A Self-monitored alarm system allows the user to monitor home security. It is relatively cost-effective, easy to manage, and doesn’t need a third-party to monitor your home. One of the most noticeable features of this type of alarm system is its ability to alert you if an attempt has been made to break into your property. It immediately triggers a loud sound followed by a call or a notification on your phone. In a monitored alarm system, the alert directly goes to an external party or local authorities responsible for taking action. In case of a self-monitored alarm system, the alert directly goes to the user.
Different modes of communication with a self monitored alarm
1. PSTN Connection
A self-monitored alarm system uses your home landline connection to contact your smartphone when the alarm goes off. All intercommunicating alarms contact at least 3 of your preferred numbers.
How does it work?
The control panel of the alarm should be located near a functioning telephone point, preferably within a distance of half a meter. It will be connected to the telephone point. And when it goes off, the alarm will use the landline to call you. Until it goes off the system will not use your PSTN connection.
- A budget-friendly self-monitoring alarm solution that uses only the PSTN link.
- There are no ongoing costs incurred except when your landline connection, at a standard off, is used to call your smartphone when the alarm goes off.
- It has a location limitation as it should be placed close to the telephone point.
- There is a high possibility that the burglar could disable the alarm by cutting the cable if it is visible outside the house.
- The alarm will not be able to contact you if there is a landline connection issue.
2. GSM Connection
A self-monitored alarm system can also use a sim card to operate your alarm system by putting it inside the control panel. This system then uses a wireless connection to call you and send you text alerts when the alarm goes off.
How does it work?
Any standard size prepaid sim card (micro and nano sims won’t work) can be inserted into the control panel with around £ 10.00 credit. It is used to call you if the alarm goes off.
- You get more flexibility with the positioning of the control panel. This is because you need power supply only for the panel. Also, the GSM unit can be programmed to text you for various alerts to alarm events, such as power failure or tampering or accessory problems.
- They can also be programmed to send a text message to the main user if you have multiple alarm users to let them know when the alarm has been switched on and off. And, if you assign individual keyfobs or proximity tags to each user, you can identify who turns the alarm on and off and when. This is ideal for knowing that your children are back home safe, or giving access to cleaners at home, or for use in commercial premises.
- We also have GSM alarms with smartphone apps, which use the sim card’s data connectivity (GPRS) to communicate with the app on your iPhone / android phones.
- You’ll need to top up the sim card at least once a year. And the typical cost varies between £10 and £60 per annum. Moreover, you should have an online account to track your account credit.
- If you are using the smartphone alarm app and the GSM unit incurs data charges, make sure that you are on a sim card that allows data communication. We would recommend not to go for an unlimited plan. And rather choose a plan that charges based on the data used. This is to make sure the alarm system and its app use minimal data.
We recommend pre-paid multi-network sim cards from SIM4alarms for our alarm customers. Because it works on multiple networks, so even if one network goes down, it picks the next one in the area for you. This is specifically designed for burglar alarms and hence is easy to manage online. Also, it sends top up and low credit reminders directly to your email and deals with all usual disadvantages using standard prepaid sim cards.
- Visonic Powermaster 10 with GSM
- Visonic Powermaster 33 with GSM
- Risco Agility 4 GSM
- Visonic Powermaster 360R
3. IP Connection
Self-monitored alarm can even use the broadband routers to use the IP network to connect to the cloud service. In this case, you can easily connect it via the manufacturer’s app.
How does it work?
You can use a network cable, RJ 45/CAT 5, or an additional wireless connector module to set up the connection. It is recommended to place the control panel near the router and to have a keypad near the front door to connect the router to the cables.
- The IP module ensures that the alarm uses your broadband connection to enable communication between the alarm panel and the smartphone or any other device. This option is best if your cameras are connected to the alarm as it ensures a quick transfer of data between the system and the app.
- It reduces the recurring cost of monitoring the alarm system.
- Motion sensors with built-in cameras (PIR cameras) are great for checking the alarm and ensuring that there are no false alerts. Most camera alarms will automatically send you images/videos when the alarm is off. Also, you can program your alarm to take a photo/video of you from your app or any other device with remote login access to your burglar alarm system.
- You may need a keypad near the front door to operate the alarm when you enter the house.
- Most customers will still need a PSTN or GSM alarm connection to let the alarm system notify you directly if it goes off.
- IP Module connectivity is the most advanced alarm security solution available on the market and can, therefore, be a bit more expensive.
4. Wi-Fi Connection
Some alarms use a wireless connection to your broadband connection for Wi-Fi. This eliminates the need to place the control panel next to the broadband router and to run networking cables. You would need a very stable broadband connection to use this function. Preferably a fiber connection option, and, if possible, a static IP address.
It is always best to explore different options before choosing an alarm system. Always be clear what features would you want in your system. We have a variety of systems available with different features and are suitable for different budget categories.
If you want to start with a basic alarm system and prefer to upgrade later, we can help you with that. Visit us at FHA Security or call us at 020-3137 8727, 0800 193 8727.