Alarm Control Panels
There are literally hundreds of Alarm Control panels to choose from and your chosen installation company will mostly likely only offer a few choices. The control panel is the heart of your system so decide on one that has all the options you currently require and then allow a little extra capacity just in case you decide to upgrade later on (for instance if you currently only require 5 zones, consider an 8 to 16 zone panel ,at least then if you decide on extra detectors you will have the extra capacity).
Above is a picture of a Gardtec 800 Series control panel shown with an onboard Keypad and Digicom communicator, this is the unit I have installed in my own property, Its affordable, reliable, and expandable. There are many other good makes of control panel and some are listed below, most manufactures make smaller non expandable panels to offer a greater choice to the consumer. I know that at the end of the day you all have a budget to stick to, but honestly folks get the best you can afford, Don't skimp when it comes to your home security.
Alarm Control Panel Guidelines
Decide on a Control panel with the facility of at least one Remote Keypad, the idea here is that the installer can then hide the main control panel and you'll then have just a small keypad on show.
Allow at least a couple of extra zones for possible future expansion of the system. If all the onboard zones are used up can the unit be expanded to accommodate more at a later date, without needing to replace the entire control panel.
Think of how you will use the alarm system, will you need to disable certain areas at night, will you need to omit the kitchen for instance if you leave the dog in. Does the panel have the option to omit any individual zone, and can it also be set up to quickly set and unset certain areas (we might call these part setting options).
Who will use the alarm, how many codes will you need, do you want the facility to see which user has set/unset the alarm and details of when. Will you need set-only codes (for cleaners etc), or a Duress code (for when your pressured to unset the alarm). Will you only want to give certain users the ability to unset specific protected areas.
Alarm Control Panels
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29 March 2007
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