When we help customers design an alarm, we never take a “one size fits all” approach. Instead, we create systems that fit our customers’ individual security needs and desired security experience. We must always take into account each individual property’s unique layout and security threats. Sometimes, that requires thinking a little “outside the box” and diving deeply into our arsenal of security equipment and approaches. In this post, we share some creative alarm design ideas to show you what this type of forward thinking looks like.

First, we’ll explain the basics regarding security system design. With this foundation established, we will then explain how we can get creative with security contacts. Then, we’ll shift our focus to security devices meant to detect threats other than a burglary. We’ll follow this section with an explanation of how the latest and greatest alarm monitoring can create additional security for you. Now, let’s dive in with an overview of basic alarm design.

What Does Security System Design Entail?

An Interlogix glass break detector

Glassbreak detectors, such as this one by Interlogix, can detect thieves before they enter your home.

Whenever we work with customers to create a security system design, we must take a few things into account. For starters, we have to determine the best way to secure their application based on the layout. Every home and business requires a different equipment list and security plan. In creating this design, we must also take customers’ desires into account. For example, some customers want a cost-efficient design that uses as little equipment as possible. In these cases, we can use motion detectors to cover large areas of a home or business. On the other hand, some of our clients prefer that we take the “Fort Knox” security approach and individually arm every single potential entry point. With this in mind, let’s take at some of the more unique sensors we use to add security to an alarm system!

Getting Creative with Security Contacts

As you may have gathered from the previous section, we use door and window sensors, along with motion detectors, for a large portion of the alarms we install. However, while effective, this approach does have its shortcomings. For example, window contacts only catch thieves who break in by opening a window. They also fail to catch those who break windows and climb through without opening them. While motion detectors can help in these scenarios if you are gone, you cannot arm these detectors while you are on site without creating false alarms walking around your home or business. For these reasons, we often install glass break sensors near casement windows, sliders, or large windows in general. These sensors, as well as equipment such as shock sensors and even security screens, can greatly improve the effectiveness of your alarm. Now, let’s look at adding alarm devices to catch threats other than break-ins!

Non Burglary-Related Alarm Devices

When thinking about security systems, many people think strictly about burglar-related security. After all, we often refer to these systems as “burglar alarms.” However, we can add security above and beyond that meant to detect a break-in. Our monitored smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide (or “CO”) detectors create a fire department dispatch when your detectors activate. This can save your property during a fire in your absence. More importantly, it can also save the life of anyone present during a fire or carbon monoxide-related emergency as well.

Additionally, we also offer sensors that alert you to important weather-related issues as well! For example, our “hi-lo” temperature detectors can create a central station response if your home experiences dangerously hot or cold conditions. This can help alert you to frozen pipes or HVAC equipment failures. Additionally, we offer flood sensors that can detect the presence of water wherever we install them. As an added bonus, some of our alarm manufacturers even create sensors that detect both extremely cold temperatures and the presence of water! These contacts provide a huge amount of environmental security in one compact piece of equipment. Now, let’s take a look at how choosing the right monitoring option can also boost your security.

Our Most Effective Security Monitoring Option

In addition to creating a plan for an alarm’s equipment, we must also find a way to monitor the security system. A monitored alarm can call out for help and set in motion a visit from the police upon detecting a burglary. In this section, we explain why traditional methods of security monitoring fall short. From there, we’ll show you our new and improved monitoring service option that gives you unique security and convenience. Let’s begin with an overview of how alarm monitoring works.

The Basics of Alarm Monitoring

As we mentioned earlier, a monitored alarm can create a police response when necessary. In order to create this response, we must connect your alarm to our central monitoring station. Traditionally, this process involves tying your property’s existing phone lines to your security panel. In turn, this allows your alarm to dial out to the central station after detecting trouble. Upon receiving a signal from an alarm, a central station dispatcher attempts to contact the homeowners. If they fail to do so, they will then call the police to check on the premises. At this point, the central station also calls a customer-created list of individuals to alert them to the alarm event.

Unfortunately, phone-line based monitoring comes with some serious shortcomings. Since this service relies on a working phone line for its monitoring path, any phone outage effectively negates your alarm monitoring. Of course, events such as severe weather and traffic accidents involving telephone poles can affect phone service. Furthermore, burglars often cut phone lines before attempting a break-in. Doing so can keep those inside from calling for help in addition to disabling alarm monitoring. For these reasons, we recommend a more updated and secure monitoring service. In the next section, we’ll describe how we can create interactive alarm monitoring to make your security system as effective as possible!

A hand holding a phone open to the Alarm.com app

Interactive cellular monitoring through Alarm.com allows users to control their alarm through a cell phone app, adding important security and convenience to any alarm.

The Interactive Security Advantage

Cellular monitoring, our most popular type of monitoring, adds tremendous security. This service involves the installation of a cellular dialer next to your alarm panel. In turn, this dialer uses a cellular network to monitor your alarm. Therefore, cellular monitoring allows your alarm to dial out for help even during phone outages! Furthermore, our cellular dialer, powered by Alarm.com, adds a unique alarm monitoring option. Specifically, it offers “interactive” security monitoring that puts you in unique control of your security system. The benefits to this type of monitoring include both security and convenience-related features. When we refer to interactive monitoring, we refer to the ability to control and communicate with your alarm directly using a smartphone or any other internet-connected device.

Installing an Alarm.com dialer gives you access to an Alarm.com account. In turn, this lets you use their website or smartphone app to interact with your security system. First and foremost, this allows you to arm and disarm your security system remotely. Obviously, this adds a major level of security. Forget to arm your alarm on the way out the door? No problem! Now, you can use your phone to fix this issue immediately. Of course, the ability to disarm your security system remotely also adds security. If you need to give access to a house sitter or contractor while away from your home, now you can do so without giving away an alarm code. The security this service provides makes adding interactive alarm monitoring one of our most popular forms of creative alarm design!

Making Creative Alarm Design Work for You

We hope that this post helps you think outside of the box and create a security system that does everything you want it to do! Moreover, we also encourage you to contact us with any questions this post raises for you. We will happily answer any and all security-related queries that you have. Additionally, we also invite you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We offer complimentary security audits and equipment quotes to both new and existing customers alike. While onsite, we can address any and all of your security concerns. Furthermore, we can make suggestions of our own based on our observations of your property. Togther, we can create a complete security plan to keep your property — and everyone on it — as safe and secure as possible!