Tag Archives: DIY

From Bells And Sirens To 24-hour Remote Monitoring

Not so long ago, a ringing alarm bell would guarantee an instant reaction. Someone in the vicinity, often a neighbour, would alert the Garda, who would then come rushing to the scene.

Somewhere along the line, that began to change. More often than not, that ringing bell or screeching siren was a false alarm. Instead of scurrying to the phone, neighbours would bury their heads deeper under the duvet to stifle the noise.

In many areas, the Garda adopted a policy of refusing to respond to ringing alarms unless they had additional reason to suspect a break-in.

Over the years alarm systems have become more sophisticated and cheaper, thanks to advances in technology. Its still possible to buy a basic bell-only alarm. As a deterrent, its better than nothing.

But lets face it these days, most people just ignore ringing bells. In some areas, apparently, not even one in ten audible alarms is reported to the Garda.

If all you need is a visible warning to would-be burglars, you might be as well buying a dummy bell-housing box for under ten euro. If you want a proper security system, youre really looking at 24-hour alarm monitoring.

Under this system, when your alarm activates, it sends a system to a round-the-clock monitoring control centre staffed by trained personnel. They verify that the alarm is genuine before alerting you or your keyholders. If the alarm has been triggered accidentally, the alarm is cancelled and the system reset. If the alarm is genuine, the control centre immediately contacts the local Garda.
PhoneWatch, a subsidiary of eircom, has a good relationship with An Garda Sochna and offers a range of options suitable for private householders and businesses.

Its packages come in two basic forms: alarm systems for homes pre-wired for an alarm and wirefree alarm systems. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. A system for a pre-wired home takes longer and is more difficult to install definitely not a DIY job. But its cheaper overall, with few batteries to replace and little maintenance required.

The wirefree packages are more expensive to buy and maintain. But theyre more flexible and provide a greater range of features.

For those who are regularly away, the wirefree systems also offer remote access technology, which allows you to manage your security settings from anywhere in the world using your own mobile or any touch-tone phone. Other extras include acoustic sensors which can detect the sound of breaking glass within a 15-foot range and a fob key ring with an integrated panic button.

As with everything else, what you get depends on how much youre prepared to pay. In these days of deepening recession and rising crime, the question you might want to ask yourself isnt Can I afford 24-hour alarm monitoring? but Can I afford not to invest in a modern security system?.