Burglar Alarms
A visible alarm may be a deterrent but you'll need to decide which system best suits your needs and whether you can install it yourself.

Eyes and ears

Burglar alarms are electronic extensions of our eyes and ears and even the visible fact that a home is fitted with an alarm can deter intruders.

If you take a walk around your area and see that most homes have an alarm and yours doesn't, you probably stand more chance of being burgled. Of course, this depends on many other factors, such as having a dog or whether you have other effective security features.

If you're seeking to install a system, make sure the installation company is registered with an approved industry body. The ASIAL (Australian Security Industry Association Ltd) has a list of members and their code of conduct.

Insist on a free survey and written quotation without obligation and turn away anyone that tries to use other tactics to get you to sign up.

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Systems
  • Bells only alarms - When the alarm is triggered an outside bell or siren is
    activated. This tells the intruder they have been detected and is designed to 
    get them to leave. The very presence of a system may also persuade a burglar to find an easier target.
  •  Monitored alarms - As well as activating an obviously audible alarm, these 
    systems are also connected by telephone to an alarm receiving centre. Staff at the centre then take action according to a pre-determined response, such as calling the home owner or sending security personnel to the address.

       Both of these alarms are available as hard-wired or wireless systems.

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Wired or wireless

Most systems are hardwired, which means the components are connected to the control panel by cables. The other option is to use wireless technology that communicates with the control panel without the need for (or cost of) wires or cables. A disadvantage is that wireless is more prone to problems so if you plan to go wireless, get an experienced installer.

Burglar Alarms








Sensors

This component of the system detects movement inside the house. They tend to be passive infrared sensors that operate by detecting changes in the levels of a narrow band of energy in its area of view. A sensor can cover an area of up to 15m x 15m. Door and glass breakage sensors can also be installed to protect the perimeter of the premises.

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Control Panel

The panel is where the monitoring functions take place and it contains a microprocessor, power supply and rechargeable, standby batteries. It is connected to a keypad that enables the system to be turned on and off as required. The panel is normally located in a discrete location with the keypad near the entrance door.

Burglar Alarms







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Warning devices


There are three basic methods of warning that an intruder has entered the property:
  • external sirens located on the house;
  • a self-monitored system where a signal is sent to a telephone, pager, or mobile phone; and
  • a blue flashing strobe that activates in the event of an alarm and remains on until  the system is disarmed. 
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Do it yourself

DIY systems are cheaper and may not be as reliable as a professional system. Before deciding on the type of alarm to install, check with your insurance company. They may have recommendations and offer discounts depending on the type of system.

Burglar Alarms







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Holiday checklist

You should make sure all doors and windows are securely locked with keyed locks. Take your keys or leave them with a friend, don't hide them. However, even with these precautions, the reality is that your house will be empty for an extended period.

When going on holidays, try to give your house a "lived in" look:
  • consider using an automatic lighting timer;
  • keep blinds and curtains partly open, the way you do when you're home;
  • ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home and collect any deliveries which may be made during your absence;
  • cancel milk and papers;
  • have your mail held or redirected;
  • participate in Neighbourhood Watch;
  • have a friend remove junk mail, mow the lawn and bring in your wheelie bin;
  • turn down the telephone;
  • lock away all portable garden equipment, tools, ladders or anything that could be used to break into your house; and
  • securely lock your garage as most house breaking implements are found there.

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