Your Complete Guide to Burglar Alarms

It probably comes as no surprise to you that across New Zealand, 77% of reported crimes in 2017 were against property. [1]

Those crimes included 51,922 home burglaries and 17,544 commercial burglaries. There were also 137,538 other theft relates offences (including 30,204 vehicle thefts) in the same period. [1]

That means across New Zealand, one burglary occurs every 8 minutes.

You might also be surprised to learn that most burglaries actually happen in the early afternoon.

That’s why it is increasingly important to protect your home or business from property crime.

Home security alarm systems are used to first and foremost deter burglars from entering your home.

In the event a break in does occur, the burglar alarm sensors will detect the intrusion and the alarm systems 120db internal sounder will hopefully send them running out the door to avoid being caught.

This article has been written as a guide to help you make an informed decision about your home security needs.

Crosbies Security Limited offer quality, affordable alarm systems. You can email office@crosbies.co.nz or phone 0800 112 335 for a free, no obligation chat, 7 days a week.

Key Components for Modern Burglar Alarms

There are a multitude of alarm system brands out there, so it can often be hard to know where to start.

Depending on the size of your house and a few other factors, entry level alarm systems can start at around $600, and go right into the thousands.

This article will hopefully help steer you in the right direction about what you want to achieve out of a home alarm, so when you’re speaking to a sales consultant, you can ensure you are getting the best possible deal for both your security and your budget!

Alarm Sensors / Alarm Motion Detectors

Often known as “PIR’s”, which stands for Passive Infrared Sensor.

A passive infrared sensor (PIR sensor) is an electronic sensor that measures infrared (IR) light radiating from objects in its field of view.

Essentially, these alarm sensors detect heat from objects in a given area.

Most burglar alarm sensors can be adjusted to be pet friendly as well – it’s often not a bad idea to get the pet friendly sensors, even if you don’t have pets, in the event you sell your home or decide later on to get a fury friend.

Sensors can come either wired or wireless. First option should almost always be wired, because you don’t have to worry about batteries going flat, and they are often faster and sending the intrusion signal back to the control panel.

Wireless sensors now days are excellent, but make sure the brand of wireless sensor you are purchasing is known for it’s reliability! You don’t want a cheap, nasty wireless sensor that drops off from the wireless receiver at the control panel all the time, as it will cause false alarm activations and drive you mad!

 Alarm Control Panel / Burglar Alarm PCB (Printed Circuit Board)

These are the main control panels that power the entire burglar alarm. Not to be confused with the “keypad” which simply influence the control panel!

Always enquire about the number of zones the PCB you’re being quoted has. The standard is 4-zones, which is suitable for most New Zealand homes. But if you’re after a bigger alarm system, then you may need to consider getting a larger PCB.

A basic PCB will set you back about $60 or $70 + GST.

Alarm Keypads

As mentioned above, the keypad is the user interface that influence s the alarm control panel.

Modern alarm keypads now include the TM50 touch screen keypad pictured to the left. These make controlling and configuring your alarm seamless.

You can still get traditional non-display keypads if you’re on a budget, that will do the job well.

Alarm Back Up Battery

Every alarm needs a back up battery in the event there is a deliberate power failure. Most alarm systems now won’t go off in the event of a power failure – the back up battery will kick in, and the alarm will work as normal – meaning that in the unlikely event the power goes off in the middle of the night, you won’t get woken up.

There are many batteries to choose from – from a 4 hour life battery up to 20 hour life battery. The battery will generally need to be replaced every 3-5 years.

Crosbies Security Limited can supply and replace your alarm battery (and perform a routine service) for around $150 including GST. Be careful as some companies will charge much more than this.

iOS/Android Integration

Read our article here about iOS/Android integration (opens in new window): https://www.crosbies.co.nz/single-post/2018/03/21/iPhone-Android-Alarm-Monitoring

Most modern alarm systems can be capable of being self-monitored through your iOS or Android device.

Ask whoever the alarm sales consultant is to show you the app they’re promoting! Not all of them are great. You want one that is easy and simple to use.

Sirens

Most security alarm systems will have at least one internal siren and one external siren. At the very least, you should have an internal siren to cause distress to the burglars.

Having an external siren is still very important, to draw attention to your home in the event a burglar breaks in.

Most alarm kits will include both.

Optional Upgrades for Home and Commercial Burglar Alarms

There are many optional extras you can add to your alarm system to make life easier and enhance your home security.

Alarm Remotes

Remote controls offer the convenience of arming and disarming your alarm system with the push of a button.

Crosbies Security can also set up a relay so the same remote can open and close your garage door – meaning you can arrive home and use the same remote to quickly access and then disarm your alarm system.

Wired Smoke Detectors

If you’re installing an alarm system, you should seriously consider installing a wired smoke detector at the same time.

Having a wired smoke detector is the best protection you can have against fires. Hard wired smoke detectors don’t need battery replacements, and will sound your entire alarm siren in the event of a fire – meaning it’s much louder than your typical supermarket smoke detector.

How Much Do Burglar Home Alarms Cost?

Firstly, ensure the consultant you are liaising with is Ministry of Justice licensed. All security consultants entering your home must be MoJ licensed.

Also, check with the security company that their installation technician is either a qualified Security Systems Technician or a Registered Electrician.

If they are a Security Systems Technician, they must also be Ministry of Justice licensed to install your alarm.

If they are a Registered Electrician then they do not need to be MoJ licensed as they will already hold an Electrical Workers registration.

Crosbies Security Limited are pleased to let you know we are Ministry of Justice Licensed (you can search us up on the Private Security Personnel Licensing Authority website – visit https://www.justice.govt.nz/tribunals/licences-certificates/pspla/.

So what’s the cost?

An entry level, full alarm kit supplied and installed for an Auckland home would cost about $600-$700 including GST.

This should include:

A complete basic alarm system package should include:

  • Alarm control panel and tamper cage + a transformer or a plug pack

  • Backup battery

  • 2 (PIR) sensors

  • Keypad

  • Internal siren

  • External siren

Alarm Installation Types – Auckland Alarm Installations

There are three common types of alarm installation types.

Hard Wired Alarms

All sensors, control panel and key pads are wired into the homes mains supply with a backup battery in case of any power outage.

This is best suited to new builds, or homes with adequate roof access where a retro-fit isn’t costly.

Wireless Alarms Systems

These remove the need for any wiring installation with all parts of the system being self battery powered.

Wireless alarm systems have been known to be inferior to hard wired systems, however technology improvements have seen the development of many quality wireless systems and now they are as effective as wired systems.

However, be cautious of entry level self install wireless systems or unbranded wireless systems, as they can be prone to false alarms and signal problems causing you headaches in the middle of the night or when your neighbour phones you while you’re trying to work.

Wireless systems are best suited for existing build homes and rentals where running new cabling is problematic.

Hybrid Alarm Systems

These have elements of both a hard wired and wireless system, e.g. control panel and the keypads maybe hard wired, though some sensors are wireless.

Reference Material:

[1] – http://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/crime-at-a-glance-dec2017.pdf

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