What is the best wireless alarm system on the market
What is the best wireless alarm system on the market
The answer to this question depends on whether the alarm is for home, commercial or industrial premises. Alarms for large commercial and industrial premises require bespoke, wired systems. This is beyond the scope of this article. Here, we are going to deal with the best alarm systems on the market for the home and small commercial or office premises.
It is important to understand that there are three main types of alarm systems:
- Wired alarm systems
- Wireless alarm systems
- Hybrid alarm systems – a combination of both wireless and wired systems
1. Wired alarm systems
The best alarm systems are wired alarm systems. Unfortunately, there can be technical constraints which can prevent the installation of wireless alarm systems. For example, running a cable through a commercial or office premises is rarely a difficult process. But this same process is more difficult in the home because the trunking – the plastic coating used to conceal the wires for the alarm system – is an unappealing feature to have on show. The superior performance of a wired alarm system, then, is an excellent choice for commercial and industrial premises, but the presence of the unattractive wiring which provides this superior performance make it a questionable choice for the home.
2. Wireless alarm system
With wireless alarm systems, it is not necessary to run cables directly from the alarm. Instead, wireless alarm systems have an “all in one” panel, containing a keypad, WIFI communicator, battery and sounder. This alleviates the issues of unsightly wires, making them a better choice for the home. With wireless alarm systems, there are professional systems which you will need a specialist to install at extra cost, or there are DIY systems. It is worth noting that the price difference between these two options is not that high, and professional alarm systems will always deliver better performance.
3. Hybrid alarm system
Hybrid alarm systems, as the name suggests, are combination of wired and wireless alarm systems. It is fundamentally a wired system on to which we attach a wireless receiver to create a wireless capability. Every manufacturer has its own wireless receiver, compatible with only its own panels. Still, this technical solution is more stable and preferable to the purely wireless panel for several reasons.
- First, the panel is larger allowing for a larger, more powerful backup battery, which lasts four times longer than the battery from the ‘all in one’ panel – a great insurance against power failure.
- Second, this panel can bear a wired external sounder, which is preferred to the wireless one wherever it is possible to install.
- Finally, the range of the wireless detector is usually larger because the wireless receiver is separated from the panel. ‘All In one’ panels, however, have to compress many components into a small place, compromising their performance and reducing the wireless range.
4. Alarm systems grades
Once you have decided on the type of alarm system you require, another important consideration is the grade of the parts on the system you choose. There are 4 grades. Grade 1 is the lowest, and is sufficient protection against intruders with little knowledge of alarms. Grade 4 alarms, on the other hand, protect against intruders who not only have knowledge of alarms but also instruments designed to disable them. Every part of an alarm system has a grade, and the overall grade of an alarm system is determined by the lowest grade of all the components from which that alarm system is made. The highest grade for wireless detectors is grade 2, so the highest possible grade of a wireless alarm system is grade 2, regardless if the grade of any other single component is higher. It is wise to opt for a grade 3 metal box alarm panel and a grade 3 wired external sounder, if it is possible to install.
5. Detectors and magnetic contacts
The last fact to take in account is how to choose the detectors – the component which sounds the alarm when triggered. All wireless detectors are digital. To increase the accuracy and sensitivity, some detectors are made using extra technologies like dual technology and quad sensor technology. The dual technology detectors are more expensive because both infrared and microwave systems are used to sense any disturbance. As a minimum, detectors made using quad sensor technology are recommended. For extra protection, wireless magnetic contacts are recommended at every ground floor external door and, depending on the budget, the windows also. There are two types of magnetic contacts: simple and combined with shock detector. The latter offers extra detection, triggering the alarm not just when the intruder manages to open the door but even when the door is shaken.
Ultimately, though, the decision is yours, and that decision will be different depending on your needs. Just to reiterate for the avoidance of doubt: the advice given above does not apply for large commercial and industrial premises, both which require the kind of tailored solutions which, albeit expensive, are nevertheless a worthwhile investment in the safety and security of those properties. The advice provided here applies to the home and small commercial or office premises. Based on this, our recommendation is a professional hybrid alarm system, made of a grade 3 metal panel, wireless receiver, wireless external sounder (if it is possible a grade 3 wired external sounder), wireless quad sensor detectors (or depending on the budget wireless dual technology detectors), wireless combined magnetic contact and shock detectors, WIFI communictor and a 7Ah backup battery.
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