Alarm System Buying Guide

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Alarm System Buying Guide
Installing an alarm system in a home helps protect it and its occupants from unauthorised entry. Dealing with a robbery or break-in is devastating. Personal items are stolen or broken and people feel as though their privacy has been violated. A home is a sanctuary where people should feel safe and comfortable. Once the home has been breached, it leaves people feeling insecure and unsettled for a long time afterwards. The larger security systems are harder to find in shops because they are such a high ticket item. Luckily, people are not limited to what they can find locally. Websites like eBay have thousands of sellers with a huge variety of products. This allows families to find an alarm system kit that is perfectly tailored to their home and needs.

An alarm system can either prevent this from happening, or help people recover from the emotional side effects of the robbery. Knowing that the home is secure helps calm the fears that it happens again. Selecting an alarm system can be daunting because there are so many things to consider and the systems range in all spectrums from high-tech to simple motion sensors. Alarm systems may even have fire, carbon monoxide, gas, or water sensors. With so many options, people can find one that best fits their needs if they know what to look for.

Things to Consider About Alarm Systems

The size of the home makes a big difference because the larger the home is, the more protection it needs. People can choose which doors and windows to protect if they do not want to purchase sensors for every possible entry point. Write out a list of all the doors and windows that are at risk for being broken into. When deciding which areas to cover, keep the below statistics in mind.

  • 22 percent of burglars enter through the back door
  • 23 percent of burglars enter through a window on the ground floor
  • 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door
  • 81 percent of burglars enter through the ground floor
  • 4 percent of burglars enter through a basement
  • 2 percent of burglars enter through the first floor
  • 9 percent of burglars enter through the garage

Since one in four burglars enter through the ground floor, it is essential to make sure you protect your ground floor entry points first. Buyers should always check that the alarm system they install is large enough to cover all of their home’s most vulnerable points.

The Components of an Alarm System

The majority of the decision making has to do with selecting the features of the system. The components of the alarm system are what contribute to providing the protection. Shoppers should choose the features that they feel best protect their home and still stay within their budget.


Sensors are what is used to detect a break-in or unauthorised entry. There are many kinds and they each detect intrusions in different ways.

Type of Sensor



These sensors detect things that are a risk to health such as fire, carbon monoxide, and water. Protection against these is just as important as protection against robbery

Door and Window Contacts

Contacts are two-piece sensors. One is attached to the wall and the other part is attached to the window or door. When the door or window is closed, the two pieces are in contact with each other; when the sensors loose contact with each other the alarm is triggered

Glass Break

Glass break sensors are placed inside and are built to detect the high-frequency noises created by breaking glass. Some of the sensors also detect the shock waves generated by the breaking glass


Microwave sensors produce an electromagnetic beam that is invisible to the human eye. It passes from a transmitter to a receiver similar to the sensors placed under garage doors to prevent them from closing on anything. If anything breaks passes through the path of the transmitter and receiver the alarm goes off

Passive Infrared

Passive infrared detectors are the most common sensors found in homes because they work well and are affordable. These operate simply by detecting sudden changes in temperatures that would occur if a person were to enter the home

Photoelectric Beams

Photoelectric beams work in a similar way to the microwave beans. However, these beams are visible. Their visibility makes them less effective because they are easy to avoid. They do work well as a deterrent, though


Ultrasonic detectors transmit sound frequencies that are inaudible. The sound waves are reflected back to the transmitter by the objects in the room. Anything in motion disrupts the frequencies and sets off the alarm. These are considered to be outdated by most professionals


Vibration sensors are used to detect when a structure is attached. They can go on doors, fences, or anything else that a burglar would break or breach to get into the house

The type of sensor to select is up to the shopper and depends on the layout of the home. For example, microwave beams may not be practical in tight spaces, whereas a passive infrared sensor can be placed in a corner and be effective.

Control Panel

The control panel is the central hub of the alarm system. It controls all the security system settings, connections, and commands. Some systems are also linked to a company that calls over the intercom or personal phone to see if everything is okay. If there is no response or the verbal password is wrong, they call the police. The company that is monitoring the system is not alerted right away when the alarm goes off. The control panel gives the user about 30 seconds to enter in the password to disengage it.

There are also independent control panels that can be purchased. These come with a sensor, such as a motion sensor, built into them and are placed by a door or window. No other sensors can be added in.

Alarm Keypad

The keypads are more simple and exist only so that people can activate and deactivate the alarm system. They cannot be linked to any outside sources.

Alerting Device

Usually this is part of the control panel but it can be separate. The alerting device is the siren that goes off when the sensors are triggered. Some systems also have flashing lights to attract even more attention from anyone outside.

Wired and Wireless Alarm Systems

When a sensor’s alarm is activated, it notifies the control panel. The control panel then initiates the siren and cannot be turned off until a code is typed in. The control panel is linked to each of the sensors in the home either through hardwire or a wireless connection. Wired systems can be installed to homes that are being built. Wires run from the control panel through the walls to each room. Wireless systems require no wires, but their range is limited. For larger house, a repeater unit may have to be purchased.

Find Alarm Systems on eBay

eBay has thousands of different alarm systems that people can choose between. They can get a kit for a single room, a kit for an entire house, separate alarms for a window or door, and anything else they may need. eBay makes shopping easy because it gives people more choices and allows them to bargain shop without ever leaving the house. Since all the items on the website are sold by different people and companies, they have to compete with each other for your business.

To look at the available alarm systems, just type "Alarm Systems" in the eBay search box and click the Search button. eBay then returns a list of all the alarm systems for you to browse through. If you want to narrow down the selection, enter in your price range and then choose whether you want a new or used system. Purchasing the used systems is a great way to get more for your money. However, if purchasing a used system, be sure to read the product description thoroughly and make sure everything in the kit works. It is also a good idea to only purchase from sellers who accept returns.


The benefits of installing an alarm system are numerous. Statistics show that that homes without security are three times more likely to be robbed. Even placing the sign in the front that indicates there is an alarm, detours potential robbers. The return on investment is huge considering the amount of money that could potentially lost in damages if the house were to be broken into. In addition to that, some insurance companies offer discounted rates to home that are protected. However, no amount of money can make up for the emotional damage that the occupants suffer if the their home has been broken into.

The decision on which kind of alarm system to invest in for the protection of the house and family should not be taken lightly because the number of robberies statistically goes up every year. Luckily, with the knowledge of what to look for, anyone can easily find and purchase and alarm system that protects their home.

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