The history of burglar alarms dates back thousands of years, when dogs were used to alert people of approaching intruders. While canines still act as the primary alarm system for some owners, technology and economies of scale have contributed to introducing highly-efficient electronic burglar systems that accurately sense and quickly alert homeowners to intrusions within and around private property. Home burglar alarms continue to evolve due to the technological advancements used to construct alarm systems for businesses, especially banks. In fact, newer burglar alarm systems incorporate the same technology used to provide protection to banks.
Homeowners can buy near mint condition burglar alarms at discounted prices on eBay. This is because a seller may have changed his mind about a system or decided to cover more of his personal property under an alarm system. Before shopping for a burglar alarm system, consumers should learn about the benefits of installing a burglar alarm, burglar alarm components, and the most important buying factor of all, the sensor options.
The Benefits of Installing a Burglar Alarm
The primary reason homeowners buy burglar alarms on eBay is to enhance their personal safety and protect their property. However, installing a burglar alarm within, or around, the perimeter of a home provides additional benefits. These benefits are often considered offshoots of the primary personal safety and property protection benefits.
Many consumers have the misconception that burglar alarms only protect what is inside of a home. Most burglar alarm systems allow homeowners to create designated protection zones outside of the home to include vehicles. Once an intruder enters the designated protection zone, an alarm alerts fire, police, and ambulance personnel of an intrusion. Many homeowner insurance policies now include provisions to reward homeowners for including their vehicles within the designated burglar alarm protection zone.
Burglar alarms provide homeowners with immense monetary savings; yet, there is no figure that homeowners can place on peace of mind. Most burglar alarms found on eBay allow homeowners to monitor their properties from work, school, or from a holiday location. Video feeds typically run through the Internet. If a burglar prompts an alarm, the video feed signals homeowners through a computer or smartphone that the system has been breached.
Manufacturers add detection devices to monitor other home dangers. Many burglar alarms come with detection devices that alert homeowners to fires. Once the system detects fire or smoke that exceeds a predetermined level, the system notifies the fire service and homeowner.
Any homeowner who conducts a cost-benefit analysis immediately recognises that buying a burglar alarm on eBay is a good decision. Installing a burglar alarm is a minute cost compared to the potential loss of expensive home furnishings and valuables stored inside of a safe. Moreover, homeowners who install burglar alarms receive considerable insurance discounts.
What to Look for in a Burglar Alarm
Homeowners have many factors to consider before they purchase a burglar alarm. They can simplify the buying process on eBay by focusing on three critical burglar alarm factors.
Most burglar alarm systems offered by eBay sellers communicate with a monitoring station staffed by a security firm. Homeowners should consider this factor, as it provides another layer of security for their properties. Look for monitoring companies that screen employees and have established a reputation for providing quick response rates.
Wire or Wireless Operation
Homeowners who want a permanently installed burglar alarm system should consider investing in a wired system. On the other hand, homeowners who do not want to punch through walls and remove sections of a room’s ceiling should consider wireless burglar alarm systems.
The most important decision homeowners make, the one decision that can determine the difference between life and death, is the type of sensor used to detect intruder movement. Not only is the type of sensor important, but the number of sensors placed within a home also factors into security enhancement.
The Components of a Burglar Alarm
The rapid pace of technological change means that the burglar alarm prototype of today may be obsolete a year from now. However, most burglar alarms found on eBay contain the same basic components. Manufacturers design burglar alarms under the premise that one or more sensors detect intruders and the sensors trigger a warning device that alerts homeowners of an intrusion. The following chart lists the primary components of most burglar alarm systems.
Burglar Alarm Component
Premise Control Unit (PCU)
Acts as the brain of the system
Reads sensors and issues intruder alarm
One or more circuit boards enclosed in durable metal
May be placed around property perimeter or inside home
Multiple methods of detection
Responds to sensor detection
Bells, sirens, or flashing lights
Warns homeowners and potentially scares away intruders
Wall-mounted devices that function as the interface between the system and homeowners
Can feature buttons, indicator lights, and small character displays
Either wired or wireless connections that link alarm components
PCU sends electronic signals to components
Used to illuminate intruders
Can be spotlights, security cameras, or lasers
Recent burglar innovations allow homeowners to combine the security facet of the system with a monitoring service. Any intruder detections automatically alert the monitoring system, which then notifies the operators on duty at a monitoring station. Once notified of a property intrusion, the on-site monitoring operators contact the property owners and law enforcement. In some cases, the monitoring operators send private security forces in response to intrusions.
Burglar Alarm Sensor Options
While burglar alarm manufacturers include many of the same components in their system designs, the one area that differs is the type of sensor used to detect the presence of intruders. Burglar alarm sensors are the components that provide homeowners with multiple options that influence the level of security, and ultimately, the cost of a burglar alarm system. Homeowners should carefully consider each sensor option before making a final decision when buying a burglar alarm. A search on eBay can help buyers find each type of sensor, represented by at least one eBay seller.
Magnetic Switch Sensor
Magnetic switch sensors represent the fundamental type of sensor found on eBay. The switch sends an electrical current through a closed circuit that a magnet keeps closed. Homeowners typically place the magnet on a door, so when the door is forced open, the electrical current disrupts and the alarm alerts homeowners of an intrusion. Most magnetic switch sensors prevent burglars from closing the door and deactivating the alarm system.
Passive Infrared Motion Detector
A passive infrared motion detector, or PIR, is used to sense the presence of an intruder inside of a home. The PIR detects body heat when an intruder walks near the device. Homeowners programme the distance between the PIR and the perimeter area the device must cover. PIRs can be installed for small spaces within specific rooms or cover entire rooms. Homeowners can implement PIRs as the sole detection device or integrate the heat sensor with other detection devices.
Manufacturers build monitored alarms to utilise homeowner residence lines to contact homeowners via mobile phones or other electronic communication devices. Because of the involvement of wireless technology, monitored alarms can be more expensive than other types of sensors. Some monitored alarms contact operators at monitoring stations.
High-end burglar alarms found on eBay utilise ultrasonic frequencies to detect home intruders. The ultrasonic waves bounce off of walls and objects in a room until the frequency stabilises. Once programmed, burglar alarms that possess ultrasonic detection alert homeowners whenever the ultrasonic frequency waves are disrupted by motion. Microwave detectors operate under the same scientific principle, except they run on higher radio frequencies. This allows microwave detectors to send radio waves through thick walls.
Glass Break Detection
Seismic glass break detectors are installed on glass panes, which is different from how other detections are installed within a home. Glass that intruders shatter produces a shock frequency that travels through the glass, window frame, walls, and ceiling. Seismic glass break sensors feel the resultant shocks, and then prompt the alarm to alert homeowners of an intrusion.
Inertia sensors detect attacks on the home. For instance, an intruder who tries to kick in a door becomes detected through the vibrations emitted during the attack. Most inertia sensors mount on barriers near the major point of home entry. When vibration occurs, the unstable portion of the circuit breaks the current floor, and thus, triggers an alarm. Inertia sensors are reliable sensors that produce low false alarm rates.
How to Buy a Burglar Alarm on eBay
eBay offers homeowners a wide variety of burglar alarms that implement different technologies and utilise varied sensing devices. Type keywords into eBay’s search engine, and then navigate through the search results pages until you find a seller who meets your buying criteria. The best strategy to find eBay sellers is to type specific keywords into the search engine. For example, type specific keywords, such as "multiple rooms system burglar alarm" or "keypad control burglar alarm" to reduce the number of search results pages. Once you find a seller who matches your shopping criteria, click on the seller’s product page link to review accepted payment methods, delivery terms, and return policies.
Know the Seller
Consider buying a burglar alarm from one of eBay’s Top-Rated Sellers. These sellers have earned reputations for offering high-quality products and running efficient transactions. eBay places an electronic ribbon icon by each of the top-rated seller product photographs. You can also review customer feedback that eBay places on seller product pages. Look for sellers who have garnered positive customer feedback for the past year and have experience selling home security devices. Once you form a business relationship with an eBay seller, inquire if that seller runs an eBay Store.
Burglar alarm systems offered by eBay sellers provide so many benefits that homeowners do not have to decide whether to buy one, but rather, which type of system to buy. Some of the benefits of installing a burglar alarm system include lower insurance costs, property protection, enhanced personal safety, and the capability to perform remote surveillance. While homeowners have many factors to consider before purchasing a burglar alarm, they should focus on three broad areas. They first need to consider whether to install a wired or wireless system. The decision depends on whether homeowners want a permanent system installed or if they have an aversion to walls being torn apart. Homeowners also need to consider monitoring companies with which to do business, and the most important factor of all, the type of sensor.
Manufacturers produce different sensors to cater to varied homeowner buying criteria. Homeowners can buy burglar alarms on eBay that contain ultrasonic detectors, monitored alarms, seismic glass break detection devices, or magnetic switch sensors, each with their unique security benefits. More advanced sensors cost more, but the payback comes in the form of reducing financial losses and having peace of mind. After ranking the types of sensors, homeowners should learn about the common components found in typical burglar alarm systems. Although rapid technological changes can render current burglar alarm systems obsolete, the systems should always contain the same common components.