There are many different types of Burglar Alarms and Security systems for Home, Retail, Office, and Commercial Properties. Depending on what and why protection is required. TMS has the expertise to keep you and your property safe and protected. The most common Alarm Systems are Intruder alarms AKA burglar Alarms, which can include Life Alarms like Smoke Alarms, Fire Alarms and SOS Alarms. There are also Carbon Monoxide Alarms, Heat Alarms, Flood Alarms aka Water Alarms. We can supply a wide range of protection equipment from basic to systems that can notify you remotely with visual Property Watch conformation.
Securing the property is important but a good alarm should also secure the most import and valuable assets in it, people. This could range from family, staff, and could include the venerable, young people and the elderly.
The good news is, with careful design, all these alarm types can all be combined into a single professionally installed controller. This can increase their function while reducing the overall parts and installation cost. Our standard home security system can combine all, or any mix of these features and is expandable to cover offices and commercial properties and their staff. At TMS we recommend considering a combination of the following.
We work on many different Alarm Systems from various manufacturers, the most common ones are:
We can also help with DIY installation, but don’t supply Alarms from:
Intruder Alarms or Burglar Alarms – Tripped by Various Sensors.
Fire Alarms – Tripped by a fire or smouldering.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm/ CO – Tripped if CO levels increase.
Smoke Alarm – Tripped by smoke caused by a fire, (quicker than Heat).
Heat Alarm – Tripped when the temperature rises (Less false Alarm than Smoke).
Flood – Tripped by Water ingress.
Personal Safety – These system help keep people safe.
Personal Attack (PA) – Tripped by remote fob, Panic Button, or secret code.
Medical – Tripped by remote mobile pendent, remote or Keypad.
Kids Home – Notification sent when the Alarm is set/unset by select people.
Manual Alarms – Remote, pendant, Fixed Button.
No Activity Alarms – No motion detected for a set period while alarm is unset.
We are a security firm that can install all forms of home security system and domestic fire alarms including fire alarm testing. We also install residential alarms to full business security systems, just contact us here at TMS.
Intruder Alarm Types
There are two main types of Alarms, Wired and Wireless, the features of both are shown below. TMS will ask a few questions to help select the most appropriate system for your requirements.
Wired Security Alarms
Are simple and reliable units that require a wire between the main unit and each sensor, sounder or Keypad. They often use a single backup battery which is cheap and easy to replace. We usually recommend these systems for new builds where wiring can be built in and out of sight.
Wireless Security Alarms
These Alarm Systems use self-powered sensors and radio wave to communicate with the Alarm. They don’t require wires that might not be acceptable in a fully decorated residential dwelling. The parts for these systems are more expensive to purchase but quicker and neater to install, so can be cheaper overall. They require batteries to power each sensor and as such they have higher maintenance costs. Batteries usually last about 2 years and cost around £4/sensor and £45 for Wireless BB plus fitting and testing.
Encryption – All Wireless Alarm Systems we install use encryption to increase their security.
Dual Frequency – Our wireless Alarm use 2 radio frequencies, making them both more fault tolerant and more secure.
External Building -The long-range Radio can make these ideal for detached Garages/Sheds.
These combine both wired and wireless elements, which can increase the systems flexibility, coverage, and features.
Most Alarms are designed from a selection of different compatible parts.
- Main Controller – Usually just the one.
- Attributes – Different Systems have different Features and Abilities.
- Sensors – Few to many.
- Sounders – Usually one or a few.
Alarm Controller (CPU)
This is the box that controls how the different Sensors and Sounders are used. They usually range from 8 to over a hundred Zones. It can have various features, the most important and common are:
Night and Day Set
We configure most residential Alarms to allow at least 2 Set modes. Full set Arms the whole building and all sensors will be active. Night Set usually Arms the downstairs and Entry Points but allows the occupants to move around free upstairs.
Set / Unset Notification
A notification is sent when specified codes set or unset the system. Often used to let parents know the kids are home after school or the cleaner as arrived at the office, dog walker etc.
If the alarm is unset and no motion is detected for a period of time, the alarm can send a notification to other users. This can be very useful to monitor elderly or infirm people that might fall or become immobile.
Remote Testing / Reporting
Allows offsite testing, which can reduce callouts and costs, some system can report maintenance notifications, to TMS even before the user is aware, especially important in battery/wireless systems.
Remote Key-Pads (RKP)
These allow the system (or an area of it) to be set from that point. Additional RKP’s are often installed at Entry Points (Font and back door), garage, sometimes the master bedroom.
These are small, robust, simple items, often attached to a set of keys that can be ‘swiped’ to Arm/Unarm the system. Due to their size and low-cost nature these can be ideal of kids that might not remember their pin code.
Most alarms can have several different users, which allows it to identify and log who has performed an action, usually set/unset the system. Each user can have many different attributes, we usually set the system to have a code of each user, a SET ONLY code/PIN and a HU/Panic Code.
Set Only Code
Can be used for cleaners and workmen that might need to set the system but should not be able unset it.
Panic Alarm (PA) / Hold Up (HU)
If pressed it will instantly Activate the alarm or sends a notification and at any time.
Unsets the system but sends a notification to let others know or it can active all Sounders.
These can be useful to simplify setting and unsetting different parts of the alarm the alarm. Some have 2-way communication and will ‘ask’ or confirm the alarms set state and allow Panic Alarms (PA) to be activated.
Detects water, usually used in an underground space or tanked basement.
Allow simple a quick notification to be sent if a medical assistance is required.
The alarm makes a warning tone, usually used on doors to notify any occupants that the door has been opened.
Allows the sensor to be ‘Omitted’ from the system, for example if a pet is to be kept in an unusual area, visitors are staying or access is required to a limited room while the system is set, usually a shed or garage etc.
Two ‘motion’ events must be ‘seen’ within a specified period, greatly decreases the possibility of false alarms.
Multiple sensors must be triggered to generate an alarm condition, usually used on commercial properties.
Usually, Sensors are supervised so that the alarms knows if a Sensor has been removed, damaged, or tampered. Some systems allow some sensors not to be Supervised, which can be useful if the sensor is in a portable or mobile device like a car. In these situations, the sensor can trigger the alarm if it is present but removing the device won’t cause an Alarm.
Alarm Sensors for Intruder Alarms
Once the type of Alarm is known, we will decide which type of sensors to use, in which rooms and the number required. The typical sensors we use are listed below.
Magnetic switch fitted to Doors and Windows, simple reliable and cheap to fit but only protect the device it’s directly fitted to, meaning many can be required, often making a PIR a better option. Often used on the Entry Points to allow timed access to the Keypad.
Motion Detectors (MD) Passive Infra-Red (PIR’s)
These are usually the most common Alarm Sensor as these low-cost single sensors can cover a large area. There are many types available for different uses and environments, some can deal with pets, drafts, and rapid temperature changes.
- PIR Detectors (Passive Infra-Red) – These are low cost hence the most common detector.
- PetWise Sensor (PW PIR) – These PIR’s allow pet to move freely without setting the alarm off.
- Dual Tech Sensor (DT PIR) – Combine PIR and Microwave Sensors, great for difficult areas.
- Beam Sensor – These create a beam that if broken, the alarm is activated. They can cover large areas but are usually too limited and expensive for residential properties.
- Anti-Masking Sensor – These are usually only used in high security properties with public access and can detect if the sensor has been covered or blocked.
External Sensors CT/PIR etc
These are usually used to Push a Notification of external movement or perform a task like turning on the flood lights or starting a CCTV Recording.
Shock Sensors (SS)
These measure the impact on an item, usually a door or window. These devices can be used where people or multiple large pets are present while the alarm is set.
Break Glass Sensors (BG)
These sensors “listen” for the sound of breaking glass.
These are small sensors that can be placed on or in high value item such a painting or jewellery boxes and can be set to achieve a range of requirement from basic notification to full alarm.
Fire – Smoke Sensor (SS) / CO2 (CO) / Heat Sensors (HS)
These can be stand-alone units but integrating them into the main alarm can allow additional features like remote notification and external warning.
Hold Up / Panic Alarm (PA)
Usually a fix button, built in the Remote Keypad (RKP) or on a remote fob. These can activate a full alarm at any time or notify other users that help is required.
Use radio waves to cover large areas like Warehouses.
These are used produce sound to give notifications, warning or to attract attention by using very loud sounds, usually in case of an unauthorised intrusion.
Bell Boxes (BB)
Usually mounted externally at height and contain a loud (+100dB) sounder, with an internal power source. They usually also contain a bright Strobe Light, flashing comfort light and a backlight to increase visual deterrent.
Sound Bombs (SB)
Are a very Loud sounder, usually mounted internally and powered directly by the main alarm. These are designed to create an unpleasant sound and drive people away, very useful if the main BB is tempered with.
These create set/unset tones and can often act as a SB, usually built into the RKP but useful if the entry/exit point is a long way from RKP.
Alarm: Questions for Estimates.
TMS are happy to produce an Off-site Estimate for your requirements which forms a baseline for the Burglar Alarm system required. We can choose the right system for your requirements, that will not only work easily with your lifestyle but also protect you, your property, and your assets. For domestic Systems, we usually recommend the optional Master Bedroom PIR as this is often where keys, passport, jewellery, and money are kept.
To do this accurately we need to know:
Contact Details – Name, Address, email, and Phone number?
Property Type – Flat, Bungalow, Maisonette, House, Office, Business or Commercial?
Number of Doors – Points that will be used while the Alarm is Set (Front/Back Door)?
Ground Floor Room – Number of Rooms with External Access (Door/Windows)?
Up Stairs Rooms – Number of Upstairs rooms like Landings and those next to Flat Roofs. An upstairs hall or corridor that can’t be viewed for a single point are usually considered multiple areas.