So you’re looking to install an alarm system in your home but you’re unsure on whether you should go monitored or unmonitored. There are a couple of differences between these two systems that affect their functionality and level of security. To help you make an informed decision, we’ll be discussing the differences between monitored and unmonitored alarm systems.
What’s the difference between a monitored alarm system and an unmonitored alarm system?
The main difference between these two alarm systems is that the monitored one connects through an alarm monitoring centre. This can be done in many different communication channels such as landline telephone, cellular communication, or home internet. Oftentimes, alarm centres use all three to ensure consistent communication with the homeowner in case of an emergency.
Both types of systems feature the same components. Regardless of whether your alarm system is monitored or not, you’ll have access to a bunch of security devices like fire alarms, door/window sensors, motion detectors, and security cameras. A control panel is also included which enables you to activate/deactivate the alarm. The control panel is also responsible for sending alarm signals to the monitoring centre.
When considering an alarm system, take note that you can also choose different levels of monitoring. Aside from a monitored and unmonitored system, you can also choose self-monitoring which gives you full control over how your alarm system works.
- Monitored Systems: This type of alarm system connects to a monitoring centre. When the alarm is triggered, the control panel sends signals to the monitoring professionals to where they can interpret the alarm and respond accordingly. Monitored systems are preferred by many homeowners due to their ability to summon the right authorities at a given incident.
- Unmonitored Systems: An unmonitored alarm system usually works the same way as a monitored system but without communication capabilities. When the system is armed, the alarm will activate and it’s up to you on how you will respond to the situation.
- Self-Monitoring: Self-monitoring alarm systems are for DIY enthusiasts that want to manage their home security. Such alarm systems feature advanced technologies like AI integration and smart home connection. The alarm system connects to the internet and the user can monitor the system remotely via a PC, tablet, or smartphone.
Contacting Emergency Services
In the event that you experience a break-in, fire, or any other similar incident, you want to make sure that the correct authorities are dispatched to the scene. This will depend on your security systems provider and the type of alarm system you have.
If you own a monitored alarm system, the safety professionals at the monitoring center will receive a signal from its control panel. Depending on the circumstances, they have different protocols in terms of interpreting the signals. For example, if the smoke detector is triggered, they may immediately contact the local fire department to respond to your property.
There are instances where the monitoring center will attempt to contact the homeowner thru mobile or landline to verify the alarm trigger. If they don’t receive a response for a set period, they will resort to contacting the local police authorities.
An unmonitored system, on the other hand, is designed to only alert the homeowner of the security breach. Since the alarm system is not connected to a monitoring center, it does leave a small gap in your home security. Say a fire broke out in your home and you’re on vacation. While the smoke detector will sound off, the system won’t notify you or the local authorities about the incident.
Self-monitored alarm systems are a step up from an unmonitored system. Some homeowners choose to connect their self-monitored systems to a monitoring centre so they can get the best of both worlds. They can monitor their home remotely while still being able to rely on professional assistance in case of an unwanted incident.
Choosing between a monitored and unmonitored alarm system
The main advantage of an unmonitored system is that you don’t have to pay for a monthly monitoring plan. Some homeowners do not like the idea of committing to a monitoring contract which makes an unmonitored alarm system the ideal choice.
But if you want a comprehensive alarm system in place, then we definitely recommend a monitored alarm system. The safety and peace of mind that comes with a monitored system is what makes it the preferred choice for both homeowners and business owners. If you can afford the monthly fees, then having a monitored alarm system will certainly give you all-around protection 24/7.
Monitored alarm systems from Casa Security
Casa Security offers one of the best alarm monitoring plans for both commercial and residential applications. With over two decades of industry experience, we’ve created a comprehensive list of security systems solutions to cater to the exact needs of our clients. If you’re looking for a reliable alarm monitoring service in Perth, make sure to contact us today and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.