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 (PIRs), 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.