The past couple decades have seen huge advances in the way people use technology in their homes and businesses. These advances have made customers expect more from the products they buy. Everyone expects top performance from the electronic items that they purchase. Furthermore, people have upgraded their televisions, doorbells, lights, locks, and other appliances in order to control them with their smart phones. While it should come as no surprise, the security industry has kept up with these trends. Unfortunately, many security-minded individuals fail to regularly update the equipment that keeps them safe. In this post, we will share some signs that should tell you loud and clear that you need a security upgrade!

Specifically, we will look at two of our most popular forms of security: burglar alarms and surveillance. We will begin with a couple of “no-no’s” on the security system side. We can spot an outdated alarm system quickly by following a couple guidelines that we will share. From there, we will explain a couple factors we look for to ensure effective camera performance. Now, let’s get started by examining a couple of burglar alarm “red flags.”

Burglar Alarm Red Flags

Whether in a home or a commercial property, a burglar alarm accomplishes a couple major security tasks. For starters, breaching the security system creates a blaring siren response to scare off intruders and alert those nearby of the breach. Additionally, we also monitor most of our alarm systems. This service creates a central station response to any alarm event. If needed, our central station also dispatches the authorities. Unfortunately, we see dozens of outdated alarm systems in the field every year. Many customers fail to update these important systems as frequently as they update their computers, phones, and other important electronic devices. In this section, we’ll discuss a couple signs that you need a security upgrade for your burglar alarm. Let’s get started with a major, tell-tale sign that you should start thinking about an upgrade!

An open app on a smartphone. allows you to control your alarm system remotely, adding both security and convenience.

You Don’t Control Your Alarm with Your Phone

Customers expect to control many devices around their home with a smart phone. However, we surprise many people by offering this option to their alarm systems. If you have an antiquated alarm panel, we’d likely need to change it to add this monitoring service. However, most systems that we’ve installed in the last decade or so have this capability. We simply install our cellular dialer, powered by, to provide your alarm monitoring. At that point, we can monitor your alarm through a cellular network, rather than over the phone lines. This provides additional security compared to connecting your alarm to a phone line. After all, phone line-based monitoring will fail the second that the phone lines go down. Furthermore, burglars frequently cut a property’s phone lines before attempting a break-in. A cellular dialer will keep your system monitored even if this happens.

Our cellular dialer allows you to add interactive cellular monitoring. We discussed this type of monitoring in our post explaining How to Use Your Smart Phone to Add Security to Your Alarm. In addition to monitoring your alarm through a cell network, our dialer allows you to control the alarm with a smart phone. Forget to arm your security system on the way to work? Simply pick up your phone and fix the mistake without having to turn around! Additionally, your cellular dialer can send you text alerts. Alarm events, low system batteries, and any other status updates you wish can be forwarded directly to your smart phone. This level of security and convenience makes this our most poplar form of monitoring! Now, let’s look at another indicator that your burglar alarm needs a security upgrade!

Nobody Can Understand Your Alarm’s Status Messages

A QOLSYS IQ Panel 2 with a disaply showing the system is disarmed

The QOLSYS IQ Panel 2 has a modern touchscreen display that makes understanding system status messages easy and intuitive.

Most alarm systems come with keypads that communicate important messages to you. Obsolete alarm keypads do so with flashing lights. Newer alarm keypads have LCD displays that spell out any status updates in plain language that you can easily understand. The latest and greatest alarms, such as our preferred model by QOLSYS, even have a full-screen touchscreen display that makes scrolling through status messages easy and intuitive. If you find yourself confused by what your alarm has to say, consider installing a more modern alarm panel. Doing so will completely enhance your experience using your alarm. Furthermore, it will add security, because you won’t have any problem diagnosing any issues and taking the proper steps to address them.

Camera-Based Security Issues

Surveillance systems watch over your property and capture anything that happens in or around it. In addition to recording video, cameras also provide a deterrent against break-in attempts. After all, thieves who see cameras will likely choose a new target for their attempted crimes. However, many camera systems use extremely outdated equipment to capture their video. This leads to receiving far less security from them than you should receive. Of course, if your cameras record in black and white, you know that a security upgrade is in order! However, sometimes people think their cameras work “fine,” but fail to realize how much better they could have it with updated equipment. Let’s take a closer look at a couple warning signs that indicate you should consider looking into an upgrade!

You Can’t Watch Your Cameras with Your Phone

As you can see, we value using your phone to enhance security on both the alarm and surveillance side of the security equation. When we install a surveillance system, we connect your cameras to a video recorder. This device captures video 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Moreover, any recorder manufactured in the last decade or so also allows us to connect your surveillance system to your property’s network. This gives you the chance to view your camera’s video footage remotely through any internet-connected device. If you do not have this ability right now, it’s time for a security upgrade! The ability to remotely check in on your home or business brings with it both security and peace of mind. Now, let’s look at another sign that you should look into modernizing your surveillance equipment.

A logo reading "Quality Control"

Upgrading your cameras to equipment with high-quality video can greatly increase the security they provide.

Surveillance Footage Looks Worse than Your Television Programming

You may remember a post we made a couple years back about Choosing IP vs Analog cameras. In that post, we explained that many analog cameras only display a picture half as good as many IP (or “Internet Protocol”) cameras. Additionally, any modern television would create a picture that looks twice as good as many of our customers’ older cameras!

Recent advances in camera technology have made it possible to receive a high-definition picture from any camera, regardless of the type of wire that powers the camera and transmits the camera’s video back to the recorder. This means that we can provide any existing camera customer with updates cameras and upgraded picture quality without running new wire! Since the cost of running wire makes up a large part of a surveillance system’s cost, this saves customers a considerable amount of money. If you look at your cameras and have to squint, or if the video footage looks blurry, consider having us out to look into installing new cameras that will provide the same picture quality you see when you watch your home television.

Putting it All Together for a Complete Security Upgrade

We hope that this post has given you some ideas about what we look for when we recommend a security upgrade. If you have any questions about the material in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us! We will happily answer any security-related questions you have. Additionally, we provide free site surveys for both new and existing customers alike. We can visit your property and see for ourselves the types of security upgrades you may wish to undertake. Together, we can create a plan that uses the best available technology to keep you as safe and secure as possible!