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7 Reasons to Upgrade Your Old Wired Alarm to a Smart Home Security System

As restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic have abated, more and more of us are spending increasing amounts of time outside and away from home.  This in turn increases the potential for break-ins and burglaries. For that reason, it’s only sensible to think about whether your alarm system is up to scratch. 

The hard truth is that many older alarm systems aren’t user-friendly by today’s standards. They have critical vulnerabilities to tampering, can be hard to use, cost a lot to install and even more to maintain. As a result, we’d always recommend that homeowners and renters alike upgrade old wired alarm systems to a newer smart alarm system.

This article outlines 7 reasons to upgrade your home security system, with input from the experts at Boundary.

 

1 – A Completely Wired System is Exposed

 

Wired alarm systems used to be the norm in home security, and many homes still retain their old wired home security systems. The trouble is, many either don’t work or are so hard to use they are rarely turned on. 

Wired systems are entirely dependent on their physical components–the wires–which can degrade, become bent, or even break and disconnect from the system. 

Being attached to internal walls or skirting boards with clips they’re vulnerable to wear and tear damage, but not only that, with wires it’s hard to know if a system is damaged. 

Beyond that, if the power is shut off for any reason, the alarm system won’t be effective, leaving your home vulnerable. What’s worse, because wired systems used to be so commonplace, many burglars are experienced in deactivating them; defeating the entire purpose of the alarm system!

Upgrading to a wireless security system offers a solution to this problem. Smart-home security systems are often completely wireless and battery-operated, removing the possibility of wire tampering or degradation. They are sleek, self-sufficient, and resistant to damage, making them an ideal home security option.

 

2 – Controlling Your Security System with Your Phone

 

Another reason it’s worth investing in a smart home security system is the level of control they offer.

Typically, old wired alarm systems have built-in mechanisms to alert you, like a siren. While a siren is a great deterrent, if you’re on holiday you’re often reliant on a kindly neighbour coming to check on the noise if you aren’t around.

With a smart system, everything is in your control. You have a smartphone controlled alarm system, which means you’re immediately notified of potential break-ins by push notification, and you’re also informed if burglars attempt to compromise your alarm system. From there, you can call the police yourself or if you have opted for a police response alarm, you’ll know the Alarm Receiving Centre will alert the police on your behalf. 

 

3 – You Can’t Access Your Security System Remotely

 

It’s a nightmare scenario, but it’s all too common. Imagine you’re getting back from holiday, you see the door hanging open, and you realise that you forgot to activate your alarm system. You open the door to find you’ve been burgled.

If you upgrade your wired alarm to a smart home security system, you’ll know immediately if your home security has been compromised. Since smart home security systems operate on Wi-Fi and can be linked to your smartphone, you’ll be able to activate your home security from anywhere. You can even check in on particular motion sensors remotely.

This can be an added benefit even for everyday scenarios. Have a relative or friend dropping by your house to watch your pets? With a wired alarm system, there’s the hassle of giving them a code or other mechanism and then hoping they use the system properly.  But with a smart system, you can turn your security off when they’re around and turn it back on when they leave, without the hassle of trusting them to navigate your system themselves. Alternatively, alarm fobs are a simple and easy way to give another person easy access, and you’ll get notifications when they do.

 

4 – Your Home Security System Doesn’t Work with Your Smart Home Devices

 

One of the advantages of smart home devices, from the Amazon Alexa to the Nuki Smart Lock to Sonos Speakers, is that they give you considerable freedom and creativity in controlling your home. One of the major downsides of old wired alarm systems is that they can’t take advantage of these technologies.

But if you upgrade your old wired alarm to a smart home security system, you can use smart home devices for a wide variety of purposes, from improving your quality of life to syncing up with your security.

Using services like IFTTT (If This, Then That), certain smart home security systems can automatically interact with other smart home devices via your security system.

In some cases, this can be for comfort, such as setting an IFTTT applet to play music on Spotify when your security system is disarmed, or providing a relaxing ambience when you return. Why not coordinate your air conditioning system to raise or lower its resting temperature when your system is armed to save money?

IFTTT can also be used as a way to ward off potential burglars. It’s possible to set routines with your devices such that when your security system is triggered, your speakers play loud and disruptive music or the sound of barking dogs. 

You could also set your light bulbs to flash like strobes to disorient burglars and alert neighbours.

If you’re new to smart devices, check out how to set up a smart home.

 

5 – Your Current System Uses Old or Out of Date Hardware or Software

 

A significant disadvantage of wired alarm systems is that they’re liable to be using outdated hardware or software. 

Since they are based on physical components, your system is only as up-to-date as it was the day you had it installed–and if you are going to be living in your home for a long while, that is a problem. Most traditional alarm providers recommend annual maintenance checks, but of course there is usually a fee for this and it’s an extra expense to factor into the budget. 

But, with a wireless smart home security system, system updates can be done remotely and over-the-air via Wi-Fi, with no need for any maintenance engineers to visit your home. 

The upshot is that your alarm system security is kept up-to-date without you having to lift a finger.

 

6 – You Want Police Response or a Monitored System

 

If you’ve inherited an old wired system when you moved into your new home you’ll probably know by now whether it’s an unmonitored or monitored system. Wired and monitored systems often come with a hefty monthly fee. 

By contrast, smart home security systems offer a range of affordable options. Some offer 24/7  monitored alarm systems and often these come with the greater protection of a guaranteed police response. Systems like Boundary’s will automatically contact an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), whose staff monitor alarms and notify the police if there is an intrusion.

 

7 – Your Old System Was Installed Poorly

 

A final reason to upgrade to a smart home security system is that many old systems were not installed properly.

While companies like Boundary maintain rigorous standards for professional installation experts, not all companies do so. And because old wired alarm systems are not connected to a broader network, it’s impossible to know if it was installed incorrectly until the event of a burglary, which is the worst time to find out your system has a problem!

The advantage of smart home security systems is that they ensure that the system can be set up smoothly and simply. Boundary also offers the option of professional installation or self-installation, the latter of which comes with thorough instructions that anybody can follow.

On top of that, the system is self-testing. You don’t need to be a detective to figure out an issue with your smart home security system; the system can detect its problems and notify you if there are issues. This gives you the reassurance that everything about your system is in working order.

 

Upgrade your old security system to Boundary

 

As we’ve laid out, there are quite a few issues with traditional wired alarm systems–but just as many reasons to transition to a smart home security system, like those offered by Boundary.

Boundary offers state-of-the-art home security systems to bring you the best in home protection, including reliability, level 1 police response, control via smartphone, and dependable self-testing. Boundary has even been designed to meet EU and UK specifications. (Certification pending). 

The answer is clear: if you’re looking to keep your home safe and secure, you can’t do better than Boundary. If you still need more home security tips, we’re here to help. Why not design your own alarm system today?