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Home Security Monitoring

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When you have a home security system installed you have a choice of whether or not to have the system connected to a central station. The central station will monitor your home alarm system in the case of a break in. Your home security system will operate on its own but it will be a local only system until it is connected to communicate with a central monitoring station. With no monitoring connected the alarm will ring the bells, sound the horns and flash the strobes but it will not inform anyone out of ear shot about the alarm.

There are 3 ways that your home security system can be connected to a central station. The three forms of communication are:

  1. Landline
  2. Internet or Broadband
  3. Cellular (GSM)

Landline:

A landline is a standard phone line that most of us grew up with. When an alarm triggers the security system will seize the line and send a coded message to the central station. This message will tell the operator where the alarm has come from and what zone was triggered. The problem with your home security system using this technology is that the phone line can easily be cut and this will completely disable your communications to the central station.

Internet or Broadband:

This technology uses the same technology as your home computer does to connect to the internet. This is a reliable form of technology but the same issues are inherent with this as far as the ability of the cable to be cut. If you have ever had your internet go down then you will understand that the same thing can happen to your home security connection.

Cellular:

This technology uses the same GSM signal that your cell phone uses. This is by far the most reliable form of communicating your alarm signals to the central station. You have experienced your cell phone dropping out but that is usually when you are moving. When your alarm system is setup the GSM will be located to make sure that the signal is strong. Once this has been setup it will not be moving so it will continue to receive a strong reliable signal.

You do have the option to incorporate a landline and a cell phone backup but this system does have an additional monthly cost and is typically not necessary.

What is a central monitoring station?

A central monitoring station is where your home security system sends a signal to when an alarm is triggered. You are not allowed to connect your alarm system directly to call the authorities so the central station personnel are setup to do this for you. The central station operates 24 hours per day seven days a week. There job is to notify the proper authorities in the event of burglary, fire or medical emergencies.

Most Central Station Monitoring companies meet all of the following but you should confirm this before setting up the monitoring of your alarm system.

  • 24 Hour Monitoring – Your central station must be staffed to monitor alarms 100% of the time.
  • UL Listed – Underwriters Laboratories is dedicated to the highest standards and is not associated directly with any security company. Your central station should be UL Approved.
  • 24 Hr Back Up Power – In order to guarantee that your security system is monitored all of the time your central station must ensure that it always has available power. UL certified central stations always meet this requirement.

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