- When a door is opened to a system with an open circuit, the circuit is closed and electricity can begin to flow. When the training is finished, the alarm will sound.
This type of circuit can be installed in a doorway in a number of different ways. Since an intruder can disable an open circuit by severing the linked wires, closed circuits are preferable in most situations.
A closed-circuit magnetic sensor uses just a few basic parts. The bare minimum for every design is:
- magnet in door aligned with switch installed into door frame powered by battery
- a relay-operated busser that operates on its own power source.
The magnet closes the metal switch and completes the circuit when the door is shut.
Since the busser circuit is kept open by the current flowing through the relay's electromagnet, the relay can be left on. When the door is opened, the magnet moves, and the switch is sprung back to the open position. This interrupts power and closes the relay, which activates the alarm.
A similar mechanism can be installed in a window. When an intruder breaks a window, the busser goes off because the magnet moved out of the way of the switch.
A little button serves as the switch for yet another easy burglar alarm. Since the button is attached to the door frame, it gets pushed in when the door is closed. When the door is opened, the button is released, which alters the circuit and triggers the alarm.
These designs aren't great for security because all they require is a battery and a busser. After all, if the intruder re-shuts the door, the alarm will stop going off. Hence, the control box is an integral part of the circuit in most modern burglar alarms.
The control panel not only has its own power source, but it is also connected to additional alarm circuits. The circuits are always being monitored, and an alert will go out if they are ever opened or closed (depending on the design). However, once the alarm has been set off, the control box will not turn it off unless a valid security code is entered into a nearby keypad. The control box is typically placed in a concealed area so that an intruder cannot easily locate it and destroy it.
Various types of security systems can be built using this fundamental principle. You can use your imagination to figure out what a thief might do to activate the circuit switch. If an attacker were to smash a window, you might use the shattered pane as a conductor. One simple method is to attach a tiny strip of foil wire to the surface of the glass and then send a current through it. The circuit is broken and the alarm goes off if the glass is broken.
Rugs for the floor are another easy choice. An open circuit design utilising two metal strips at regular intervals makes up an integral aspect of the mat's construction. Stepping on the mat causes the two metal strips to be pressed together, therefore completing a circuit.
These closed-circuit television systems are ideal for monitoring a home's or business's exterior, where intruders are most likely to get access. Later, we'll examine methods for identifying an intruder who has already gained entry to a building.
The Art of Motion Detection
When it comes to protecting the outside of a structure, circuit alarms shine, but they are less effective in the interior. This is due to the unpredictability of the intruder's movements and touches. The use of a singular "trigger" is inefficient. A motion detector can help you find an intruder who has already entered your home.
These days, motion detectors that aren't optional hardly ever appear in homes. Everywhere you look, for instance, in automatic doors, you'll notice them. Various types of detectors are available.
One device that uses radar as a motion detector is an automated door opener. Microwave radio energy (or ultrasonic sound waves) are blasted out from the box above the door, and the reflected energy is detected and recorded. If there is no one there to absorb the radio waves, they will return in the same pattern. However, the reflection pattern is disrupted when a person approaches the region. When this occurs, a signal is sent from the sensor and the door is unlocked. When the sensor detects a change in the room's reflection pattern, it triggers an alarm.
The motion detector triggers an alert signal to be sent to the control box if the reflection pattern is disrupted.
A photo-sensor is another straightforward design for a motion detector. These are the kinds of gadgets you might find in a shop in a shopping centre. The motion sensor plays a chime or bell when a customer walks into the establishment. A photosensor consists of two parts:
- a concentrated beam of light (often a laser beam)
- some sort of light detector
The beam of a home security system is directed at a light sensor located across a room or hallway. If a person is temporarily standing in the way of the light beam as it travels to the sensor, the beam will be interrupted for an instant. When the sensor detects a decrease in illumination, it alerts the control unit.
Passive infrared (PIR) motion detectors are a part of more high-tech security systems. An intruder's body heat "beams" infrared energy, which can be detected by these sensors. The sensor picks up a sudden spike in infrared energy whenever a potential burglar enters the detector's range of view. Although local temperatures will always be subject to slow but steady changes, PIR detectors are engineered to only sound an alert in response to sudden changes in infrared radiation. For further information, please view this page.
The various types of motion detectors available today can be easily coupled in a single home to provide full protection. When motion detectors are activated, the control panel typically waits a few seconds before sounding the alarm. The homeowner is given a brief window of opportunity to enter a security code that will disable the equipment.
Nonetheless, the control box will set off many alerts if the correct passcode is not entered. Now that we've established the need for a security system, let's have a look at the many kinds of alarms that might be installed.
Making a Racket
When a security system detects an intruder, it can take a number of different actions. In a complex setup, the control box is connected to a variety of parts via wires. For the most part, it will trigger:
- alarming noises and flashing lights outside
- Telephonic Automatic Dialer
Both the lights and the siren have three purposes:
- Intruder alarms sound off to warn residents and nearby neighbours that someone has broken into their home.
- They manage to scare off the invader.
- They alert the authorities by showing which residence was broken into.
An automatic phone-calling system has the capabilities of:
- Make an immediate phone call to the police and have a recorded message playing that includes the home's address and any other pertinent details. In most cases, this message will play multiple times, ensuring that the police will hear it even if the call is temporarily suspended.
- Make a call to the security firm that set up the system. If an incursion occurs, the control panel can relay specifics about the event, such as which circuits were tripped or which motion detectors were triggered. After gathering this information, the security firm reports it to the authorities.
There are always better and newer burglar alarms on the market, and home security is a fast expanding industry. These systems share a common foundation that allows them to function. Multiple motion detectors and perimeter guards are monitored by a central control box, which then sounds an alert if any of them are tripped.
Check out the resources on the next page or get in touch with a local security system installer to learn more about specific alarm devices and cutting-edge installation methods.
What Can We Do With The Settings Menu?
The control panel is the computer that arms the security system and detects disruptions in the electric circuit, which triggers the alarm system for the circuit and sensors. As this control panel has its own power source, an intruder will not be able to disable the system before breaking in.
An audible alarm can be activated by the Control Panel, or the security firm can be notified.
The Control Panel has a touchpad or touchscreen for arming and disarming the alarm system. The audio alarm can only be silenced by entering the alarm's PIN into the touchpad.
Keep in mind that the panel and the touchpad aren't always located in the same spot; the board is typically concealed in an inconspicuous area to make it more difficult to locate and deactivate for would-be intruders.
Test the Fire and Security Systems' Main Control Panel
Multiple keypads could be placed at various points throughout the protected building for easy access. Authorized users can check the status of the alarm system and activate or deactivate it using these keypads.
The "brains" of the security system, the central control panel, is always located locally and processes alarm signals. The system examines the event to establish if the incoming alarms are "false alarms" that the system should disregard or "confirmed alarms" that signal the presence of an intruder.
Upkeep of Your Security System
When problems are identified and fixed through routine maintenance, you can rest easy. An annual inspection is included in Fire Action's maintenance plan for burglar alarms (twice a year if you want a police monitoring contract).
If you have issues with false alarms, we can help by maintaining your system professionally. Some insurers also insist on this prior to signing a monitoring contract.