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Home security: separate keypad and control panel
January 21, 2014 at 5:28 am #9468
My personal experience is that a properly installed alarm system adds additional value to your residence. Potential buyers may choose your home over another because it already includes an alarm in the selling price, and as such, the alarm system is usually left installed in the home.
However, moving an alarm system is an excellent option for tenants who rent rather than own, since they can move the alarm to their next apartment. Renters usually don’t recoup their alarm system investment by trying to sell the alarm to the next tenant. There are some wireless products available that fit the bill for “an easy installation and move”.
Choose an alarm system that has a SEPARATE keypad and a SEPARATE control panel. This is very important as the control panel is the “brains” of the unit and should be hidden away from sight, not installed in some convenient “out-in-the-open” place for a criminal to easily attack.
Absolutely run away from the wireless ALL-IN-ONE SELF-CONTAINED HUGE KEYPAD CRAP that is being promoted by many dealers. It is by far the easiest alarm system to defeat (as well documented on the internet and posted here).
What’s the point of having an alarm system that claims to be “super easy and fast to install”, but that can be defeated in under 20 seconds by someone kicking down the front door and yanking the keypad off of the wall before the entry delay expires?
It’s important to understand the steps (and time) involved with how alarm systems communicate using a telephone line to contact the monitoring station. An alarm is triggered and the control panel seizes the telephone line. It dials the monitoring station where a connection is made between the modem at the station and the modem inside your alarm system. They then “talk” to each other, explain to each other “what happened” and then they hang up.
The time involved is comparable to you dialing someone on speed dial, getting connected and then speaking to them for 15 seconds. If you don’t have a wireless cellular or radio communicator, your unsupervised telephone line and your alarm system must “survive” for approximately 45 seconds to one minute AFTER YOUR SIRENS ARE ACTIVATED (which is when the alarm system will start its transmission) to ensure that the call has gone through.
You can see from this explanation that the “all-in-one-self-contained-keypad/alarm systems” are easily defeated during the entry delay necessary to disarm the system after the front door has been opened. This is well before an alarm condition is triggered.
Stay away from any alarm company that continues to push this piece of garbage, as better security products exist. Admittedly, there are ways to overcome the obvious design weakness and better secure this product, but why bother? Just purchase a better alarm system to begin with, that you don’t have to “fix”. Besides, the huge keypad is an ugly eyesore!!
Since the title of this article is “What is the Best Home Alarm System?”, I’ve started you in the right direction by telling you what alarm systems to avoid.
However, I would have appreciated more information being advanced to the general public towards the choice of alarm equipment and its components, proper installation techniques and more education on how to choose an alarm system based on its many features, which can be confusing to many homeowners.
Be an informed consumer, research the internet, talk to friends and family for references and most importantly, ask A LOT of questions before you purchase an alarm system.
January 21, 2014 at 5:29 am #9469
First off, thanks so much for taking the time to share your insight and experience, it’s much appreciated.
Regarding your point with the entry delay expiring and the problem with “all in one keypads” – this has been resolved in the FrontPoint system in that a signal is sent the second one of the sensors is triggered. Entering the correct security code sends a second signal. If that second signal is never received, the event is treated as an alarm. Therefore, even if a burglar breaks in and immediately smashes the keypad, if they didn’t enter the disarm code (thereby sending the second signal), the break-in will be treated as an alarm.
In response to your request, we’ll work on providing more information on specific installation techniques and further education surrounding alarm equipment and its components.
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