Over our 33 years in business, we’ve installed hundreds of burglar alarms to help secure our customers’ homes. These alarms create both a siren response and, if necessary, a police dispatch upon activation. We think of these systems as a cornerstone of any complete home security plan. However, we do not recommend installing these systems as a “set it and forget it” security measure. Instead, we encourage you to continue updating your home alarm as new solutions hit our ever-changing industry. In this post, we explain how you can make this happen.

First, we’ll look at ways that you can increase your alarm’s coverage within your home. More effective and easier-to-install sensors can help in this endeavor. From there, we’ll look at adding a couple non-burglary-related sensors. Specifically, this will include a look at both life safety and environmental equipment. Then, we’ll show you how you can add security by upgrading your monitoring to our latest and greatest offering. Now, let’s dive in with a look at how we can increase your security system’s coverage of your home!

Creating Superior Security Coverage

When we install a home security system, we work with customers to create an effective alarm that meets their budget. In doing so, we always take certain basic security precautions. For example, we always install a sensor (or “contact”) on every exterior door. From there, we often install motion detectors to cover large areas of your home’s interior. These detectors allow customers to create large areas of coverage for less money than it would take to install a sensor on every window in their home. However, while efficient, we often recommend upgrading your security over time. After all, motion detectors only catch thieves after they’ve breached your property. Moreover, you can only activate motion detectors when leaving the house. This means that they do not provide security at all when you are at home!

An Interlogix glass break detector

Glass break detectors, such as this one by Interlogix, can detect the sound of breaking glass throughout an entire room.

For these reasons, we often encourage customers to gradually add security contacts to their alarm. The widespread use and availability of wireless sensors has made installing additional equipment less expensive than ever. This means installing window contacts may cost less than when you installed your alarm. Additionally, we can also install glass break detectors in your home. These lessser-known contacts detect the sound and air pressure caused by breaking glass. Installing these sensors in rooms with sliders and picture windows adds tremendous security. Next up, let’s examine updating your home alarm by installing monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detection.

Adding Vital Life Safety

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 home during a fire in your absence. More importantly, it can save the life of you or any family member at home during an emergency.

We have a couple approaches we can take when adding this security to your alarm. Most of our customers already have a complete system of smoke and CO detectors in place before calling us. In this case, we can add a few monitored detectors for added security. However, some customers count on us to install all of their smoke, heat, and CO detection. In this case, we must design a full system in compliance with local codes and fire laws. We detail both of these approaches in our post dedicated to Monitored Residential Fire Security. Now, let’s look at another unique type of non-burglary-related security equipment!

Installing Environmental Sensors

When it comes to threats that your home faces, Mother Nature presents quite a few ways to do damage. This rings especially true in New England, with its frequent stormy weather and extreme temperatures. Luckily, we have you covered! We surprise many people by offering sensors that create alerts for environmental disasters that have the potential to cause a home major damage. These sensors can help you detect and address these issues before they create a mess that takes a significant amount of time and money to repair.

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 snow melts and we begin to see rainier, warmer weather on a regular basis, these sensors certainly increase in value. 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. Let’s now turn our attention to updating your home alarm using interactive cellular monitoring.

Experiencing Interactive Alarm Monitoring

When we connect a security system to our central station, it adds a whole new layer of security. This service provides the already-mentioned police and fire department dispatches upon alarm activation. Traditionally, we would connect an alarm to our monitoring services by tying it into your home’s phone lines. However, this method has its limitations. Phone-line based alarm monitoring fails whenever your phone service goes down. For this reason, we prefer installing a cellular dialer to monitor your security system. These devices monitor your alarm through a cellular network, rather than through phone lines. Therefore, they keep your alarm monitored even when your phone lines fail.

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 and receive important alarm alerts on their cell phones.

Moreover, our Alarm.com-powered cell dialer lets you control your security system using a smartphone app! This means that you can arm and disarm your security system remotely. Forget to arm your security system in the morning? No problem! Simply pull out your phone and secure your home. Of course, this service also allows you to disarm your security system without giving anyone your alarm codes. This lets you allow house sitters and contractors into your home as safely as possible.

Finally, our interactive alarm customers also receive valuable security notifications. For example, you can receive instant alerts about alarm activations and system arming and disarming events. Additionally, security updates such as low sensor batteries or a contact failing to communicate properly with your alarm panel can also send you an alert. Adding this powerful monitoring service represents one of the most effective means of updating your home alarm!

Putting it All Together and Updating Your Home Alarm

We hope that this post helps you with updating your home alarm and adding even more security. Additionally, we encourage you to contact us with any questions this post may raise for you. We will happily answer any security-related inquiries you may have. Moreover, we also invite you to take advantage of our free site survery program. We’ve long offered complimenary security audits and equipment quotes to both new and existing customers alike. During our visit, we can address any security concerns that you may have. Furthermore, we can also make suggestions based on our own observations of your property.

Perhaps you have a basic or even outdated security system that you would like to update. Or, maybe you have no home security at the moment, and wish to add some of the types of security mentioned here to your own home for the first time. Either way, we are here to help! We’ve assisted hundreds of families in designing effective security alarms over our 33 years in business. Together, we can create a complete security plan to keep you, your home, and your family as safe and secure as possible!