Return to Home

© 2017 William J. Mullen

All text content included in this literary report is the property of William J. Mullen and is protected by the United States federal and international copyright laws. It is illegal to copy or reproduce any portion of this report. Violations are subject to statutory damages and attorney fees.

CERTIFICATE OFREGISTRATION # TXu 1-952-190 Effective date: March 12, 2017

THE REAL TRUTH, BENEFIT

&

 AND DESIGN OF ALARM SYSTEMS

By: William J. Mullen / Quincy, Ma

40yr veteran of the alarm Industry

“I live in a safe neighborhood, why would I install an Alarm System?”

Modern Alarm Systems, although very sophisticated are very user friendly. Small children five years old can easily be instructed on how to use the system. Utilizing wireless technology, perimeter and interior devices that constitute an alarm system can easily be installed without affecting the fabric or the aesthetics of your home.  

Wireless keypads and key fobs allow you to conveniently turn the system on or off from remote areas in the home or even outside in your driveway.  Panic and medicalpendants for the elderly or the confined can alert the proper authorities when needed. All keypads, whether attached to the wall or hand held, have panic button features to alert the police for any emergency. 

With technology advances today’s systems also allow quick two way voice communications through the keypad to the central station as well as remote access via your smart phone. This can be especially convenient for a homeowner who is away on vacation and would like to arm or disarm the system allowing contractors or a neighbor access.

Lights can be turned on and off, heat and AC can be regulated and doors can actually be locked and unlocked remotely via your smart phone! 

Surveillance cameras are now able to be integrated into the system and can be accessed for live viewing via your smart phone. They also can be programmed to send you an alert when they pick up movement, such as kids arriving back home from school or potential trespassers.

**************

Central stations that monitor your alarm receive their signals two ways; Conventional land base phones lines or via a cellular transmission unit added to the control panel.

Benefits of a Monitored Alarm System:

Most folks when considering an Alarm System are only thinking about their possessions and how to protect it from theft.

Unless they’ve experienced a daytime home invasion or were awakened in the middle of the night by an intruder their main motivation when considering a security system is to prevent their “stuff” from being stolen.

Certainly our “stuff” is important but it can always be replaced.

Let’s change your thought process and list

THE REAL BENEFITS OF AN ALARM SYSTEM

  1. Helps preventfamily members,especially kids from being hurt or worse when upon returning home they are confronted by an intruder in the home. 
  2. Protects and alerts family members to suspicious activity during the night, allowing you to sleep comfortably with the knowledgethat you and your family are safe from intruders.

 THESE TWO SCENARIOS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT REASONS TO INSTALL AN ALARM SYSTEM IN YOUR HOME! 

When a home is protected by an alarm system the immediate screeching sound of the siren is enough to convince any thief to change their mind.

They’ve been detected at the very onset of their crime and won’t take the chance of getting caught.  There is also the possibility there is somebody at home and has been alerted by the siren.  In any event it’s their clue to quickly leave. 

  1. Panic & medical pendants for the elderly or the confined can alert the proper authorities
  2. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will save lives (both human and pets)

Our “Stuff”

  1. Helps prevent our valuables and family heirlooms from being stolen.
  2. Helps prevent vandalism.
  3. Helps prevent the destruction caused by fire.
  4. Low-temperature devicewill monitor the furnace for failure during winter   vacations, preventing burst water pipes and flood damage.
  5. Water sensor device will monitor for failed sump pumps and water leaks in the basement.
  6. Wireless keypads and key chain “keyfobs”can control the system from remote areas in the home or even outside in the driveway. They also can notify the central station in the event of a police emergency.
  7. Surveillance cameras can also be monitored for movement as well as programmed to send you alerts to your smart phone. Cameras can now be accessed through your smart phone to watch in live time from anywhere in the world where you have access to the internet.
  8. Allows a discount (5%-20%) on the homeowner’s insurance policy. This may vary with different insurers and may be affected by the addition of monitored smoke detectors. Certainly NOT a reason to have a system installed, but saving a few bux is always nice.
  9. PEACE OF MIND THAT OUR FAMILIES AND PROPERTY ARE PROTECTED!

CONCLUSION

# 1 & # 2 are the most important reasons for installing a security system in your home  

ALARM SYSTEMS PROTECT YOUR FAMILY FIRST

AND THEN YOUR HOME!

______________________________________________________________

REALITY

Crime: You may live in a safe community but sometimes even the safest communities experience home burglaries.

You may also live in an upper class neighborhood that has never experienced any problems for years, but now a neighbor’s son has gone down the “wrong path”, is abusing drugs and is breaking into his neighbor’s homes to support his habit.

Residential burglaries are typically committed by male drug addicts or vandals.   Usually but not always they live in your community. 

If however you entertain a lot with guests that you are not personally acquainted with and you have very noticeable valuables such as paintings and other pricey items you could be “targeted” by a non drug addict that is looking to steal your valuables.

FALLACY

Regardless if the thief is a drug addict, vandal or somebody that has “targeted” your home, there is nobody dressed in black leather with a bag of specialized tools breaking into homes. 

This is T.V. “land” nonsense

Windows are not expertly cut with a glass cutter nor are locks picked with that “tool” that T.V. cops always seem to have when opening a door.

Any home can be quickly entered by kicking in a door or by accessing a low window.  There is nothing “professional” about this method.

The very first priority of a thief is not to be seen.  Typically they will enter a door or window that is not viewed by your neighbors, however many homes are also entered by forcing open the front door.

Their goal is to get in as quickly as possible with the least amount of noise and EFFORT

Forget about the “cat burglar” as depicted on T.V.  Nobody is scaling the side of your home with climbing gear.  A 2nd floor entry is very unlikely unless you left a ladder on the back of your home for them to use.

**************

THE CORRECT DESIGN OF A HOME ALARM SYSTEM

With the aforementioned in mind the proper design of an alarm system initiates with perimeter contacts on ALL the likely and easily accessed points of entry. 

It goes without saying that EVERY exterior door should be contacted with a door sensor, regardless if it is on the front of the home in clear view of your neighbors and regardless of how many locks it has.

Take a perimeter walk around your own home and put yourself in the “shoes” of a thief.  How would you get into your own home if you were suddenly locked out with no keys?

Keep in mind a thief is not concerned with the damage he causes to the point of entry.

 FACT:  ANY door that swings in can be KICKED IN!  

 

Regardless of how secure your lock and dead bolt is, the weak link is the wooden frame.

 

This statement merits repeating:

EVERY exterior door should be contacted with a door sensor, regardless if it is on the front of the home, in clear view of your neighbors and regardless of how many locks are installed on it.

WINDOWS

During your perimeter walk also make note of any window that can be easily accessed.  ALL of these windows need to be incorporated into the alarm system.  Again, put yourself in the “shoes” of a potential thief. 

Although some alarm companies have a mind set that all the windows need to be brought into the system, common sense rules here

A group of bay windows on the front of your home perhaps 5-6 feet off the ground with a fixed middle window and two side vents is highly unlikely to be a point of entry for a thief.

Save your money as it is not necessary to contact these windows.

The same applies to very high windows including all second floor windows that only “spider man” could get to.

Basically if it is very difficult and there are many other less difficult points of entry, the thief is not likely to attempt these difficult to access windows. 

It is important that all possible “target” windows are incorporated into the correct design of your alarm system!

Naturally alarm systems cost money and many times there is a conflict that pits budget against designing the best alarm system.

Again common sense rules here. Use your best judgment on what windows need to be contacted.  If however your comfort level requires you to contact all the windows then certainly do what you feel is best.

GLASS BREAK DETECTORS AND MOTION DETECTORS

Following the proper perimeter protection there are additional interior devices that will enhance the effectiveness of your perimeter system.

Although typically a thief will pry open a window causing the lock to fail, sometimes they will simply break the glass to get at the lock.  

A glass break detector will sound the alarm if a window is broken and not opened.  It is a sophisticated device that “listens” and “interprets” the sound and frequency of breaking glass.   

It is important to note that a glass break detector is NOT a replacement for a window sensor that will sound the alarm when the window is opened. 

Basically a glass break detector is a nice addition as it will sound the

alarm at the very instant the glass is broken. 

It is the shock and instant notification to the thief that he has just set off the alarm BEFORE he has even opened the window!

A glass break detector is essential with sliding French glass doors. In many cases a thief will cause the glass to shatter if he is prying on the door to break the lock. 

This statement merits repeating:

It is important to note that a glass break detector is NOT a replacement for a window sensor that will sound the alarm when the window is opened. 

MOTION DETECTORS:

By definition a motion detector picks up motion.  What it is really doing is monitoring the fixed pixels in its field of view and when they are altered   by somebody entering this field of view it instantly activates the alarm.

Although the most important reason to install an alarm system is to protect the occupants, our “stuff” is also important.  Motion detectors are a key component in any alarm system design to prevent our stuff from being stolen when we are not home.

Depending on the size and layout of your home at least one motion detector should always be a part of any alarm system design to serve as back-up should a thief somehow enter your home through an unprotected perimeter opening. 

Additionally regardless if every door and window is integrated into the alarm system there should still be a motion detector installed.

The reasons can vary by virtue of how the alarm system is used by the owner.

Perhaps you have bypassed a sensor (called a zone) because of a window or door replacement or some other construction project. 

Or maybe you decided to temporarily bypass (neutralizing the sensor) the basement door from the alarm system to allow a neighbor access to check your furnace while you’re away on a winter vacation.

Additionally because nothing is infallible a window or door sensor could fail to operate correctly.

A motion detector is always placed in an area where the thief will most likely pass by after he has entered your home.

The MASTER bedroom is always the prime target of thieves as that is where they think they will find the most valuables. 

A motion detector should always be placed so it picks up any movement in the area leading to the master bedroom.

If your master bedroom is on the 2nd floor then the motion detector should be placed in the area to cover the BASE of the stairway.  Think of the motion detector as a camera viewing this entire area. Thus the alarm will sound as the motion detector “sees” him approaching this area.

For larger homes you may want to consider a 2nd or 3rd motion detector. 

Perhaps at one end of your home is a room filled with electronics or other valuables.  The same concept applies as if it was your bedroom.   You want to sound the siren BEFORE the thief has a chance to start collecting your stuff.

In conclusion, if the thief had entered your home without triggering the alarm system, the motion detector will be the last chance to frighten him away when the blaring siren lets him know he’s been detected.

PETS

Today’s motion detectors are also designed to be “pet immune”, but there are many restrictions regarding this issue.

First of all it is very important to understand that outside of user error PETS ARE THE SECOND CAUSE OF FALSE ALARMS.

Manufacturers state a pet immune motion detector works best with small animals that are 30-40 lbs or less.  The detector basically ignores this small mass of pixels it “sees”. Larger dogs create a larger mass of pixels much like a human being and will cause the alarm to sound.

Additionally if the animal is very active and jumping all over the furniture this could cause too much “confusion” for the motion detector and likely to sound the alarm.

A pet immune motion detector works best with a small dog that does what most dogs do when we leave the home; that is they sleep.

 “FELIX THE CAT”

During the day when you’re out of your home and have set the alarm most cats are sleeping (average 17 hrs a day) and should not be a problem.  However if the cat is very active and climbs on tables, counters, shelves/mantles NEAR the motion detector you could have a problem.

Fortunately there is a “trick” of the trade whereby a “Pet Alley” is created to allow a larger dog or an active cat to walk around without triggering the motion detector.

Basically the device is installed upside down or a portion of the lens is taped off inhibiting its ability to see any pixels from the level of the floor to around 4 feet high.

The absolute BEST location for the creation of this “pet alley” is a hallway, as it is already like an “alley”.  The dog or cat can walk up and down the hallway without being “seen” by the motion detector as they are below the 4ft excluded area.

This is not to say a motion detector can not be set up in this fashion in an open floor plan but it does allow for the possibility the dog or cat will exceed the height of the “alley” by climbing on a table or other high access.

The bottom line is pets can be a problem with motion detectors while other times they are not.

It is important to mention regardless if the motion detector is set up with this “pet alley” it would still detect a human as naturally any thief is taller than 4 feet.  

(I know�. How about a munchkin from the “Wizard of Oz”? :>

Conclusion:  A motion detector is BACK UP to your perimeter system.

USING THE MOTION DETECTOR WHEN YOU’RE HOME:

When using the alarm system at night or daytime when the occupants are at home motion detectors can be disabled so family members are free to move about.  This is easily accomplished at the

keypad by using the “stay” button along with your security code.

At night time IF ALL THE OBVIOUS AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE perimeter openings have been incorporated into the alarm system and you are comfortable that any entry into your home will trigger the alarm then you can disable the motion detector(s) while you’re sleeping. This will allow a family member to get up in the middle of the night, perhaps to use the bathroom or go to the kitchen.

This same scenario applies if you want to set the alarm during the day or night when the family is still up and active.

It should be noted that some may choose to have their motion detector(s) armed while they are sleeping.  In this scenario a remote keypad would be needed at you disposal to disarm the system so you could get up in the middle of the night, or to disarm the system before you come down the stairs in the morning.  Today’s systems as previously mention can also be accessed by your smart phone.

LOCATION OF DEVICES

With your newly acquired knowledge YOU should be able to identify the proper perimeter protection but the exact location of interior devices such as glass break detectors and motion detectors should be discussed with the installer. 

KEYPAD

Every alarm system employs at least one keypad that arms and disarms the system with a digit code. It should be located on a wall in a convenient place so you can easily reach it upon returning back home or to set your system at night.

 

RETURNING BACK HOME

The door that you normally use to come and go will allow a delay time for you to reach the keypad and disarm it before the alarm sounds.

Other doors that you don’t use on a regular basis are set to “instant” as well as all the windows. At night time when everybody is home the “delay” setting on your primary door can easily be removed.

IF you do not want a “delay” on the door you enter upon returning home this can also be accomplished either by the installer or by you at the keypad.  In this scenario you would need to carry a remote key pad, usually a “key fob” on your key chain or disable the system via your smart phone.

BABY SITTER / HOUSE CLEANER

Multiple codes can be added or deleted to the keypad at your discretion. Perhaps you want a baby sitter or contractor to have access to your home when you’re away. Upon your return this access code can quickly be deleted. 

BURGLARY AND VANDALISM

A burglary that includes vandalism usually involves kids from your own neighborhood.  Sometimes the gratuitous vandalism these morons cause can be devastating.

Your possessions are stolen or damaged. Family heirlooms that have been taken can cause you and your family tremendous heartache. 

But something more important is stolen from you:

YOUR PEACE OF MIND.

Protecting Your Home / Property

Besides safeguarding your family and your possessions an alarm system can protect your physical home.

If you live in an area of the country that has a cold winter a low temperature sensor added to your system can prevent thousands of dollars of damage to your home if you were to leave, perhaps on a vacation.

If your furnace were to fail the temperature in your home would plummet, causing your water pipes to freeze and burst. When the heat is eventually restored water will fill the interior of the walls, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

When the temperature drops to around 45-50 degrees the low temperature sensor sends a signal to the central station.  A trained operator will then contact you or the proper authorities so action can be taken to restart the furnace before the water pipes start to freeze. 

How many folks that go away in the winter always ask a friend or relative to check their furnace?   This device is a must for anyone that travels in the cold months.

Another device called a water sensor can be placed in your basement or sump to alert you or your contractor about a potential flood.

Every basement drainage system that employs an electric pump is useless when the electricity fails during a rainstorm.

Because the alarm system has a reserve battery back up the central station monitoring your alarm will still get the signal and notify you or your contacts before the rising water can cause extensive damage.

Regardless if your home is not susceptible to flooding, a water sensor is still a good idea placed on the floor near your hot water heater.  Every hot water heater has a limited life span and will eventually leak.

Smoke Detectors

Protect your home and SAVE LIVES

Without a question adding monitored smoke detector(s) to any alarm system is one of the smartest things you can do.

Unfortunately most homeowners will state “I already have smoke detectors.”

It is important to know these existing smoke detectors are not able to be integrated into a low voltage alarm system and will provide only one element of protection provided they are in perfect working condition and placed in the proper locations.

The ONE element of protection they provide is they will alert you

only if you are home.

BUT Who will hear the warning sound if smoke is detected during the hours the home is vacant?

Monitored smoke detectors will provide notification to a central station operator who will then contact the local fire department to prevent your home from burning down.

 Monitored smoke detectors are also “supervised” 24 hours which means even if you’ve forgotten to set your system to “on,” whether you’ve left the home or are sleeping, the smoke detectors are always ready to sound the alarm and report to the central station. 

It is also important to know monitored smoke detectors will continue to function during a power outage as they are receiving their power from the alarm panel that has BACK UP POWER.

Your existing smoke detectors will cease to operate in a power outage if hard wired to your electric. 

Lastly and very importantly if you’re a heavy sleeper and especially with a closed bedroom door you might not be awakened by the beeping of a regular smoke detector.

With a monitored smoke detector added to your alarm system

YOU WILL BE AWAKENED BY THE SOUND OF THE SIREN

LOCATION OF SMOKE DETECTORS

Research indicates that all serious fires in homes generate smoke that precedes detectable levels of heat in most cases. Smoke detectors should be installed directly outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.  Additional areas include all bedrooms, (especially those occupied by a smoker) Furnace areas and utility rooms.

VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION!

NEVER INSTALL A DOUBLE KEY DEAD BOLT ON ANY EXTERIOR DOOR!!

In the case of fire or an emergency you will have to find the key to open the door to let yourself out! 

FACT:  When a fire breaks out in a home while you’re sleeping and IF you’re lucky to be awakened it is because of the lowering levels of oxygen that the fire is consuming. 

Your brain senses this and wakes you up!  HOWEVER without the proper levels of oxygen your brain is not functioning 100% and your reactions and decisions are very much compromised.  Your instincts tell you to get out but the door is locked with a double key dead bolt.  Because you have diminished brain function it is very possible you cannot remember where the key is or if you find that “ring” of keys you can’t figure out which key opens this door.

Most people perish in house fires from lack of oxygen and smoke inhalation. People are found in closets. 

They did not enter the closest for safety to escape the heat, rather they were confused and thought it was possibly an entry door and collapsed inside. 

DO NOT INSTALL A DOUBLE KEY DEAD BOLT ON ANY EXTERIOR DOOR!

Not withstanding a fire scenario there may be other emergencies when you need to quickly exit your home and you’re faced with a lock you cannot open.

If you’ve moved into a new home that have double key deadbolts on exterior doors.    REMOVE THEM!

Carbon Monoxide Detectors!!

 Carbon monoxide has the dubious distinction of being called the “silent killer” because it has NO ODOR. 

You cannot smell it.

(This subject is very poignant for me because when I was a teenager one of my best friends lost both his parents along with an uncle and aunt when the furnace malfunctioned and carbon monoxide permeated the home while they slept)

The human body is most vulnerable to the effects of CO gas during sleeping hours. Home heating systems are the main source of this killer gas. Even systems that appear to be operating correctly could be giving off low levels of this gas causing some family members to feel sick especially during winter months when windows are kept closed.

For maximum protection a CO detector should be located outside primary sleeping areas on each level of your home and especially in the basement where the furnace is located. Faulty furnaces are the main cause of leaking carbon monoxide.

The detector senses and measures the concentration of the gas and triggers the siren of the alarm before a potentially harmful level is reached.

Homes with fireplaces or wood burning stoves should always have a carbon monoxide detector integrated into the alarm system. This simple   addition to your alarm system could possibly save the lives of your family. 

People die in their sleep because of carbon monoxide.

(REGARDLESS IF YOU INSTALL AN ALARM SYSTEM PLEASE INSTALL CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS IN YOUR HOME!)

PETS

Lastly on the subject of monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Not to be forgotten are your pets. It is a fact that dogs and cats have a much lower tolerance than humans to the presence of carbon monoxide and smoke.  We love our pets. They are part of our family. They deserve a chance to survive in the event of smoke, fire or carbon monoxide when you’re not home.

Wiliam (Bill) Mullen / Author

© 2017 William J. Mullen

All text content included in this literary report is the property of William J. Mullen and is protected by the United States federal and international copyright laws. It is illegal to copy or reproduce any portion of this report.

CERTIFICATE OFREGISTRATION # TXu 1-952-190  Effective date: March 12, 2017

It is illegal to copy or reproduce any portion of this report. Violations are subject to statutory damages and attorney fees

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending

© AlarmSystem.Com 1998 – 2017

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?