There are three general types of intruder alarm

  • Pre-wired system
  • Wireless system
  • Hybrid System (A combination of both wired and wireless)

Provided your premises is already prewired for an alarm, wired alarm systems tend to be less expensive than wireless systems. However, this may not hold true if your premises requires wiring for an alarm. Most new properties will be already set up with the appropriate wiring in place for an intruder alarm. Most wireless systems operate using batteries which need to be changed every 3-4 years and transmit signals via a radio frequency. Generally speaking, if your property is pre-wired for an alarm then it is best to opt for a wired system.

Within each category there are two types of system

  • Audible-only system
  • Remotely monitored system

An audible-only alarm operates by sounding a siren or bell when the alarm is activated, and relies on the noise the alarm makes to deter burglars and alert owners to the fact that a robbery is being attempted. Remotely monitored systems can be audible or silent, but are connected to the outside world via a phone line. This is predominantly achieved through a GSM unit (using a GPRS mobile network) or landline. They send a signal to an alarm receiving centre (ARC) which informs you or a nominated keyholder(s) and/or the Gardaí (once verified – activation of at least two devices) that the alarm has been activated.

A standard alarm consists of components that either provides

  • Perimeter protection
  • Trap protection (motion detection)
  • A combination of both (this would be the most typical installation).

Perimeter protection consists of various detection devices including vibration/inertia sensors and magnetic reed contacts protecting external doors and windows around the premises. The intruder alarm is activated as an attempt to make entry into the premises is occurring. Passive Infra-Red detectors, often referred to as beams or motion sensors, utilises a dual pyro (electric element within sensor) to detect changes in the infra-red energy levels in the form of heat and motion within the protected space i.e. room, hallway or corridor. A premises protected by PIRs only will detect an intrusion only when entry has already been achieved into the premises, so careful consideration is needed. Most alarm systems are made up of a combination of both perimeter and motion detection protection in order to provide full protection to the premises.

Early detection can often deter an intrusion to the premises obtained through perimeter protection, whilst motion detection will ensure the premises is protected if entry is made into the premises by alternative methods to either the windows or doors i.e. roof entry. There is no ‘one size fits all’ strategy when it comes to choosing an intruder alarm, as much depends on your own individual circumstances.

For example, if you are living in an isolated area with few neighbours, then a remotely monitored system may be more appropriate. If you are living in an urban area, or an apartment block, then an audible-only system may be sufficient. If you are availing of discounted home or company insurance on the basis of your alarm, then this may be a determining factor in the level of protection and system that is required.

It’s also worthwhile asking your local Crime Prevention Officer for advice. Garda Crime Prevention Officers are stationed around the country to offer guidance and reassurance to members of the community.

What comes with an alarm system?

Intruder Alarm Panel

Standard for all systems, the control panel with its power source, is the brains of the system and links all components in the system, including GSM or telephone line dialler equipment. The panels can communicate with a complete suite of devices including PIR’s, Sensors, Magnetic Contacts, Keypads, Panic Buttons, Key-fobs, Smoke Detectors, Internal and External Sirens and more, both for “Pre-Wired and “Wireless” devices.

Keypad (RKP)

A remote keypad provides a user facility to control/interact with the intruder alarm system. It allows the user to set and unset the alarm, and review the log of events within the system. The keypad consists of audio arming and message functions along with text displays to indicate the status of the system.

External Bell Box – SABB (Self Activating Bell Box)

OCM Alarms BellboxThe intruder alarm system will consist of an External SABB to draw immediate neighbourhood attention to an intrusion taking place. When the alarm is triggered, the Siren will flash with a high intensity LED and emit a very loud electronic sound externally for 15 minutes.

Intruder Alarm Panel

Standard for all systems, the control panel with its power source, is the brains of the system and links all components in the system, including GSM or telephone line dialler equipment. The panels can communicate with a complete suite of devices including PIR’s, Sensors, Magnetic Contacts, Keypads, Panic Buttons, Key-fobs, Smoke Detectors, Internal and External Sirens and more, both for “Pre-Wired and “Wireless” devices.

Internal Sounder

When the alarm is triggered, the Siren will emit a very loud electronic sound internally for 15 minutes.

Motion Detectors – PIR (Passive Infrared) Device

A PIR detects movement in a protected area. All objects emit IR energy to varying degrees. The PIR device is designed to effectively detect sudden changes in infra-red radiation with devices engineered to focus on human detection and remove false activations. The range is typically 12 to 15 meters.

Shock (Inertia) Sensor c/w Contact

Used on windows and non-primary entry/exit route doors. Designed to activate before an intruder has gained access to the premises. The shock sensor will detect and analyse the vibrations or excessive impulses resembling those similar to those expected in an attempted intrusion. The sensor can cover a span of 4m2. Sensors come in either white or brown.

Magnetic Contact

Used on primary entry/exit door and Velux windows to reduce false activations through activity at the door or heavy precipitation or wind. When closed the magnetic contacts complete the circuit. Upon breaking the circuit by opening the door or window the alarm will activate. Contacts come either in white or brown.

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