Security Alarm Systems: Types, Technology & Costs

Security alarm systems of all kinds are making their way into homes, businesses and schools. However, the two most popular types of security systems are hardwired and wireless.

Hardwired systems require more installation time – and may include drilling holes in your wall – but are less expensive than their counterparts. Wireless systems, on the other hand, can be monitored remotely and can cover just as much ground, if not more, than a hardwired system.

If you’re in the market to buy either, it’s important you understand the technology and features behind both:

Alarm Systems Features & Technology:

Closed circuit TV: Video recorders monitor a home, office or area, and can be played back or archived. CCTV monitoring systems are particularly popular for large businesses and often require a security guard to monitor the video screens.

Some systems come with high-definition cameras, allowing for clearer pictures. High-def pictures makes it easier in the event of an investigation, too.

Duress alarms: These are popular among elderly homeowners. Alarms are placed in key points of the house and pressed whenever an emergency occurs. The alarm will notify emergency responders or the security company associated with the alarm.

Fire alarms/smoke detectors: As the name implies, fire alarms will notify your contact center, which – if needed – will notify the fire department; smoke alarms will sound off if smoke fills that particular room. It’s important that smoke alarms be placed throughout your home.

Magnetic reed switches: These types of systems are triggered anytime a door or window or various types of openings in the house are opened with authorization. This triggers an alarm.

Motion detectors: Just as the name implies, this type of alarm system detects movement in your home or office through ultrasonic or infrared motion detectors. Any kind of unauthorized movement will trigger the alarm.

Alarm Systems Cost:

Wireless home security systems typically cost more than hardwired systems. And the cost of your home alarm is going to depend on how large of an area you want covered.

A smaller home, obviously, will require fewer sensors. The cost to install a home alarm system can range from as low as $100 to more than $1,000. Motion detectors, glass sensors, keypads, door contacts and other equipment are typically covered in the installation fee, but make sure you find out first.

Business security systems can cost thousands of dollars because they require more equipment (CCTV surveillance cameras) and cover a larger area.

Another expense associated with a security system: Link to an emergency call center. Homeowners pay between $25 to upwards of $50 per month to have their home security system linked to emergency personnel or the respective security company.

Whenever you purchase your security system, see what kind of contract you have to sign. While some providers allow you to sign on month-to-month, many require a three-year service contract – and getting out of the contract early can be costly.

When it comes to alarm systems, understanding the technology and features behind it will help you decide whether or not it’s worth your dollar.

About the author: SJ enjoys writing about cutting-edge technology, including the technology behind home security systems.

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Sanjeeb was born with six toes on each foot. The extra toes were removed before he was a year old, robbing him of any super-powers and ending his crime fighting careers before it even began. Unable to battle the forces of evil, he instead work as a professional in Digital Marketing arena, currently living in Kolkata, India. Founded with the purpose to share his experience and interesting tech news. Connect with him on