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Thread: * Home Security Articles / Monitored Alarm Systems: Advantages and Disadvantages
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

7:38:21 PM

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  Monitored Alarm Systems: Advantages and Disadvantages
 

Monitored Alarm Systems: Advantages and Disadvantages



Monitored alarm systems have just made security and surveillance much more reliable.  Learn what their pros and cons are.


For home or business owners that do not want to rely on independent burglar alarms and surveillance cameras to keep their premises safe, monitored alarm systems may offer the best security option.  This type of security system can be a very reliable means to secure a building and bring peace of mind to the occupants.  It can also address certain issues that independent alarm systems have failed to cover.  But is this the right system for your security needs?  

How monitored alarm systems work


A monitored alarm system is a combination of the following components:

- The alarm system
- A monitoring company
- A telephone line or mobile phone connection
- A security company, emergency personnel or police department

To work, a monitored alarm system is connected by a series of sensors or contact devices.  The complexity of the set up will depend on the size of the area being secured, so this can range from a basic set up consisting of one or two sensors to one that uses multiple components.  The system is then connected to a telephone line or a mobile phone and a phone number is pre-programmed into the system.

In case of unauthorized entry, the system is tripped and a call is automatically made to the pre-programmed number, which is the number of the monitoring company.  The monitoring company will then confirm the call with the homeowner to eliminate the possibility of a false alarm.  If it is confirmed, the monitoring company will dispatch the proper authorities to your address.  

Advantages

Third party involvement ensures constant monitoring
Monitoring companies offer 24/7 remote surveillance, so you are assured that your premises are kept safe, even if you are away for extended periods of time.

Quick response from the proper authorities
Monitored alarm systems take away the inconvenience of your having to call the police, emergency personnel or fire department yourself.  This is especially helpful if you're sick, asleep or incapacitated or just plain unable to call for help.

Option for silent alarm signal
Some monitored alarm systems use a silent alarm signal to inform the monitoring company of a possible break-in.  No audible alarm is triggered and the burglar doesn't realize his presence is already detected until the police come.  This type of alarm ensures that a burglar is caught in the act.

Maintenance
Most monitored alarm systems come with a contract that ensures regular check-up and maintenance, so the unit you use is always reliable.

False alarm
Alarm systems can be triggered accidentally and thus cause unnecessary inconvenience not just to the authorities but also to you.  

Risk of phone line getting disabled
Wired systems rely on a working phone line to send a signal to the monitoring company.  If the telephone line is somehow disabled, it might take a while for the company to confirm the security breach.

Cost
Probably a major drawback to monitored alarm systems is the expense.  Since you will be using the services of an independent security company, expect to pay more.  Other than the initial cash outlay required for the alarm system and its installation, there are also fees to be paid which can range from $300 to about $500 a year.
  Brett Evens
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