There is a lot of confusion about how alarm systems work. Firstly, what is monitoring. Monitoring means there is a company dedicated to answering calls, alerts, responding to those alerts, and calling local police and fire. Self-monitored simply means that the system will notify YOU, the user, that something has occurred and it’s up to you how to proceed. Obviously, the small cost of having a monitored system is extremely beneficial. There are people handling the system 24/7 even when you sleep, are out of the house, or on vacation. A monitored alarm system saves precious time in case of an incident and works for you around the clock. Obviously there are no guarantee with a professionally monitored alarm system. The police response and the actions of the perpetrator will play a large role in how things turn out.
Secondly, many people still think that most alarm systems use a telephone line (POTS which stands for Plain Old Telephone Service). Most modern systems are dual path – meaning that they communicate to a central monitoring station using internet AND cellular communication. It amazes us that many alarm companies still advertise that you don’t need a telephone line for their system. There are, however, still systems that use telephone lines. “Wireless” can refer to the fact that the sensors are not wired OR that the system communicates without a wired connection to a phone line.When trying to understand what someone is talking about a wireless alarm system it’s important to differentiate if they are talking about the communication method or the sensors. Wireless sensors can still be used on a system that communicates using a telephone line. Conversely, wired sensors can use wireless communication methods back to a central station.
There are still many companies that offer internet only monitored alarm systems. If the internet is out, the alarm is out. It’s a small risk but insignificant. Some suburbs such as University Heights, Beachwood, South Euclid, and Cleveland Heights are prone to frequent brown outs and other fluctuations in power which effect the internet. It does save costs on monthly monitoring which is attractive to some customers. In our experience, it’s preferable to use a dual-path system.
There are advantages to wired and wireless sensors. In short, wired sensors are not defeated by cutting them. If anyone tells you that, run, because they don’t know enough about the alarm industry to try and sell you anything. The biggest downside is the cost and clean up of installing hardwired sensors.
In Summary of What We Provide
- Installation of NEW wireless sensors
- Installation of NEW hardwired sensors
- Re-using some wireless sensors (some companies use proprietary sensors to prevent you from switching companies)
- Re-using wired sensors/upgrading them
- Panels that use internet AND cellular to communicate to the central station
- We *can* do telephone line and internet only monitoring but advise against it
There are some industry terms, confusing marketing jargon, and ignorant sales people. If you have questions about alarm systems just reach out to us!