Burglar Alarms: How They Operate

February 19, 2011 in Burglar alarms

Most individuals are well aware of the importance of burglar alarms and how they protect our families, homes, and possessions. They also know that the sounds that the alarms make will usually deter a burglar from entering your home. Ironically, many homeowners don’t really understand how burglar alarms actually operate.  Here is a breakdown on how the different types of systems work.

Circuit alarms

The circuit principle is probably the most basic and common type of burglar alarms on the market today, although the popularity of wireless models is growing. There are two basic circuits – open or closed.

Open circuit – these alarms are triggered if a burglar opens one of your doors or windows which then completes the circuit. The downside with open circuit burglar alarms is that if the perpetrator realizes this is the type of system being used, all they need to do is cut the right wires and deactivate it so they can enter your home without being noticed.

Closed circuit – these work in opposite fashion to open circuit systems.  If the door or window is opened by a burglar, it the electrical current is broken and the alarms are triggered.

You can also use closed circuit burglar alarms to protect your home’s perimeter and surrounding property of your home with this type of system. Once the intruder breaks the circuit, the alarms are triggered and this will cause the burglar to take off and leave your home un-victimized.

Zones that burglar alarms typically protect

Burglar alarms typically protect specific “zones” within the house, zone being a specific area that the system is monitoring. Normally, the front door will be labeled zone one and your back or other doors for entering the home will be labeled as two, three, etc. Sliding glass doors and windows that you select can be labeled and protected as additional zones.

Make sure that you know that the basic burglar alarms on the market only protect up to 8 zones. The more advanced systems will protect as many as 32 zones.  This  will depend on your budget and what you can afford to spend in order to protect your family, home, and possessions. You can set the system up to exclude certain zones as well.  With a wireless system, every zone is protected with its own detectors or sensors.

When a burglar enters the home, you can see on your control panel’s keypad where the illegal entry has occurred. Many individuals install their keypads in their master bedroom so that if the alarms are triggered during the night, they are aware of where the entry has happened.

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