How Do Smart Burglar Alarms Work? The Ultimate Guide

Burglars are becoming more and more sophisticated, which means that the security of your home is at risk. Some burglars can break into your home in less than 15 seconds. You may never know they were there until it’s too late.

A growing number of people are starting to explore the possibilities of advanced smart technology in relation to home security. If you’re one of these people it’s likely you want to know how smart burglar alarms work so that you can protect your family from burglaries. It’s important to remember not all smart home security systems work the same.

This ultimate guide will help you understand the different types of burglar alarms and what makes a smart burglar alarm the best option to choose.

How Burglar Alarms Work

Burglar alarms work to either warn off or scare away intruders. If you think about it, there are only two ways that an alarm can go off.

The first is by detecting movement in your home through a motion sensor.

The second is by sensors that detect forced entry into the home, such as a broken window or smashed door.

The best smart security systems can monitor both types of situations and warn you if there is a danger.

Types of Burglar Alarm Systems

There are three main types of modern smart burglar alarms: hardwired, self-monitored wireless, and professionally monitored wireless alarms.

Traditional Hardwired Alarms

A traditional hardwired alarm sounds if a burglar breaks a window or smashes a door. These alarms are simple to install. However, they usually don’t provide a central monitoring station that allows you to keep on top of your whole system..

Self-Monitored Wireless Alarms

Self-monitored wireless alarm systems work by sending a wireless signal from a sensor to a base unit connected directly to the alarm siren.

An advantage of this system is that you can take it with you if you move. It doesn’t need an electrician to wire every room with sensors.

Professional Monitored Wireless Alarms

These types of burglar alarms use a similar technology to the self-monitored system. However, they’re connected to a central monitoring station, otherwise known as the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). The base unit sends a signal to the ARC when an intruder triggers your sensors.

An advantage of professionally monitored systems is how easy they are to use.

Bells-Only Burglar Alarms

A bells-only burglar alarm is a traditional hardwired alarm system that uses sensors to detect intruders. It doesn’t have an integrated keypad or any wireless technology.

Instead, the control panel connects to all door and window sensors using a series of short wires. When an intruder triggers one of the sensors, the control panel will play either a siren sound or a series of warning bells.

The downside is that they’re not user-friendly. If you want one, then you’ll have to hire an electrician or technician with the relevant experience and knowledge to install it for you.

Another problem with bells-only burglar alarms is that they don’t provide any monitoring service.

Dialler Burglar Alarms

A dialler burglar alarm is a traditional alarm system that gets activated and deactivated through a keypad. It doesn’t have any Wi-Fi connectivity.

Although they’re relatively effective, the main issue with dialler alarms is they’re not as reliable as other types of systems. Without any form of wireless technology, they’re limited when it comes to customising your security system.

Wireless Burglar Alarms

Wireless burglar alarms offer all of the benefits of traditional systems with added flexibility. You’ll receive alerts when your system gets triggered. You can also activate and deactivate them through a keypad or smartphone app.

Wireless burglar alarms are best for property owners who want 24/7 monitoring and the option to control their alarm system using a smartphone app.

Smart Home Security Systems

A smart home security system is a wireless burglar alarm that’s connected to the internet. If you want complete peace of mind, this smart home technology provides everything you need to protect your property 24/7.

The most significant benefits of smart home security systems include motion sensors, remote control, and the ability to connect with your favourite smart devices.

Police Monitored Burglar Alarms

police monitored response alarm

police monitored burglar alarm is the same as a regular system except that it has direct contact with local police stations. If your alarm goes off, the ARC (Alarm Receiving Centre) will inform you of the situation and ask whether you want to report the incident.

Although it’s not essential, many homeowners choose to install police monitored burglar alarms because they offer an added layer of protection over standard systems. If you want to make sure that you have the added reassurance of knowing if you’re not around to answer a notification, ARC will elevate to a police response and your alarm won’t be ignored. Spending a little extra money on an alarm with this feature could save you thousands of pounds in the long run.

What Triggers a Smart Burglar Alarm?

A smart burglar alarm gets triggered when something interrupts the sensors. The sensors attach to your windows and doors, for example. When an intruder opens them, the system will instantly become activated.

There are other ways that smart burglar alarms can get triggered. Some models have panic buttons that you can hold down if you’re in an emergency. Others come with video cameras that record anything they see while your alarm is active.

Is a Smart Burglar Alarm Worth it?

The simple answer to this question is yes. If you install a wireless burglar alarm with multiple sensors and contact points, then your property remains under constant surveillance.

You can buy smart home security systems with different levels of complexity. You don’t have to spend money on features you won’t use. For example, some homeowners might only want a few basic sensors, while others require an alarm with comprehensive monitoring coverage.

It’s relatively easy to operate smart burglar alarms. You’ll quickly discover that it’s much easier to use smartphone controls than conventional systems. Those older systems require you to punch in numbers every time you want to activate them.

The ability to seamlessly connect to other smart devices in your home is another added advantage to using a smart alarm system. You can use IFTTT technology to integrate locks, lighting, garden sprinklers, and other smart home devices.

How does the Boundary Smart Alarm Work?

Z-Wave® vs Wi-Fi – What’s the difference?

Here’s how our smart alarm works at Boundary. When an intruder breaks into your property, they’ll trigger the motion or contact sensors, automatically alerting the Central Hub. It will show you exactly which sensors have picked up the unusual activity.

If someone triggers the alarm accidentally, you can disable it by entering your pin on the panel or from your mobile. One main advantage to a Boundary system over a standard smart security system is our Z-WaveⓇ technology. It offers stronger encryption when compared to using Wi-Fi signals.

Is it Easy to Install a Smart Home Security System?

Installing a DIY alarm system isn’t as complicated or time-consuming as conventional alarms. However, you do need to think about where you want to place your sensors.

The installation process depends on the type of system you want to install. Choosing professional alarm installation is a great option if you aren’t confident in installing. This way, your alarm will function correctly, and you won’t have to worry about false alarms or technical problems in the future.

At Boundary, we make the installation process simple. Our certified engineers can install everything for you. They ensure the system operates correctly and show you and your family exactly how to use your new system.

Central Alarm Hub

boundary wireless alarm hub

Everything begins with the Central Alarm Hub at Boundary. The central hub communicated with the app so that homeowners can access from smartphones and tablets. By using the app, you’re able to turn your alarm on and off whenever you want to.

Your wi-fi connects to the hub to deliver an accurate reading of your home security system. Cellular backup is also available.

We install the Central Hub conveniently on a wall where you can use a passcode keyfob to arm and disarm the system. You can decide to install the central hub via wall-mounted screws, or (coming soon) a stand to hold the central hub.

The Central Hub comes with built-in tamper-detection technology, a Piezo siren, and 12-hour backup battery functionality.

Motion Sensors

The PIR motion sensors connect to the corners of each room. They then connect to the Central Hub and notify your phone as soon as anyone enters your property. These sensors use infrared heat to scan and detect burglars. You can decide to use screws or adhesive pads when mounting the motion sensors.

We can also calibrate the sensors so that they don’t pick up on your pet’s movements. This way, you won’t receive false alerts when your dog wants to walk to the water bowl in the middle of the night.

We help prevent false alarms by using a sealed lens. Sensors also self-test for faults. They come with pulse counting technology and are designed to meet Grade 2 UK and European Standards BS EN50131. This technology helps to minimise false alarms.

Further security includes the ability to resist any electromagnetic or electronic interference or jamming attempts.

Door and Window Sensors

Contact sensors are installed at the windows and doors of your home. One part of these sensors is a magnet. The other is the sensor. They connect to the Central Hub and notify you if they’re open or closed.

Boundary sensors know a burglar is attempting to get into your home when they break the magnetic field between the magnet and sensor. If the window is open even an inch, you’ll get a notification on your phone. This ensures that no one can slip into your home without you knowing about it.

The batteries in these sensors last up to 12 months. You’ll benefit from long-range connectivity and anti-tamper technology. Unlike cheaper contact sensors, a burglar can’t defeat a Boundary sensor by using their own magnet to “trick” the system. Our system also prevents a loud truck on the street, for instance, from triggering the alarm.

Other door and window sensor features include:

  • Resistant to electronic or electromagnetic interference
  • Easy setup with screws or adhesive pads
  • Z-Wave® 700 Series – EU Frequency

Outdoor Alarm Siren

The Boundary outdoor alarm siren is set at 95 decibels. This ensures that people hear it at a long distance to deter intruders from your home. It connects to your wall using screws and spirit level.

Other important siren features include:

  • Red flashing light after activation
  • Connects to the Central Hub with Z-wave® 700 technology
  • A battery that lasts over one year
  • Lock-open lid

Remotely Monitor Your Home Security

Use smartphone capabilities to monitor your home remotely. You can check up on your home’s security at any time of the day or night. Even if you’re out shopping, you’ll know that everything is okay back home thanks to our smart solution.

Additionally, you can also arm and disarm the system using this capability. This feature is super helpful if you forget to arm the system before you leave the house.

Boundary also lets you assign other users to your account with varying degrees of accessibility. For instance, if you have someone staying temporarily with you, you can give them access to arm and disarm the system without any admin permissions. This feature also helps when your children come home from school before you return from work.

Are you ready to install a smart burglar alarm system in your home? Take the next step in your journey towards installing the best smart burglar alarm.

Contact us and ask any questions you may have about how Boundary can solve your home security system needs.