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Is Your Home Alarm System Out Dated
If we look at the history of burglar alarm systems , we will find a gradual progress from a simplistic one circuit system to systems which are multi-zone, integrated and packed with features. It may be possible that your system is not as antiquated as the systems that were first introduced into our society, yet far from the ones that we find today.
When I started as an apprentice installer in the home burglar alarm industry more than twenty five years ago the systems that I learned to install were made with an extremely simple arrangement of lights and relays, yet were very difficult to install and service.
Installations were done by running one or at the most two pairs of wires throughout the house and along the attic and wherever a window or door was present, a loop would be brought down to install a door or window sensor. This procedure was all that was necessary at the time because the only control panels that existed were single zone panels. The work was very tedious and most installations would take two men approximately one week to complete. The enormous amount of time to install the job was due to the fact that the only way at that time that anyone would protect any glass door or window was using what was referred to as window foil. Window foil was an aluminum tape that had to be attached to each and every piece of glass and a perfect square would be made with the tape around the glass to be used as the actual protection for the glass. The tape would serve as a piece of wire which would complete the circuit back to the zone. If anyone would break the glass from outside the home while the burglar alarm system was armed the tape on the glass would in turn break and cause the circuit or zone to open and that in turn would activate a relay which would trigger a siren to sound for an indefinite amount of time. The problem with installing this foil is that if it was a rainy or cold day outside the tape would not adhere to the glass. Also, the tape would very easily break if you were not careful and if that happened it would be necessary for you to start all over again. All of this was the cause of excessively long installation duration as well as difficult service issues.
For the past ten years or so we have seen the disappearing of this method of protecting homes and gone to smarter and installer friendly systems. The use of foil on windows is non existent and has been replaced with audio frequency discriminators. These sensors are audio sensors that pick up the sound and vibration that breaking glass makes and only one per room is necessary. Systems now have multiple zones and make it much easier to perform a service call in case of a faulty zone. Wireless sensors have practically made it unnecessary to have to run wiring to doors and windows for protection, Motion sensors are made today with the ability to be used in your home even if you have pets that weigh as much as 100 pounds. Control panels are made with the ability to be integrated with lighting control or video. Keypads which control the operation of your burglar alarm system are now even available in color touchscreen models.
Wherever you fall into this category it would be wise to have your system upgraded at least every ten years. A system that is more than ten years old is a problem waiting to happen and should be upgraded to a more recent model.
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