“What alarm system would you recommend?”

Usually, we install and highly recommend wireless alarm systems. A couple of brands we prefer are Texecom or Pyronix, both are very secure and very reliable.  With the long battery life in the sensors, you don’t have to worry about how to hide the wiring.  The installation can be done very neatly and without making a mess in the house or wires showing.

“Would you recommend paying for a third-party monitoring service?”

For the average household or even office, I wouldn’t recommend this, it’s a waste of money. Third party monitoring services get notified if your alarm goes off, 9 times out of 10, this would mean the alarm monitoring company would contact you, the owner, to tell you that your alarm is going off, in some cases, the company may alert the police.

However, the response from the police is limited, due to resources, it’s unlikely you will get a fast response, if at all.  So instead of having a monitoring service, we recommend something called a ‘speech dialler’. This device allows you to pre-record your message, if the alarm goes off, it will ring several phone numbers you select in succession, until the first person in the list cancels it. This way, the alarm is still notifying you, but you’re cutting out the middle man.

The installation of the alarm may be slightly more expensive, but it saves a lot of money in the long run as you’re not paying for a third-party monitoring service.

“Do alarms really need maintaining, or is it just a waste of money?”

It is important that they are maintained. You should have at least 1 visit from the alarm company, or whoever the installer is. The installer will check things such as the backup battery in the alarm and the keys on the keypad aren’t wearing off, so it won’t be obvious what numbers you use for your code.

If it’s a wireless alarm, the battery strength in the bell box, and the sensors themselves will also be checked. This ensures that your alarm works without stalling and doesn’t fail when you need it most.

“I’ve heard that alarms don’t work if you have pets such as cats and dogs, is that true?”

In recent years, the type of sensors and the technology in the sensors have improved dramatically, so this isn’t something to worry about as long as the right type of sensors are installed. For example, we now install pet friendly motion sensors.  So as long as your installer knows what they’re doing and they are made aware of your pets they can ensure that any sensors you have are pet friendly.

For instance, we also install vibrational shock sensors to windows, if the home has a large dog, we will can adjust the sensitivity on the shock sensors to account for the dog may jumping up and placing their paws on the window or on the door when they get excited.

“Can I have different alarm codes for different family members?”

Yes, you can. With the type of alarms we install, you can have different codes for different members of the household, and can also have proximity fobs.

Proximity fobs are small discs which fit on a keyring and can use these instead of codes. So, if you have a friend that does not live in your house, however regularly comes in and out of your house, then your friend can also have one. If a family member happens to lose the proximity fob, then it can be easily deleted or disabled.

“If you are a victim of a break in and the burglars try taking a hammer to the alarm, what sort of punishment will it take?”

The alarms we install have a separate alarm panel to the keypad, so  the alarm panel, which is the brains of the alarm, would be somewhere out of sight such as a cupboard or a loft. However, the keypad is wireless and can be mounted in your front hall, living room, or wherever is most convenient for you.  So even if the burglar completely destroyed the keypad, it wouldn’t stop the alarm from working. Wireless keypads are easily replaced.  You can also have more than one keypad. If you have a large property, then you can have a keypad on one side of the house, and another on the other side.

“Can you explain the difference between a PIR sensor and shock sensors?”

PIR stands for passive infra-red which detects motion. Shock sensors detect vibration. For instance, some people believe the best way to secure your home is with PIR sensors or with shock sensors. However, the truth is its best to install a combination of both. But let’s not also forget door contact sensors.
Usually, PIR sensors would be used in a room that has a door and a couple of windows. This means that you can then cover all the possible points of entry with just one PIR sensor.

Whereas with shock sensors, you would need to place one of each on each frame, in some cases you might need 2 sensors per frame (if it is a larger frame).  However, the disadvantage of PIR sensors is they can’t detect and activate the alarm if someone is trying to break in. They are only able to detect that motion once they are in the room, and has already broken in.
If you are looking for a cheaper solution, then a PIR sensor is the way to go, but if you’re looking for an alarm that detects the vibrations on a door or window when someone is attempting to break in then I would recommend shock sensors, as in many cases this will activate the alarm before they gain entry deterring them from continuing.

“What is a smart alarm?”

It allows the end user to connect to their alarm using their smart phone. This means you can check on your alarm if it is set up on your smart phone as well as arming and disarming via the app. The app also alerts you when the alarm is armed and disarmed. The smart alarm module also allows your installer to remote into your alarm and solve any issues remotely. This offers much quicker responses to any issues that may appear.


If you would like a new alarm system for your home or office and would like us to come out and provide a free security survey, then please feel free to call us on 0161 740 7400 or go to https://www.fc4.co.uk/contact-us/

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