The Ultimate Guide to Alarm System Installation

Discover how to design, build, and install commercial grade alarm systems to increase employee safety and protect your business assets.

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The Ultimate Guide to Alarm System Installation

Discover how to design, build, and install commercial grade alarm systems to increase employee safety and protect your business assets.

Are you looking to install a new alarm system to protect your business or commercial property? Would you like to be able to get alerts on your smartphone when the alarm is tripped or be able to arm and disarm the system from anywhere?

Welcome to the world of commercial burglar alarm installation and modern burglar alarm solutions.

Commercial alarm systems come in a variety of configurations, integration capabilities, and use cases. Some alarm systems need to cover smaller businesses and can get by with a DIY system with wireless motion detectors and glass break sensors. Others alarm systems need to cover large office spaces or retail spaces and require the careful planning of an experienced security professional. No matter the case, businesses that house expensive merchandise or private data need a commercial grade alarm system.

Why? Because an alarm system, when integrated with your video surveillance system, will record an attempted break-in and alert the local authorities of the criminal activity happening at your facility.

Alarm System Installation

When it comes to alarm installation, there’s a lot of different options and directions you could go in, from DIY home setups to professionally-installed and integrated commercial systems. While a quick, easy DIY alarm system might be okay for monitoring your front door on a tight budget, when you’re looking for high-level, comprehensive and effective security and security measures, a professionally-installed alarm system is the way to go.

It’s Easier
While a simple DIY setup might seem easier than integrating an entire system, especially if it’s just for your home or small business, it’s usually even easier to simply hand things off to the pros and let them do their thing. Professional systems integrators and installers are trained and knowledgeable professionals who know how to plan, estimate, integrate and install customized systems to your exact needs and specifications. They know how to do the work and do it for you, so you can spend your time focused on more important things – like running your business or spending time with your family.

The Installer Does The Maintenance And Upgrades
When you work with a professional systems integrator, they’ll be able to handle all the maintenance and future upgrades to the system and make any repairs, taking such needs off your hands and making your life easier. They’ll be able to help you find the exact software updates and hardware upgrades your system needs to keep it running smoothly and keep your system up to date for years to come.

Get Assistance When Things Go Wrong
When you hire a systems integrator or an alarm installation specialist, they’ll usually provide up-to-date, helpful and convenient tech support and help desk assistance whenever you run into problems and need help troubleshooting your system. This support is sometimes available around-the-clock, too, so you’re never left unsecured or out in the cold when something goes wrong. And if the problems is something you can’t fix with a bit of tech support, they’ll send out an experienced and trained technician to troubleshoot and get things up and running again.

Up-To-Date Security Technology
Systems integrators are up-to-date on the latest in security technology, from advanced radar detection sensors for maximum-security facilities to ultra-high-definition cameras with advanced low-light vision and the latest in analytics algorithms and technology. All these components and technologies can be effectively integrated into one comprehensive system that can be upgraded, scaled and expanded easily, and provide the most cutting-edge technologies to keep your home or business safe for years to come.

Best Prices Available On Security Components
Thanks to their status as distributors, systems integrators and installers are often able to give you the best prices and even discounts on the latest technologies and security components – especially when you’re purchasing and installing an entire system. They’ll usually roll the entire system and installation into one neat, easy package.

Might Even Include Monitoring
Alarm monitoring is not always included or offered by the alarm installation specialist, but often is, providing you with a convenient, comprehensive installation and monitoring package; the same people who installed your system will also monitor and maintain it, allowing for a worry-free, no-hassle security experience. Those integrators and installers who do not monitor will almost always be partnered with a monitoring company who they know and trust, and can get you connected and monitored during the installation process.

6 Best Practices for Alarm System Installation

1. Keypad and Control Panel Placement

2. Program an Alarm System Duress Code

3. Place Sensors in the Right Places

4. Arm Your System at All Times

5. Have Backup Connections in Case of Emergency

6. Don’t Rely on Just the Alarm

We have a more in-depth article covering the 6 Best Practices for Alarm System Installation.

Alarm Takeovers: The Benefits and Features

One of the best ways to update alarm systems is to do what’s called an alarm takeover – don’t worry, it’s a simple and painless process. The alarm system is simply upgraded with a more modern keypad while utilizing the existing wiring. That way, you get the benefits of the latest alarm technologies and features without having to rip out the old one and start from scratch. It’s cheaper than installing a brand new system, too.

A Word On Hardwired Security Systems
Your hardwired security system is most likely a pre-installed, professionally personalized series of sensors and monitors. Contrary to popular belief, a hard-wired system cannot be disabled by simply cutting any old wire (or even just the red one) – that just trips the alarm anyway. There aren’t any batteries you need to replace on a regular basis, and apart from the initial installation, it’s a relatively low-cost system.

Upgrading With An Alarm Takeover
Taking over an alarm system is a fairly simple process. For the sensors and wiring, it’s mainly just a repair job – only the broken elements are replaced. The heart of the takeover happens in two places: the old metal box where your control panel sits, and the ugly old keypad on the wall. The outdated panel in your box is replaced with one that matches the new keypad, linking your old sensors to a new interface. Your new keypad often uses cellular communication to talk to your smartphone, allowing you to control your alarm system through a simple app.

New Features
The new touchscreen keypad allows for brand new features on top of the original’s basic functions. You can set up delays and schedules to automatically activate your security system, either when you leave for the day or want to turn in for the night. You’ll also be able to connect your security system to your home automation system like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, allowing you to use voice commands to arm or disarm your alarm system as well as your lights.

Going Wireless
A hardwired to wireless alarm takeover is possible, allowing you to add wireless sensors or keypads to your existing system. In a wireless takeover, your door and window sensors are routed into a wireless translator that sends the signals to a wireless touchscreen keypad. Some sensors can’t be translated safely, though – while motion and smoke detectors will technically integrate with your new wireless panel, they run a fairly high risk of blowing its fuse because they draw too much power. If you want anything more than door and window sensors, you don’t want a wireless system.

Components of Alarm Systems

The best business security systems have a few major qualities in common: they’re robust, they’re difficult to circumvent, and they’re matched to the needs of the business in question. Burglar alarms come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, so you want to build a custom setup that meets your individual needs. Regardless of how they’re set up, though, every commercial security system should have these parts:

Control Panel

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

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

alarm contact sensor
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.

Do You Need A Monitoring Service?

Once your alarm system is up and running, will you subscribe to a monitoring service? With most monitoring packages, you have 24/7 access to a support center which would respond to any alerts or alarms. They’re able to have emergency services dispatched or disarm the system in case of a false alarm.

How Smoke Detectors Work

Both kinds of smoke detectors include a power supply, a detector, and an electronic horn or siren. The power supply can either be a battery or a cable that ties into another power source, typically the building’s. The horn is used to signal a fire or indicate a low battery with shrill sirens or an intermittent series of ear-piercing chirps, respectively. The detection mechanism depends on the type of burning object the alarm is designed to detect.

smoke detector alarm system

Ionization Smoke Detectors
In an ionization smoke detector, air is ionized by a slightly radioactive element (commonly americium-241). The alpha particles emitted by the americium charge air particles that are allowed to flow into the ionization chamber. The charged air particles move between two charged plates according to their new positive or negative charge, completing an electrical circuit. This can be done simultaneously in both a sealed control tube and an open section. The control tube is used to determine a baseline, while the area open to the ambient air is used to detect fires. When smoke enters the detector, the ionized air bonds to the smoke particles, breaking the circuit and sending out an alarm. Ionization detectors are best at detecting fires that are producing flames as opposed to smoldering fires.

Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
Photoelectric (or optical) sensors, on the other hand, use a beam of light to detect changes in the air. The light can be visible, infrared, or ultraviolet, and detects smoke based on the light scattering that occurs when smoke partially obstructs the light. There are two types of these optical detectors – in one, the light is directed into the sensor and the alarm is sounded when the received light falls below a certain threshold due to scattering. In the second, more common kind, the sensor only receives light reflected from smoke, and triggers when the reflected light rises above a tolerable level. All photoelectric smoke detectors react better to slow-starting, smoldering fires than ionization detectors, but despite some difficulty they can also detect flaming, fast-growing fires as well. Optical smoke detectors react to smoke earlier than ionization detectors, making them the primary choice for residential and commercial safety systems.

Integrated Alarms
Residential smoke detectors are often stand-alone, battery-powered units mounted on the ceiling, but they can be wired into your home’s power as well. It’s also possible to plug them into your burglar alarm, either wirelessly or through cabling. Integrating them into your alarm system gives you more control over your system and can let you monitor them from your alarm keypad.

How Motion Detectors Work

There are a few types of motion detectors available for security systems, but they fall into two distinct categories: Passive and Active. Active systems measure the presence of objects by sending and receiving a signal of some sort, while passive systems simply wait for changes to occur.

motion detector alarm system

Passive Infrared Motion Detectors
The most common are Passive Infrared or PIR sensors that detect rapid changes in the infrared spectrum. Heat from objects and people is emitted as infrared light, invisible to the human eye but detectable by PIR. Most PIR sensors use Fresnel lenses arrayed to focus the infrared light into the sensor, and when a rapid change is detected across its field of view a signal is sent out. Very slow changes, however, do not trigger the sensor, so it is theoretically possible to thwart them by moving very slowly. In practice, this threshold is impossible to determine on the fly, and security motion detectors are never the only system to defeat, so defeating a PIR is difficult. The PIR can be attached to a silent alarm, floodlights, a siren, or a camera to activate the security system.

Active Motion Detectors
Active motion detectors are less common, but are still useful for security purposes. Some use an emitter that sends a beam of light across a hallway or room into a photosensitive receptor. If the beam is broken, the sensor sends a signal just like a PIR would. These are commonly seen at the bottom of residential garage doors, acting as a kind of safety switch; if a person or object crosses the beam, the door stops moving.

Other active sensors use reflected ultrasonic waves to measure the environment. Sonar detectors emit a sound wave and measure the time and intensity of their return – a change in either sets off the alarm, triggers the camera, or otherwise alerts you to a possible intruder. A similar sensor uses radar in the same way. Radio microwave pulses are sent out, timed, and measured on return.

Security Cameras As Motion Detectors
Today’s surveillance cameras can also be used as motion detectors through rudimentary video analytics. A virtual line or box is designated on the control screen, and when the camera detects an object crossing, entering, or leaving that area, any number of signals can be sent out. The camera can begin recording, turn on lights, activate a siren or silent alarm, or send you a notification. Advanced analytics can be set to react only when a person or vehicle enters the area, reducing or eliminating false alarms. Using your security cameras as motion detectors can cut down on your system’s complexity, but you may be limiting your security system if you don’t have independent motion sensors.

Panic Buttons

Panic buttons come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: they allow you to summon the authorities immediately. Like verified alarms, the police treat panic alarms as calls-in-progress. Other alarms sent out by your burglar alarm aren’t as likely to get a high-priority response as an emergency alert because they’re more likely to be a false alarm.

Hardwired Panic Buttons
Banks and high-traffic offices typically utilize desk-mounted panic buttons hardwired into the building’s burglar alarm. These silent alarms are commonly used when dangerous people begin to cause a disturbance. A panic button hidden in the wall just above the receptionist’s desk can quickly diffuse a volatile situation long before it might otherwise have been reported.

Silent Or Siren?
As mentioned above, commercial panic buttons often connect to silent alarms, but there are instances where you want a loud siren to ward off intruders. Banks generally want their panic buttons silent because sirens could aggravate or provoke armed robbers. The same goes for offices and retail spaces – violent outbursts in confined spaces usually don’t end well. On the other hand, larger campuses with multiple exits may call for an audible alarm. If an incident does occur, people in other rooms or buildings will be alerted and can either evacuate or lock down.

Wireless Panic Buttons
Other panic buttons are designed to be carried around, typically on a lanyard, necklace, key fob, or even a wristband. They’re virtually identical to medical alert buttons, and as such they can be used for the same purposes. These personal panic buttons are especially useful for large companies or other campuses where a dangerous situation might arise anywhere. An embedded panic button won’t do much good if there’s no one there to press it.

Modern Alarm Features

Modern Alarm Features

When you think of burglar alarms, you probably think of door and window sensors controlled by a blocky beige 10-button keypad. While you are technically correct – that is indeed an alarm system – it’s not the modern standard.

By the calendar, those keypads are aging. With the technology available today, they’re archaic. The modern security system looks like someone hung an oversized smartphone or a tablet on the wall, and they work kind of like that, too – they do so much more than the keypad.

5 Reasons to Upgrade to a Modern Burglar Alarm

1. Intuitive Interface
Not only are your settings options limited on an old push-button pad, your ability to change them is, too. At best, it might be difficult to figure out, whether you have the manual on hand or not. At worst, you might accidentally convince your system you’re a burglar trying to tamper with it.

In contrast, modern alarm keypads have the comforting familiarity of a touchscreen, with all the information and menu options clearly displayed for you. The settings are easy to understand and just a swipe or tap away instead of buried in scrolling menus.

2. Modern Features
The new touchscreens support arming delays – it won’t trigger the alarm for a set time after you arm it to leave, and some allow you to extend that time if you haven’t opened the door yet. They can even set your alarms for you on a regular schedule. Program it with your routine, and the system will arm itself exactly when you want it to.

3. System Disarm Photos
Want to know who’s arming and disarming your system when? Qolsys makes a keypad called the IQ Panel 2 that includes a small camera on the frame. Any time the system is armed or disarmed, the keypad will take a nice clean picture of whoever did it. The best feature of the IQ2 is the ability to arm and disarm automatically with Bluetooth on your smartphone.

4. Cellular Connectivity
Your old alarm system is self-contained and impossible to access from anywhere but the physical keypad. While this is nice and secure, it’s highly inconvenient when you want to use it from the other room or outside.

This is where your new touchpad and smartphone meet. Your phone can already connect to everything else in your house – why not your alarm system? Simply by using an app, you can remotely arm or disarm your system, change its settings, or even check in on it while you’re out. Your phone isn’t the only device you can pair with your new system – the app can link it to your smartwatch, your Amazon Alexa or Google Home device, or even your Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV.

5. Connecting To Your Smart Home
The new systems also connect to your Z-wave smart home automation system – whatever automation you have hooked up to door locks or lights, a modern touchscreen can interface with them and even act as the main control pad. Want to set up a convenient schedule that dims your lights for the evening and locks your doors? Your old keypad couldn’t do that, but your new one can.

How The Alarm.com App Keeps You Secure

Smart Home Security Devices are reshaping the way people protect their homes, providing them with all-in-one, integrated solutions that can be controlled easily and remotely from their smartphone or tablet. In the past, arming or disarming your alarm system could only be done from the control panel keypad, place somewhere inside the house. With the advent of smart security systems, like the Alarm.com app, you can now arm, disarm and check-in on your home’s security from your phone, anywhere and anytime. Let’s take a look at how the Alarm.com App works and some of the features and functionality it provides.

Ease Of Use & Interconnectedness
Setting up and using the Alarm.com app is as simple and user-friendly as can be. Download the app to your phone or tablet and pair with your smart home security system via the cloud, and you’re ready to go. It’s that simple. From there, you’ll be able to control not only your Alarm.com security system, but also any connected, integrated devices such as smart lights, thermostats and smart locks – all of which are connected either by Bluetooth or some one other connectivity standard, such as Z-Wave.

Arm & Disarm The House Remotely
Ever forget to arm your security system before leaving the house? The Alarm.com app solves that problem, as you can simply log on and arm the system from your phone anytime. If you ever need to disarm it remotely – to let visitors enter while you’re gone, for example – that can be done just as easily.

Likewise, if you forget to turn certain household appliances off – like your lights or thermostat – the Alarm.com app lets you do that, too, thanks to the sheer amount of smart home integration it is capable of.

Notifications & Alerts
The Alarm.Com app also has a wide arsenal of notifications and alerts built in, ranging from reminders that you forgot to lock the front door (which can then be done remotely, via the app) to no-show alerts, which tells you if someone who was supposed to arrive and disarm the alarm (say, a child returning from school or the pet sitter) fails to turn up. The app can also send you alerts notifying you when doors have been accessed and opened, letting you dismiss the notifications if it’s an authorized user or sound the alarm if it isn’t.

Another innovative feature that Alarm.Com App offers is User Codes, which are customized 4-digit or 6-digit codes that can be assigned to particular users. Your dog-walker can have his or her own user code, as can your kids or the cleaners. When this unique user code is used to disarm the system and enter the house, the Alarm.com app will notify you of exactly who entered and when.

Smart Signal: Verify Alarms From Your Phone
Alarm.com also recently unveiled their new Smart Signal feature, which serves as a direct connection to your alarm monitoring station and unlocks a whole series of new features on the app. These include a panic alert function, as well as the ability to quickly verify a triggered alarm or cancel a false alarm – all using buttons placed conveniently within the app. Each button immediately sends a Smart Signal to the monitoring station, allowing them to respond or contact authorities as needed. Panic alert mode is also completely silent at the alarm’s physical location, to avoid further alarming intruders.

Remote Monitoring Via The Alarm.Com App
One of the best advantages of the Alarm.com app is also the ability to monitor the video feed of your WiFi-connected smart security cameras, remotely and directly in the app. With this functionality, you can virtually drop in on the house any time you feel the need, checking in on any disturbances and even seeing who is at the front door via your doorbell camera.

With the right setup, you can also record your video feed when activity is detected, allowing you to see a recorded video of the exact moment that something occurred. See who pulled up the driveway and get a picture of their license plate or see who rang the front doorbell – after the fact.

Image Sensor For Wireless Monitoring
Alarm.com’s Image Sensor snaps still images of your home, transmitting them to the app via a dedicated cellular connection. This allows you to stay connected even when the power goes out or some other emergency severs your WiFi. Furthermore, the Image Sensor features a 3-year battery life, ensuring you know what’s going on in your home and never have to worry about forgetting the batteries. Use it to check in anytime, just like the remote video monitoring, or use it when an emergency occurs; the Image Sensor is automatically activated by emergencies like break-ins and fire alarms.

Geo-Services For Convenient Control
While not strictly security-minded, Alarm.com’s Geo-services is an extremely useful feature that can make using your smart security system much easier. Geo-Services allows you to set customized, automatic alerts and functions determined by your physical location. For example, if your phone leaves a certain defined geographic area without the system being armed, it will send you an alert or automatically lock the door for you. You can also set it to detect when you’re on your way home and disarm the system, turn up the thermostat, etc.

Using The Alarm.Com App For Business
While you may primarily think of the Alarm.com app as being for your home, it can also be used for all sorts of small business applications – such as retail shops and small offices. Use it within smart security cameras for security on a budget, and enjoy all the same features you do at home – at work.

Hardwired vs Wireless Burglar Alarms

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Hardwired Alarm System

When securing a commercial facility or office building, hardwired systems are usually a better solution than wireless systems. They’re more reliable and more effective, while still capable of many of the same powerful system functions that wireless alarm systems come with. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider a hardwired alarm system.

1. Reliable Over Long Distances
If you’re running a warehouse or other large facility, you need your security system to cover large areas. Wireless systems may be easier to install, but a hardwired system might be the smarter choice for in this case; wireless systems can lose signal over long distances, when sensors are too far from the control panel. Hardwired systems don’t have this problem, making them a more effective solution for warehouse security.

2. Not Affected By Walls, Concrete Or Metal
Wireless signals are easily blocked by heavy and thick materials like concrete and metal, found in walls and other structures; signals go around objects, not through them, and objects or walls effective range can drastically reduce effective range. Hardwired systems don’t run into this; if cabling can be physically run between the sensor and the control panel, you’ll have a secure connection.

3. You Can Do A Hardwired Alarm Takeover
When you install a hardwired system in your building, you’re not stuck with any one alarm system or manufacturer; the wiring can later be appropriated through a hardwired alarm takeover. The new alarm company takes over service and monitoring, using the old control panels and sensors or installing new ones as needed, all without modifying existing wiring. Wireless systems can be taken over, too, but wired systems provide more flexibility.

4. They Work With Wireless Components
If a situation does necessitate wireless sensors or cameras, most hardwired systems are still compatible with them, allowing more flexibility for creating alarm systems. DSC’s PowerSeries Neo systems, for example, are designed to support both wired and wireless zones.

5. Scalable
Hardwired security systems can be scaled to cover almost any size warehouse or facility, unlike wireless systems – which can generally support only a limited number of sensors and hardware.

6. Don’t Require Batteries
Hardwired systems run off power cables, eliminating any need to replace batteries or monitor battery level. Forgetting to replace batteries could leave your facility unsecured and vulnerable to break-ins; wired alarm systems just use the building’s main power supply.

7. Not Vulnerable To Wireless Interference
Wireless alarm systems using RF or cellular signals are easily affected by interference from other wireless devices, such as radios. Hardwired systems aren’t susceptible this and continue functioning unless the wiring itself is physically damaged.

8. Less Vulnerable To Hacking
In the rare case of attempted hacking, wired alarm systems are more secure than wireless systems. There’s almost no way to hack the system, and a burglar or hacker would have to physically tap into the wires or connect to the alarm panel – much more complex and difficult than intercepting a wireless signal or Wi-Fi network – or by physically cutting wires.

9. They Support Multiple Keypads
Hardwired alarm system allow multiple keypads to be set up at various locations throughout the building, creating multiple system access and control points where you can arm and disarm your system, change settings and customize system parameters conveniently in large facilities.

10. Smart And Convenient
Like the idea of remote access and viewing from mobile app, and other smart features that wireless systems offer? Hardwired systems have them too; wired systems and keypads from DSC, Honeywell and other top manufacturers support remote access and a variety of convenient, smart and intelligent functions.

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Wireless Alarm System

If it’s time to install a new security system for your business, you might want to look at wireless alarm systems. Wireless alarms are excellent choices for several reasons – and not just because they look sleeker.

Hardwired alarm systems have long been the system of use for most commercial applications – and in many cases still are. But with the proliferation and constant improvements in wireless systems, there are many situations where a wireless alarm system may be right for your building or facility’s security demands and budget.

Here are 10 reasons why you should consider a wireless alarm system for your business.

1. Easy To Install
This is generally why businesses (and homeowners) opt for wireless alarm systems. They don’t need physical cabling, which means they are far simpler and faster to install than wired systems; there’s no need to rip out parts of the wall or put in conduit. Instead, place the wireless sensors in the proper locations, power them up and turn them on in a matter of minutes – not days.

2. Practical And Easy To Use
Lack of wires makes wireless alarm systems practical and easy solutions for areas where wires are impractical and get in the way. You place sensors exactly where they’re most needed, moving them around as priorities change, and put the keypad where can be easily accessed – without the bulk of cables.

3. Cheaper Than Wired Alarm Systems
Thanks to their lesser installation costs, wireless alarm systems are generally far less expensive than their wired counterparts. It can be tough to justify the cost of a wired installation for small areas or facilities – where only a few sensors may be needed – but wireless systems are a practical alternative. They’re perfect for small commercial enterprises and facilities that don’t need to invest in heavy security systems.

4. Easy To Place And Move
Wireless sensors, motion detectors and cameras can be moved and placed anywhere in your building or property. Use them to create the configuration and setup that accomplishes your business’s demands. If those needs change, you can simply move sensors to suit.

5. Can Be Easily Expanded
Wireless security system may not be as scalable as wired systems – which can often accommodate hundreds of sensors and motion detectors – but they are still easily expanded; adding more devices is easy, and the number of sensors a control panel can accommodate is constantly expanding. Create the system to your initial liking, but be assured that it can then be added on and customized to suit your changing needs.

6. They’re Smart
Wireless Alarm Systems utilize the latest in wireless security tech, using protocols such as Z-Wave to communicate between smart home features and control panel instead of cabling. This means they’re primed for integrating with smart home automation, giving you total access to both security and home system from a single interface and without the physical constraints of wires.

7. Latest In Security Tech
As more and more users switch to wireless alarm systems, manufacturers keep innovating – creating new technologies and improving on current ones to make their wireless systems safer, smarter and easier to use. Recent innovations include secure wireless protocols like PowerG or DSC’s 3-step visual, audio and sequential verification.

8. Work During Power Outages
Without a backup power supply in place, wired alarm systems stop running during power outages or if the power supply is cut. Wireless alarm systems use battery power to prevent this; the control panel has battery power as a backup in case of power outages, while the sensors and devices run off battery always.

9. You Can’t Cut The Cord
Traditionally, hardwired alarm systems communicate with the monitoring station via a landline connection – which could be cut, disconnecting the system from the service. One of the many innovations of wireless alarm systems was introducing a cellular link with which to communicate to the monitoring station, making it impossible to cut the line of communication.

10. Transferable To New Locations
One important reason to consider a wireless alarm system is their convenience when moving to new locations. If your business needs to relocate, you can physically “pack up” the alarm system and move it to the new building. Or, you can move the system to different locations throughout the property in order to find the spot in which they are most useful.

How To Choose Between a Wired Or Wireless Alarm System?

If you’re unsure of whether a wired or wireless alarm system is better for you, talking to a professional alarm installer might be the right step for you. They’ll be able to get the most accurate and comprehensive picture of what your security needs are, account for any additional installation steps (such as installing wiring in your home or business, if there isn’t any) and help you find the right system for your budget and circumstances. If reliability and budget are priorities, you’ll likely be better off with a hardwired system, while a wireless system will likely be better when convenience, remote access and smart home integration are more important.

Are you looking to install a new alarm system to protect your business or commercial property? Would you like to be able to get alerts on your smartphone when the alarm is tripped or be able to arm and disarm the system from anywhere?

Welcome to the world of commercial burglar alarm installation and modern burglar alarm solutions.

Commercial alarm systems come in a variety of configurations, integration capabilities, and use cases. Some alarm systems need to cover smaller businesses and can get by with a DIY system with wireless motion detectors and glass break sensors. Others alarm systems need to cover large office spaces or retail spaces and require the careful planning of an experienced security professional. No matter the case, businesses that house expensive merchandise or private data need a commercial grade alarm system.

Why? Because an alarm system, when integrated with your video surveillance system, will record an attempted break-in and alert the local authorities of the criminal activity happening at your facility.

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Alarm System Installation

When it comes to alarm installation, there’s a lot of different options and directions you could go in, from DIY home setups to professionally-installed and integrated commercial systems. While a quick, easy DIY alarm system might be okay for monitoring your front door on a tight budget, when you’re looking for high-level, comprehensive and effective security and security measures, a professionally-installed alarm system is the way to go.

It’s Easier
While a simple DIY setup might seem easier than integrating an entire system, especially if it’s just for your home or small business, it’s usually even easier to simply hand things off to the pros and let them do their thing. Professional systems integrators and installers are trained and knowledgeable professionals who know how to plan, estimate, integrate and install customized systems to your exact needs and specifications. They know how to do the work and do it for you, so you can spend your time focused on more important things – like running your business or spending time with your family.

The Installer Does The Maintenance And Upgrades
When you work with a professional systems integrator, they’ll be able to handle all the maintenance and future upgrades to the system and make any repairs, taking such needs off your hands and making your life easier. They’ll be able to help you find the exact software updates and hardware upgrades your system needs to keep it running smoothly and keep your system up to date for years to come.

Get Assistance When Things Go Wrong
When you hire a systems integrator or an alarm installation specialist, they’ll usually provide up-to-date, helpful and convenient tech support and help desk assistance whenever you run into problems and need help troubleshooting your system. This support is sometimes available around-the-clock, too, so you’re never left unsecured or out in the cold when something goes wrong. And if the problems is something you can’t fix with a bit of tech support, they’ll send out an experienced and trained technician to troubleshoot and get things up and running again.

Up-To-Date Security Technology
Systems integrators are up-to-date on the latest in security technology, from advanced radar detection sensors for maximum-security facilities to ultra-high-definition cameras with advanced low-light vision and the latest in analytics algorithms and technology. All these components and technologies can be effectively integrated into one comprehensive system that can be upgraded, scaled and expanded easily, and provide the most cutting-edge technologies to keep your home or business safe for years to come.

Best Prices Available On Security Components
Thanks to their status as distributors, systems integrators and installers are often able to give you the best prices and even discounts on the latest technologies and security components – especially when you’re purchasing and installing an entire system. They’ll usually roll the entire system and installation into one neat, easy package.

Might Even Include Monitoring
Alarm monitoring is not always included or offered by the alarm installation specialist, but often is, providing you with a convenient, comprehensive installation and monitoring package; the same people who installed your system will also monitor and maintain it, allowing for a worry-free, no-hassle security experience. Those integrators and installers who do not monitor will almost always be partnered with a monitoring company who they know and trust, and can get you connected and monitored during the installation process.

6 Best Practices for Alarm System Installation

1. Keypad and Control Panel Placement

2. Program an Alarm System Duress Code

3. Place Sensors in the Right Places

4. Arm Your System at All Times

5. Have Backup Connections in Case of Emergency

6. Don’t Rely on Just the Alarm

We have a more in-depth article covering the 6 Best Practices for Alarm System Installation.

Alarm Takeovers: The Benefits and Features

One of the best ways to update alarm systems is to do what’s called an alarm takeover – don’t worry, it’s a simple and painless process. The alarm system is simply upgraded with a more modern keypad while utilizing the existing wiring. That way, you get the benefits of the latest alarm technologies and features without having to rip out the old one and start from scratch. It’s cheaper than installing a brand new system, too.

A Word On Hardwired Security Systems
Your hardwired security system is most likely a pre-installed, professionally personalized series of sensors and monitors. Contrary to popular belief, a hard-wired system cannot be disabled by simply cutting any old wire (or even just the red one) – that just trips the alarm anyway. There aren’t any batteries you need to replace on a regular basis, and apart from the initial installation, it’s a relatively low-cost system.

Upgrading With An Alarm Takeover
Taking over an alarm system is a fairly simple process. For the sensors and wiring, it’s mainly just a repair job – only the broken elements are replaced. The heart of the takeover happens in two places: the old metal box where your control panel sits, and the ugly old keypad on the wall. The outdated panel in your box is replaced with one that matches the new keypad, linking your old sensors to a new interface. Your new keypad often uses cellular communication to talk to your smartphone, allowing you to control your alarm system through a simple app.

New Features
The new touchscreen keypad allows for brand new features on top of the original’s basic functions. You can set up delays and schedules to automatically activate your security system, either when you leave for the day or want to turn in for the night. You’ll also be able to connect your security system to your home automation system like Amazon Alexa or Google Home, allowing you to use voice commands to arm or disarm your alarm system as well as your lights.

Going Wireless
A hardwired to wireless alarm takeover is possible, allowing you to add wireless sensors or keypads to your existing system. In a wireless takeover, your door and window sensors are routed into a wireless translator that sends the signals to a wireless touchscreen keypad. Some sensors can’t be translated safely, though – while motion and smoke detectors will technically integrate with your new wireless panel, they run a fairly high risk of blowing its fuse because they draw too much power. If you want anything more than door and window sensors, you don’t want a wireless system.

Components of Alarm Systems

The best business security systems have a few major qualities in common: they’re robust, they’re difficult to circumvent, and they’re matched to the needs of the business in question. Burglar alarms come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, so you want to build a custom setup that meets your individual needs. Regardless of how they’re set up, though, every commercial security system should have these parts:

Control Panel


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

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

alarm contact sensor
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.

Do You Need A Monitoring Service?

Once your alarm system is up and running, will you subscribe to a monitoring service? With most monitoring packages, you have 24/7 access to a support center which would respond to any alerts or alarms. They’re able to have emergency services dispatched or disarm the system in case of a false alarm.

How Smoke Detectors Work

Both kinds of smoke detectors include a power supply, a detector, and an electronic horn or siren. The power supply can either be a battery or a cable that ties into another power source, typically the building’s. The horn is used to signal a fire or indicate a low battery with shrill sirens or an intermittent series of ear-piercing chirps, respectively. The detection mechanism depends on the type of burning object the alarm is designed to detect.

smoke detector alarm system

Ionization Smoke Detectors
In an ionization smoke detector, air is ionized by a slightly radioactive element (commonly americium-241). The alpha particles emitted by the americium charge air particles that are allowed to flow into the ionization chamber. The charged air particles move between two charged plates according to their new positive or negative charge, completing an electrical circuit. This can be done simultaneously in both a sealed control tube and an open section. The control tube is used to determine a baseline, while the area open to the ambient air is used to detect fires. When smoke enters the detector, the ionized air bonds to the smoke particles, breaking the circuit and sending out an alarm. Ionization detectors are best at detecting fires that are producing flames as opposed to smoldering fires.

Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
Photoelectric (or optical) sensors, on the other hand, use a beam of light to detect changes in the air. The light can be visible, infrared, or ultraviolet, and detects smoke based on the light scattering that occurs when smoke partially obstructs the light. There are two types of these optical detectors – in one, the light is directed into the sensor and the alarm is sounded when the received light falls below a certain threshold due to scattering. In the second, more common kind, the sensor only receives light reflected from smoke, and triggers when the reflected light rises above a tolerable level. All photoelectric smoke detectors react better to slow-starting, smoldering fires than ionization detectors, but despite some difficulty they can also detect flaming, fast-growing fires as well. Optical smoke detectors react to smoke earlier than ionization detectors, making them the primary choice for residential and commercial safety systems.

Integrated Alarms
Residential smoke detectors are often stand-alone, battery-powered units mounted on the ceiling, but they can be wired into your home’s power as well. It’s also possible to plug them into your burglar alarm, either wirelessly or through cabling. Integrating them into your alarm system gives you more control over your system and can let you monitor them from your alarm keypad.

How Motion Detectors Work

There are a few types of motion detectors available for security systems, but they fall into two distinct categories: Passive and Active. Active systems measure the presence of objects by sending and receiving a signal of some sort, while passive systems simply wait for changes to occur.

motion detector alarm system

Passive Infrared Motion Detectors
The most common are Passive Infrared or PIR sensors that detect rapid changes in the infrared spectrum. Heat from objects and people is emitted as infrared light, invisible to the human eye but detectable by PIR. Most PIR sensors use Fresnel lenses arrayed to focus the infrared light into the sensor, and when a rapid change is detected across its field of view a signal is sent out. Very slow changes, however, do not trigger the sensor, so it is theoretically possible to thwart them by moving very slowly. In practice, this threshold is impossible to determine on the fly, and security motion detectors are never the only system to defeat, so defeating a PIR is difficult. The PIR can be attached to a silent alarm, floodlights, a siren, or a camera to activate the security system.

Active Motion Detectors
Active motion detectors are less common, but are still useful for security purposes. Some use an emitter that sends a beam of light across a hallway or room into a photosensitive receptor. If the beam is broken, the sensor sends a signal just like a PIR would. These are commonly seen at the bottom of residential garage doors, acting as a kind of safety switch; if a person or object crosses the beam, the door stops moving.

Other active sensors use reflected ultrasonic waves to measure the environment. Sonar detectors emit a sound wave and measure the time and intensity of their return – a change in either sets off the alarm, triggers the camera, or otherwise alerts you to a possible intruder. A similar sensor uses radar in the same way. Radio microwave pulses are sent out, timed, and measured on return.

Security Cameras As Motion Detectors
Today’s surveillance cameras can also be used as motion detectors through rudimentary video analytics. A virtual line or box is designated on the control screen, and when the camera detects an object crossing, entering, or leaving that area, any number of signals can be sent out. The camera can begin recording, turn on lights, activate a siren or silent alarm, or send you a notification. Advanced analytics can be set to react only when a person or vehicle enters the area, reducing or eliminating false alarms. Using your security cameras as motion detectors can cut down on your system’s complexity, but you may be limiting your security system if you don’t have independent motion sensors.

Panic Buttons

Panic buttons come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: they allow you to summon the authorities immediately. Like verified alarms, the police treat panic alarms as calls-in-progress. Other alarms sent out by your burglar alarm aren’t as likely to get a high-priority response as an emergency alert because they’re more likely to be a false alarm.

Hardwired Panic Buttons
Banks and high-traffic offices typically utilize desk-mounted panic buttons hardwired into the building’s burglar alarm. These silent alarms are commonly used when dangerous people begin to cause a disturbance. A panic button hidden in the wall just above the receptionist’s desk can quickly diffuse a volatile situation long before it might otherwise have been reported.

Silent Or Siren?
As mentioned above, commercial panic buttons often connect to silent alarms, but there are instances where you want a loud siren to ward off intruders. Banks generally want their panic buttons silent because sirens could aggravate or provoke armed robbers. The same goes for offices and retail spaces – violent outbursts in confined spaces usually don’t end well. On the other hand, larger campuses with multiple exits may call for an audible alarm. If an incident does occur, people in other rooms or buildings will be alerted and can either evacuate or lock down.

Wireless Panic Buttons
Other panic buttons are designed to be carried around, typically on a lanyard, necklace, key fob, or even a wristband. They’re virtually identical to medical alert buttons, and as such they can be used for the same purposes. These personal panic buttons are especially useful for large companies or other campuses where a dangerous situation might arise anywhere. An embedded panic button won’t do much good if there’s no one there to press it.

Modern Alarm Features

Modern Alarm Features

When you think of burglar alarms, you probably think of door and window sensors controlled by a blocky beige 10-button keypad. While you are technically correct – that is indeed an alarm system – it’s not the modern standard.

By the calendar, those keypads are aging. With the technology available today, they’re archaic. The modern security system looks like someone hung an oversized smartphone or a tablet on the wall, and they work kind of like that, too – they do so much more than the keypad.

5 Reasons to Upgrade to a Modern Burglar Alarm

1. Intuitive Interface
Not only are your settings options limited on an old push-button pad, your ability to change them is, too. At best, it might be difficult to figure out, whether you have the manual on hand or not. At worst, you might accidentally convince your system you’re a burglar trying to tamper with it.

In contrast, modern alarm keypads have the comforting familiarity of a touchscreen, with all the information and menu options clearly displayed for you. The settings are easy to understand and just a swipe or tap away instead of buried in scrolling menus.

2. Modern Features
The new touchscreens support arming delays – it won’t trigger the alarm for a set time after you arm it to leave, and some allow you to extend that time if you haven’t opened the door yet. They can even set your alarms for you on a regular schedule. Program it with your routine, and the system will arm itself exactly when you want it to.

3. System Disarm Photos
Want to know who’s arming and disarming your system when? Qolsys makes a keypad called the IQ Panel 2 that includes a small camera on the frame. Any time the system is armed or disarmed, the keypad will take a nice clean picture of whoever did it. The best feature of the IQ2 is the ability to arm and disarm automatically with Bluetooth on your smartphone.

4. Cellular Connectivity
Your old alarm system is self-contained and impossible to access from anywhere but the physical keypad. While this is nice and secure, it’s highly inconvenient when you want to use it from the other room or outside.

This is where your new touchpad and smartphone meet. Your phone can already connect to everything else in your house – why not your alarm system? Simply by using an app, you can remotely arm or disarm your system, change its settings, or even check in on it while you’re out. Your phone isn’t the only device you can pair with your new system – the app can link it to your smartwatch, your Amazon Alexa or Google Home device, or even your Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV.

5. Connecting To Your Smart Home
The new systems also connect to your Z-wave smart home automation system – whatever automation you have hooked up to door locks or lights, a modern touchscreen can interface with them and even act as the main control pad. Want to set up a convenient schedule that dims your lights for the evening and locks your doors? Your old keypad couldn’t do that, but your new one can.

How The Alarm.com App Keeps You Secure

Smart Home Security Devices are reshaping the way people protect their homes, providing them with all-in-one, integrated solutions that can be controlled easily and remotely from their smartphone or tablet. In the past, arming or disarming your alarm system could only be done from the control panel keypad, place somewhere inside the house. With the advent of smart security systems, like the Alarm.com app, you can now arm, disarm and check-in on your home’s security from your phone, anywhere and anytime. Let’s take a look at how the Alarm.com App works and some of the features and functionality it provides.

Ease Of Use & Interconnectedness
Setting up and using the Alarm.com app is as simple and user-friendly as can be. Download the app to your phone or tablet and pair with your smart home security system via the cloud, and you’re ready to go. It’s that simple. From there, you’ll be able to control not only your Alarm.com security system, but also any connected, integrated devices such as smart lights, thermostats and smart locks – all of which are connected either by Bluetooth or some one other connectivity standard, such as Z-Wave.

Arm & Disarm The House Remotely
Ever forget to arm your security system before leaving the house? The Alarm.com app solves that problem, as you can simply log on and arm the system from your phone anytime. If you ever need to disarm it remotely – to let visitors enter while you’re gone, for example – that can be done just as easily.

Likewise, if you forget to turn certain household appliances off – like your lights or thermostat – the Alarm.com app lets you do that, too, thanks to the sheer amount of smart home integration it is capable of.

Notifications & Alerts
The Alarm.Com app also has a wide arsenal of notifications and alerts built in, ranging from reminders that you forgot to lock the front door (which can then be done remotely, via the app) to no-show alerts, which tells you if someone who was supposed to arrive and disarm the alarm (say, a child returning from school or the pet sitter) fails to turn up. The app can also send you alerts notifying you when doors have been accessed and opened, letting you dismiss the notifications if it’s an authorized user or sound the alarm if it isn’t.

Another innovative feature that Alarm.Com App offers is User Codes, which are customized 4-digit or 6-digit codes that can be assigned to particular users. Your dog-walker can have his or her own user code, as can your kids or the cleaners. When this unique user code is used to disarm the system and enter the house, the Alarm.com app will notify you of exactly who entered and when.

Smart Signal: Verify Alarms From Your Phone
Alarm.com also recently unveiled their new Smart Signal feature, which serves as a direct connection to your alarm monitoring station and unlocks a whole series of new features on the app. These include a panic alert function, as well as the ability to quickly verify a triggered alarm or cancel a false alarm – all using buttons placed conveniently within the app. Each button immediately sends a Smart Signal to the monitoring station, allowing them to respond or contact authorities as needed. Panic alert mode is also completely silent at the alarm’s physical location, to avoid further alarming intruders.

Remote Monitoring Via The Alarm.Com App
One of the best advantages of the Alarm.com app is also the ability to monitor the video feed of your WiFi-connected smart security cameras, remotely and directly in the app. With this functionality, you can virtually drop in on the house any time you feel the need, checking in on any disturbances and even seeing who is at the front door via your doorbell camera.

With the right setup, you can also record your video feed when activity is detected, allowing you to see a recorded video of the exact moment that something occurred. See who pulled up the driveway and get a picture of their license plate or see who rang the front doorbell – after the fact.

Image Sensor For Wireless Monitoring
Alarm.com’s Image Sensor snaps still images of your home, transmitting them to the app via a dedicated cellular connection. This allows you to stay connected even when the power goes out or some other emergency severs your WiFi. Furthermore, the Image Sensor features a 3-year battery life, ensuring you know what’s going on in your home and never have to worry about forgetting the batteries. Use it to check in anytime, just like the remote video monitoring, or use it when an emergency occurs; the Image Sensor is automatically activated by emergencies like break-ins and fire alarms.

Geo-Services For Convenient Control
While not strictly security-minded, Alarm.com’s Geo-services is an extremely useful feature that can make using your smart security system much easier. Geo-Services allows you to set customized, automatic alerts and functions determined by your physical location. For example, if your phone leaves a certain defined geographic area without the system being armed, it will send you an alert or automatically lock the door for you. You can also set it to detect when you’re on your way home and disarm the system, turn up the thermostat, etc.

Using The Alarm.Com App For Business
While you may primarily think of the Alarm.com app as being for your home, it can also be used for all sorts of small business applications – such as retail shops and small offices. Use it within smart security cameras for security on a budget, and enjoy all the same features you do at home – at work.

Hardwired vs Wireless Burglar Alarms

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Hardwired Alarm System

When securing a commercial facility or office building, hardwired systems are usually a better solution than wireless systems. They’re more reliable and more effective, while still capable of many of the same powerful system functions that wireless alarm systems come with. Here are 10 reasons why you should consider a hardwired alarm system.

1. Reliable Over Long Distances
If you’re running a warehouse or other large facility, you need your security system to cover large areas. Wireless systems may be easier to install, but a hardwired system might be the smarter choice for in this case; wireless systems can lose signal over long distances, when sensors are too far from the control panel. Hardwired systems don’t have this problem, making them a more effective solution for warehouse security.

2. Not Affected By Walls, Concrete Or Metal
Wireless signals are easily blocked by heavy and thick materials like concrete and metal, found in walls and other structures; signals go around objects, not through them, and objects or walls effective range can drastically reduce effective range. Hardwired systems don’t run into this; if cabling can be physically run between the sensor and the control panel, you’ll have a secure connection.

3. You Can Do A Hardwired Alarm Takeover
When you install a hardwired system in your building, you’re not stuck with any one alarm system or manufacturer; the wiring can later be appropriated through a hardwired alarm takeover. The new alarm company takes over service and monitoring, using the old control panels and sensors or installing new ones as needed, all without modifying existing wiring. Wireless systems can be taken over, too, but wired systems provide more flexibility.

4. They Work With Wireless Components
If a situation does necessitate wireless sensors or cameras, most hardwired systems are still compatible with them, allowing more flexibility for creating alarm systems. DSC’s PowerSeries Neo systems, for example, are designed to support both wired and wireless zones.

5. Scalable
Hardwired security systems can be scaled to cover almost any size warehouse or facility, unlike wireless systems – which can generally support only a limited number of sensors and hardware.

6. Don’t Require Batteries
Hardwired systems run off power cables, eliminating any need to replace batteries or monitor battery level. Forgetting to replace batteries could leave your facility unsecured and vulnerable to break-ins; wired alarm systems just use the building’s main power supply.

7. Not Vulnerable To Wireless Interference
Wireless alarm systems using RF or cellular signals are easily affected by interference from other wireless devices, such as radios. Hardwired systems aren’t susceptible this and continue functioning unless the wiring itself is physically damaged.

8. Less Vulnerable To Hacking
In the rare case of attempted hacking, wired alarm systems are more secure than wireless systems. There’s almost no way to hack the system, and a burglar or hacker would have to physically tap into the wires or connect to the alarm panel – much more complex and difficult than intercepting a wireless signal or Wi-Fi network – or by physically cutting wires.

9. They Support Multiple Keypads
Hardwired alarm system allow multiple keypads to be set up at various locations throughout the building, creating multiple system access and control points where you can arm and disarm your system, change settings and customize system parameters conveniently in large facilities.

10. Smart And Convenient
Like the idea of remote access and viewing from mobile app, and other smart features that wireless systems offer? Hardwired systems have them too; wired systems and keypads from DSC, Honeywell and other top manufacturers support remote access and a variety of convenient, smart and intelligent functions.

10 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Wireless Alarm System

If it’s time to install a new security system for your business, you might want to look at wireless alarm systems. Wireless alarms are excellent choices for several reasons – and not just because they look sleeker.

Hardwired alarm systems have long been the system of use for most commercial applications – and in many cases still are. But with the proliferation and constant improvements in wireless systems, there are many situations where a wireless alarm system may be right for your building or facility’s security demands and budget.

Here are 10 reasons why you should consider a wireless alarm system for your business.

1. Easy To Install
This is generally why businesses (and homeowners) opt for wireless alarm systems. They don’t need physical cabling, which means they are far simpler and faster to install than wired systems; there’s no need to rip out parts of the wall or put in conduit. Instead, place the wireless sensors in the proper locations, power them up and turn them on in a matter of minutes – not days.

2. Practical And Easy To Use
Lack of wires makes wireless alarm systems practical and easy solutions for areas where wires are impractical and get in the way. You place sensors exactly where they’re most needed, moving them around as priorities change, and put the keypad where can be easily accessed – without the bulk of cables.

3. Cheaper Than Wired Alarm Systems
Thanks to their lesser installation costs, wireless alarm systems are generally far less expensive than their wired counterparts. It can be tough to justify the cost of a wired installation for small areas or facilities – where only a few sensors may be needed – but wireless systems are a practical alternative. They’re perfect for small commercial enterprises and facilities that don’t need to invest in heavy security systems.

4. Easy To Place And Move
Wireless sensors, motion detectors and cameras can be moved and placed anywhere in your building or property. Use them to create the configuration and setup that accomplishes your business’s demands. If those needs change, you can simply move sensors to suit.

5. Can Be Easily Expanded
Wireless security system may not be as scalable as wired systems – which can often accommodate hundreds of sensors and motion detectors – but they are still easily expanded; adding more devices is easy, and the number of sensors a control panel can accommodate is constantly expanding. Create the system to your initial liking, but be assured that it can then be added on and customized to suit your changing needs.

6. They’re Smart
Wireless Alarm Systems utilize the latest in wireless security tech, using protocols such as Z-Wave to communicate between smart home features and control panel instead of cabling. This means they’re primed for integrating with smart home automation, giving you total access to both security and home system from a single interface and without the physical constraints of wires.

7. Latest In Security Tech
As more and more users switch to wireless alarm systems, manufacturers keep innovating – creating new technologies and improving on current ones to make their wireless systems safer, smarter and easier to use. Recent innovations include secure wireless protocols like PowerG or DSC’s 3-step visual, audio and sequential verification.

8. Work During Power Outages
Without a backup power supply in place, wired alarm systems stop running during power outages or if the power supply is cut. Wireless alarm systems use battery power to prevent this; the control panel has battery power as a backup in case of power outages, while the sensors and devices run off battery always.

9. You Can’t Cut The Cord
Traditionally, hardwired alarm systems communicate with the monitoring station via a landline connection – which could be cut, disconnecting the system from the service. One of the many innovations of wireless alarm systems was introducing a cellular link with which to communicate to the monitoring station, making it impossible to cut the line of communication.

10. Transferable To New Locations
One important reason to consider a wireless alarm system is their convenience when moving to new locations. If your business needs to relocate, you can physically “pack up” the alarm system and move it to the new building. Or, you can move the system to different locations throughout the property in order to find the spot in which they are most useful.

How To Choose Between a Wired Or Wireless Alarm System?

If you’re unsure of whether a wired or wireless alarm system is better for you, talking to a professional alarm installer might be the right step for you. They’ll be able to get the most accurate and comprehensive picture of what your security needs are, account for any additional installation steps (such as installing wiring in your home or business, if there isn’t any) and help you find the right system for your budget and circumstances. If reliability and budget are priorities, you’ll likely be better off with a hardwired system, while a wireless system will likely be better when convenience, remote access and smart home integration are more important.