When potential customers contact us about installing a security system, they always want to know what happens after an alarm. While many of us have seen depictions of alarm events in our entertainment, most people have never experienced an alarm activation in person. We often surprise customers when we inform them that we actually have some choices when it comes to how your alarm acts to a potential emergency. In this post, we share a variety of alarm notification options so you can choose what works best for you!

First, we’ll look at the alarm’s siren response. Creating an audible response to a breach of security has long remained arguably the most well-known alarm function. From there, we’ll also explain your options for exterior alarm notifications. These include both audible and visible alarm responses. Additionally, we’ll discuss how our monitoring service provides you with an array of responses to a security emergency. These include both central station-based responses as well as alerts directly from your security sysem to your smartphone. Now, let’s dive in and see how we create blaring siren responses to any security threat.

Sound the Siren

As we pointed out earlier, most people associate a siren response to an alarm activation. This alerts those on premise to the potential danger. Additionally, it also works to scare off intruders. After all, burglars generally like to avoid confrontation at all costs. Therefore, the sound of a siren means potential danger. For starters, it could mean having to face anyone on the property. Of course, thieves also associate alarm sirens with a visit from the police as well. This often works to get criminals booking it off your property ASAP.

We like to install sirens in a way that ensures each part of a property receives plenty of notice upon sounding. This means that larger properties often receive multiple sirens. Generally, we run wiring from an alarm’s control panel to each siren location. However, recent technology has allowed us to install wireless sirens as well. These sirens communicate to an antenna on your alarm, without the need to run any wiring. This means that we can efficiently install these device in any areas of your property that currently experience insufficient siren coverage. Furthermore, we can also install sirens that sound outside of your home or business as well. Let’s explore some exterior alarm notification options now.

A Doberman exterior siren

Some exterior devices, such as this model by ATW security, provide both an alarm response and a strobe response upon detecting danger.

Exterior Notification Devices

Customers may wish to install exterior alarm notification devices for a couple reasons. For starters, adding an audible response outside of the property can alert neighbors and passersby to an emergency. Criminals hearing alarms sound both inside and outside of a property may be even more likely to vacate their burglary attempt. Additionally, installing a visual notification device can also help the authorities locate the cause of trouble. For example, we often install blinking strobe lights that flash brightly upon an alarm activation. In strip malls or parking lots with many businesses, this helps the police find the precise location of a break-in. Some exterior security devices, such as the one pictured here, can provide both an audible siren response and a blinking strobe response upon activation! As you can see, installing exterior devices can greatly extend the “reach” of your alarm’s security. Next up, we’ll check out a couple alarm notification options available to our monitored alarm customers.

Monitoring-Based Alarm Notifications

When we install security systems, we connect the vast majority of them to our central monitoring station. This creates the emergency contact and the police dispatch discussed earlier. Additionally, depending on the type of monitoring service you choose, you can also receive important cellular notifications informing you of alarms and security status updates as well. In this section, we’ll provide an overview of your monitoring-based alarm notification options. Let’s begin with a focus on how our central station responds to an alarm.

Central Station Alarm Responses

When we connect your alarm to our central station, in creates many security benefits. This connections ensures that you always know about an alarm event, even in your absence. Furthermore, it also creates a police dispatch if necessary. When our central station receives an alarm signal, they first call the premise to check in. If nobody answers, or if the person who does answer fails to provide a recognized user name and proper password, the police are soon on the way. From there, the central station also attempts to reach individuals on a call list that you create. This alerts you to the emergency dispatch and lets you follow up as quickly as possible.

Traditionally, we use a property’s phone lines to create this central station connection. In fact, some customers still have their monitoring service provided by phone line connections. However, the latest and greatest in security monitoring goes through our cellular dialer, powered by Alarm.com. A “cellular dialer” creates a direct communication path between your alarm and our central station using a cellular network. This bypasses the unreliablity of phone line-based monitoring. After all, cellular networks generally prove much more consistent than phone lines. Installing a cellular dialer also allows you to experience interactive security monitoring. Let’s explore that feature now, including how it helps you receive important alarm notifications!

Instant Alerts Directly from Your Security System

When we mention “interactive” monitoring, we refer to the ability for your alarm to interact directly with you and other alarm users through a smartphone app. For starters, this lets you control your security system with your phone. Forget to arm the security system on the way to work? No problem! Simply pick up your phone and you can do so with the press of a button. In addition to arming and disarming your security system, you can also add and delete security codes remotely as well. This allows you to provide contractors or house sitters with temporary alarm codes and then delete them later on when they are no longer needed. We strongly recommend doing this rather than providing everyone with one alarm code that someone can use later on to come back uninvited.

An Alarm.com alert indicating that the security system has not been armed by 8:30 AM.

Creating Alarm.com alerts that notify you if nobody armed the alarm system by a specific time allows you to do so from your phone, preventing you from having to wonder if your alarm system was armed by the last person out the door.

Just as importantly, and more relevantly to this post, interactive monitoring provides you with instant text notifications that you can customize to your liking. For example, these alerts generally notify you to any alarm activation events. This allows you to receive an alarm alert even before our central station operators pick up their phones! Furthermore, you can also create an alert to find out when someone arms or disarms your security system. Or, on the other hand, you can also create an alert to let you know if someone fails to arm or disarm your security system by a certain time, such as in the alert pictured on the left. The additional security and convenience interactive monitoring provides makes it our most popular and effective monitoring service.

Finding the Alarm Notification Options that Work for You

We hope that this post helps you find the alarm notification options that work best for you. Additionally, we also encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about the material presented here. We will happily answer any and all of your security-related inquiries. Moreover, we also encourage you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We’ve always offered complimentary security audits and equipment quotes. While on site, we can discuss and help you address your existing security concerns. Furthermore, we can also make our own suggestions based on what we observe during our visit.

Perhaps you already have a full alarm system in place, but want to take advantage of some of the ideas discussed here. Or, maybe you have yet to install an alarm, and want to get started on the right foot. Either way, we are here to help! Together, we can create a complete security plan that keeps your property — as well as everyone on it — as safe and secure as possible.