Security Tip

On a regular basis check the operation of your burglar alarm system with a 'mock' break-in.

Or call your local police department and ask if they offer free security checks of your home and system.





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Security System Alarm Panels

The Foundation Of Any Home Security Alarm System


When thinking about a home burglar alarm system, most people focus on remote devices such as sensors and cameras. But alarm panels are the hub of all security systems, and cannot be overlooked in the planning process..

Sometimes called alarm control panels, security alarm panels is the central component of every fire and security system. It is the central computer of your system, and allows user programming via alphanumeric displays, keypads, and telephone dialers.

Various sensors are connected to a burglar alarm panel from locations throughout your home. These can included window and door sensors, motion detectors, and smoke detectors. It is also where the phone line connects if your security system is monitored by an outside security company.

If the sensors detect a problem, a wired or wireless signal is transmitted to the central alarm panel. Depending on your setup, security system alarm panels respond by triggering an alert which activates, a siren, strobe, or video recorder.

In addition, alarm panels can be programmed to automatically contact your security monitoring company or the local authorities.

For reliable protection, most burglar alarm control panels operate on batteries that are charged by a low-voltage transformer connected to an AC power supply. In case of a power failure, operation is automatically switched to battery power.

Two Types of Central Alarm Panels

Alarm control panels are available in two different designs. The first type is integrated with the keypad as a single unit - the keypad is your interface to the entire system. This is the simplest option since there is one less box to mount and connect. However, you'll need to activate and deactivate the security system alarm each time you leave and enter the house. So the keypad and security control box need to be installed near one or more doors.

The downside here is that if a burglar should gain entry, easy reach for you is also an easy reach for him. If found, the central alarm control to your system can quickly be disabled by the intruder.

The second design option is a remote security alarm panel with a stand-alone keypad. While the keypad needs to remain close to the door, these remote alarm panels are intended to be hidden away, perhaps in a closet, basement, or attic. Although it requires a bit more work, a separate keypad and control panel is the safest option.

Final Words On Choosing A Security Panel

One of the most important features in an alarm panel is the maximum number of zones that the boxl can support. So resist the temptation to buy small. Security system panels are sized based on the number of zones you want. This is usually anywhere from 4 to 32 zones, but some models can be daisy-chained to greatly increase capacity. Once you've done the necessary planning, look for a control panel with 50% more zones than you've identified. It's almost always the case that once installed, you'll eventually want more zones that you originally thought.

Home burglar alarm panels are the foundation of your security system. So don't try to skimp on price. Stay with major brands such as DSC, GE, and Ademco alarm panels. They are readily available, and offer lots of expansion options.

You'll also want to read about security alarm keypads. Additional buying tips can be found in the sections on home burglar alarm equipment, and home security alarms.