There are two types of alarm systems, residential and commercial. Over the past 5 years the features of the two have started to merge. Many of the advanced features that the commercial systems have offered are now available on the residential systems. For this article I am going to discuss features in general, these features should be available in both types of systems.

We have all seen or heard the alarm system commercials that usually want to sign you to a self-renewing contract for some low price that includes monitoring and the equipment. Be careful with these offers as they usually do not put contacts on every door and window, but instead use motion detectors and maybe a glass breakage sensor. These are all good but you need more to get a full alarm system.

Alarm features that you should consider:

  • You should consider putting contacts on all doors and windows so that when one is forced open the alarm will go off. These are hard wired or use wireless contacts.
  • Motion detectors on every floor along with glass breakage sensors.
  • Smoke, Fire and Carbon Monoxide detection sensors.
  • Monitoring by certified alarm monitoring company.
  • Ability of the alarm system to call out by cell phone when there is an alarm.
  • Ability of the system to be turned on at night when pets are in the house.
  • Can you call into your system remotely to set temporary codes say for house guests?
  • Systems can now be connected to Wi-Fi cameras in your home, so if you have an alarm both you and the monitoring station can see or hear who is in your house.
  • There are Apps for your iPhone or Android phone that can communicate with your smart alarm system.

Those are some of the very basic and also nice to have features that many of today's alarm systems will offer. Some of these features were only available on commercial systems; however, as the prices have come down and the electronic features increased they were made available for home systems.

One of the most important features to have is monitoring that can hear if someone is in your house. Then when they call the police they are more likely to respond to your house if the station can confirm hearing voices or better yet seeing video through your cameras of who is in the home. In future articles I will expand on commercial alarm systems.

George Uliano is a security professional with years of law enforcement and security experience. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and Business graduating with honors. George holds three U.S. patents on different locking principles. This combination gives George and His Company Locking Systems International Inc the unique ability to provide its customers with the correct security at an affordable price.For additional information or to purchase Locks go to
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