Alarms and Alarm Systems
Author: Mike Norton
Security Alarm Systems - our product overview
iCam Security provides all types of wired and wireless alarm systems including Intrusion, Panic / Hold-Up and Smoke/Fire alarm systems. We have chosen our brands of alarm systems through thorough testing for both robustness and customer requirements. All of our alarm products provide exceptional reliability and good value for money, across a range of applications both residential and commercial.
The most common type of alarm we install are Intrusion Alarms, providing protection via internal movement detection sensors. We can also install detectors that monitor if doors are opened and vibration detectors that will activate the alarm if a window or door is attacked before an intruder gains entry. Smoke and Carbon Dioxide detectors can also be added to the system to provide complete peace of mind.
All of these detectors are monitored through a central panel and trigger the same internal and/or external audible alarms.
We offer the following reliable brands of security alarms:
Bosch – tried tested and true. The Bosch alarm panel is one of the most popular brands of security alarm system worldwide. It simply does what it says on the box ensuring that you, your property and valuables are secured with a reliable alarm system.
Paradox – This make is again a solid and reliable alarm system. The Paradox alarm system is one that is designed with simplicity and aesthetics in mind. This make of alarm system comes with a 5” touch screen to utilise as your code pad and comes with a choice of 15 different colours, the most popular being black or white
Honeywell Tuxedo – The Tuxedo is the alarm system with the ultimate in bells and whistles – so much so that it borders on complete home automation. With addition components such as cameras and dead bolt for the front door, you can live view the cameras and open the front door remotely via an iPad or smart phone. It can control A/C, Lighting and GPO’s via a programmable timing schedule or remotely from iPad or Smart Phone.
Alarm Systems - an overview
Each alarm system compiles of the following core items:
The Alarm Detectors
A Control Panel
The alarm control is the brain of your system. It is typically placed in an area that is out of the way like a walk in robe, pantry, closet or office. The motherboard and additional components such as radio receivers, backup power supply and zone expanders are inside this metal box, which is often locked. You will have little or no interface with the alarm control. Our alarm technician will need to access this unit to program it and wire it to general standards.
The keypad is the device you will interface with daily. It is typically placed at one or more of the following locations:
* Front door
* Master bedroom
* Inside garage
You need at least one keypad to communicate with the control panel. If you elect to have only one keypad you should have it installed as close to the door you use most often as possible. Even if you or others sometimes use a different door, you can put it on its own delay zone and have a longer entry time to get to the keypad from that door.
There are different levels of keypads available for each model of control panel. Ask us what your options are so you can make sure that you get the keypad that will work best for you.
Screamers and Strobe
There are both inside and outside screamers. Many towns have a noise ordinance, which should prevent your installer from putting yours outside, unless you are on a ranch where you need to know what’s going on while you’re out in the barn. You would not want a neighbour running over to your place during an alarm as they might be confronting a dangerous situation. It is better to let the police do that instead.
An inside siren is one that simulates a doorbell and placed high on a hallway wall, or a large siren is often placed in your return air vent. This will let a burglar know that they have violated an alarm so that they will hi- tail it out of there. It will also let you know that your system has been violated so that you can release the hounds, load your gun or hide under the covers, whatever you select as an appropriate response.
Sirens are measured in decibels and wattage. A large siren would be 30 watts or more and at least 100 decibels. If you settle for a non- descriptive commitment such as “It will be loud” you may have authorized a smaller and less expensive siren to be installed. They are all loud, but the louder the better when it comes to scaring a burglar away.
All of our alarm systems have at least one very loud external sounder (approximately > 90 – 135 dB when measured at 1m) with blue strobe and an internal piezo (siren), to ensure as much attention is drawn to your home if the alarm is activated by an intruder.
We can install additional internal screamers if required or extra external screamers if there is a high risk of attack from a specific angle of your property.
Our wireless external screamers are powered by batteries although wired external sounders can be installed to wireless systems if required.
Our external screamers conform to Local Environmental Health Noise Nuisance Regulations and will activate for a maximum period of 5 minutes. If an intruder is still within the premises or re-enters after the screamer has switched off the screamer will reactivate for another 5 minutes.
Wireless Alarm Remotes
These remotes are also known as “key fobs” or “4 button key chains”. They are wonderful to have in addition to your keypad as you can turn your alarm on or off without going to the keypad. You still need a keypad to perform most of the other operations of your system such as seeing what zone is opened or has been violated after an alarm. The typical programming for a 4 button key chain would be as follows.
1 System Armed. (On)
2 System Disarmed (Off)
3 System Armed –Stay (Motion detectors bypassed)
4 Police Panic (Siren sounds)
Your buttons on your key fob can be programmed to do other functions. For example grandma can have one that calls for medical help if she presses her button.
These key chains and pendants are wonderful for many reasons. You are most importantly attached to you alarm if you are within the specified range from your system, (anywhere from 500 to 1500 feet) based on the quality of the transmitter and receiver. If you get out of your car in your driveway and are approached, you can call for help and sound your sirens with the press of a button. An employee leaving work can call for help from the parking lot.
You can also use your Key fob at night to turn your alarm on and keep your keys on your night- stand, so that you have a panic button at the ready if needed. Your key chain also allows you to arm your main floor motion detector at night. If you need to go into the protected area for a late night glass of milk or something, just press a button to disarm and rearm upon your return. (Make sure there are no other occupants that will roam the house before using this feature)
If you have groceries and or children to carry, you can turn your alarm off without going to the keypad. If your garage has a motion detector in it you can turn your alarm off before opening the overhead door.
If you have a hardwired system you need a wireless receiver to add any wireless device such as a remote key fob to your system. Once you have a receiver it will take and process signals from multiple devices, this gives you the flexibility to add equipment later without the expense of additional receivers.
Many of our customers believe there is no point in installing an alarm system that only activates internal and external sounders that are often ignored by their neighbours.
The Dialler function can be added to all of our systems to inform customers, friends and family members that the alarm at the premises has been activated. This system is not monitored by a back to base solution centre but does not have the daily charges incurred, as the customer will only pay the one off cost for the system to dial out. This will only cost the fee for installation plus the cost of any telephone calls or SMS Text messages that are sent directly to their contacts.
All of our systems can be connected to the 24-hour “back to base” alarm receiving centre that will monitor the alarm system and dispatch the required services directly to the premises when the alarm activation occurs.
If panic buttons have been installed a high priority alarm can be passed to the Police and the Police will immediately send an officer to the premises, the system can also automatically dispatch the Fire Brigade to the premises if a smoke detector has been activated. The system will also inform the customer or key holders if a power failure occurs at the premises protecting the contents of fridge freezers.
Feel free to contact us for more information on 1300 004 226.