Burglar Alarm System Components

A burglar alarm is a type of security system designed to detect unauthorized entry into a building. These systems can be effectively installed in a range of places such as schools, businesses and homes to protect against burglary, property damage and personal protection. An intruder alarm can be fitted by itself or could be combined with an access control or CCTV system, depending on the desired level of security.

Burglar alarm systems come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, so you want to build a custom setup that meets your individual needs.

Every burglar alarm system should consist of these main components:

  • Alarm Control Panel

All burglar alarm systems have a dedicated alarm control panel. The control panel is the brain of the system – everything is wired to or wirelessly connected to the control panel.

  • Alarm Keypad

This is your interface for the system. Usually placed near the main entry or at key checkpoints, this pad lets you arm and disarm the system, and often gives you 2-way communication with your security system monitoring station.

Door and Window Contacts

These are typically magnetic sensors that connect from the door to the jamb or the window to the wall. If the sensor contact is broken, like by opening a door or window, the alarm is triggered.

  • Glass Break Detectors

Glass break detectors are sound detectors that listen for the precise frequency of breaking glass. These sensors can trigger the alarm in case of entry even if the window contact sensor is bypassed.

  • Motion Detectors

Most indoor motion detectors include passive infrared (PIR) technology that only picks up the displacement of body heat. This prevents false alarms since spider webs and bugs will not set off PIR motions. Outdoor motion detectors use passive infrared and microwave technology to catch intruders without getting false alarms from squirrels and other small animals.

System Interruption Sensors

The best burglar alarms for businesses will have fail-safes built into their systems to protect themselves from tampering. An interruption sensor will trigger an alert if any part of the system is taken offline, loses power, or fails to respond to a ping for any reason.

How Does a Burglar Alarm Work?

It’s important to understand that there are a vast array of burglar alarm systems available on the market, all suited for different applications and types of client. It is also important to consider what action you might like to happen if and when the system is triggered. 

The three main types of burglar alarms include: 

  • Bells-only systems, whereby just an alarm is triggered and that’s all 
  • Systems with speech dialers or communicators that will send a message to several nominated phone numbers
  • Monitored systems, where signals from the alarm system are sent to a special call center and then acted upon by external means 

How do burglar alarms work;

Motion is sensed: When a door or window is shut, the contact of the door or window in the frame is detected by door and window sensors. Motion sensors can also be placed strategically around the premises, which detect motion and trigger the alarm countdown. The perimeter of a site can also be protected using a variety of detectors, too. 

Control panel is alerted: All installed components, including sensors, are linked to a control panel and all information from the detectors and sensors is sent here. If this contact is disturbed and the circuit is broken, the alarm countdown is then triggered. 

Alarm is sounded: If an abort code is not entered, the alarm will sound. The system is connected to an external bell or siren which is usually located on a wall on the outside of the property. It is this device that emits an alarm to alert people to an intrusion. There is an internal sounder to alert any occupants of the building that there has been a detected event. It acts to deter the intruder.

Alarm is deactivated: Users both activate and deactivate the alarm system using this control panel. Either by using a fob or a numbered code. Smartphones can also now be used to remotely set and unset alarms via apps. 


Home security is a rapidly growing field, and there are new and improved burglar alarms popping up all the time. For the most part, these systems are all built around the same basic structure. A central control box monitors several motion detectors and perimeter guards and sounds an alarm when any of them are triggered. To find out more information or talk to a technician, visit our website.

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