What is a Burglar Alarm System and How does it work

A burglar alarm system consists of a series of electrical components that are connected to a property. Via sensors and contacts, they detect movement or the opening of doors and windows, upon which a loud alarm is produced to alert those nearby of the unauthorized entry.

The different types of burglary alarm systems 

There are many types of burglary alarm systems on the market, and each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. The most common type of alarm is the motion detector alarm. This alarm is activated when someone moves in the protected area.

Another common type of alarm is the contact alarm. This alarm is activated when a protected door or window is opened. The sensor is attached to the door or window and will sound an alarm if it is opened.

The third type of burglary alarm system is the glass-breakage detector. This detector senses the sound of breaking glass and will activate an alarm if it hears it.

The fourth type of alarm is the perimeter alarm. This alarm is placed around the perimeter of a property and is activated when someone crosses the line.

The fifth type of alarm is the CCTV system. This system uses cameras to monitor activity on a property. The images are recorded and can be used as evidence if a crime is committed.

Intruder Alarm Components

The Components are connected via a control panel and are designed to deter and detect intruders. For example, the main components include sensors, sounders and external communications devices.

Sensors should be located around property entry points to instantly alert and sound. Loud alarm sirens are often enough to deter a burglar from staying too long on the property.

  • The Intruder Alarm Siren

These sirens are vital when alerting neighbors to the break-in and draws attention to the burglar.

It can be used to alert people of a threat, scare off intruders or simply notify people of a possible threat. For example, if you hear someone trying to break into your building after activating your security system, an alarm will notify everyone in the area of a possible threat.

The core benefit of a good outdoor siren is that you can hear the warning from a distance. External sirens sound 85dB at a minimum, similar to that of a busy road. Many burglar alarm sirens sound 120dB which is similar to a police siren.

The alarm sounds and lights flash as soon as there is movement near one of its sensors (such as door/window sensors).

  • The Intruder Alarm Sensors

PIR sensors work by detecting infrared light. This infrared light is given off by a moving object or person that emits heat. Door and window sensors are used to detect when a door or window is opened. These can be connected to the control panel or a keypad, and can also be used with other sensors to trigger an alarm.

  • The Intruder Alarm Control Panels

Control panel is the heart and brain of the intruder alarm system. You will typically find a keypad and LCD screen for alarm activation, detection and fault codes. The keypad is a control panel that allows you to arm and disarm your alarm system. It’s the most common type of control panel and it’s easy to install. Also, you’ll be able to set up your burglary alarm in no time. The keypad should be installed in a central location so that it can easily be accessed by everyone who lives in the home or business.

Keypads are often used with other sensors like motion detectors, glass break detectors and door/window contacts. A burglar intruder will trigger these alarms when they enter your home or business premises without permission.

How Does a Burglar Alarm Work?

Burglar alarm systems work by sounding an alarm when movement is sensed inside your home while the alarm is set and active. These systems contain lots of sensors that can detect motion, alerting you or your neighbors to a potential intruder. The sensors should be located in areas where people are more likely to try to enter your home, such as by the back door, conservatory and windows. Additional technology can be added to the system, such as window sensors that trigger the alarm when a window is opened.

Whatever the type, most burglar alarms work by a similar series of steps:

  • 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 also an internal sounder to alert any occupants of the building that there has been a detected event and this also 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. 

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