Self Monitored Alarms | Alarm Monitoring Considerations
Domestic Dial Alarm Self-Monitoring
Domestic dial self-monitored alarms are the default form of monitoring available through most out of the box alarm systems. Your alarms connected to your home or business copper phone line through the alarm panel’s PSTN dialer connectors. You then default the alarm system for Domestic Dial configuration and enter your mobile phone number into the alarms dialler memory.
The result is when there is an alarm the panel dials your number. When you answer the phone call, you hear a siren in the earpiece that informs of the alarm at home or work.
There are two downfalls of domestic dialling. The first is that the existing copper phone networks disconnection as the NBN rollout proceeds across Australia, so this form of monitoring isn’t future proof. The second issue is that most alarm panels only transmit a siren sound that doesn’t inform you of the zone number of the alarm.
You may ask why is that important. Well, it is important to have some idea of the number of different alarm inputs that have gone into alarm. Knowing this information helps you build a picture of what is happening at your property i.e. if you receive a signal from your home's back entry detector, and then another alarm from the upstairs detector you can say that someone broke in at the back of the house and moved upstairs. If you're looking for a cheap monitoring option that provides domestic dialling with zone verification. The NESS D8X and D16X provide this function out of the box.
Text Message Self-Monitored Alarm
The main advantage of text message alarm monitoring is that you receive a record of text messages with zone descriptions going into alarm as it happens.
The downfall with most alarm panels that provide text messaging is the alarm panel needs the connection to your properties copper phone line. This connection is going to be disconnected as the NBN is rolled out across Australia.
The other issue with text messaging is the cost. What you probably don’t know is that Telco companies provide a 13 number that connects the alarm panel to a server. This server converts the alarm panels dialled alarm output to a text message. The Telco provider then sends this message to your mobile phone. The telecommunication company charges a premium price for the service.
If you’re looking for an alarm system that sends text messages directly to your mobile phone without the Telco server requirements. The NESS Security Guard III provides this function. If you’re looking for an alarm system that sends text messages and has an app for alarm control. The Bosch Solution 6000 system with a GSM/GPRS module will provide this function over the gsm network. But it still uses the Telco’s server to decrypt the alarms text messages.
Email Alarm Self-Monitoring
An email monitored alarm system provides some significant benefits. Firstly it is configured through a broadband connection, so it is future proof. Secondly is the cost since it only requires the initial payment for interface equipment purchase and installation.
Most people these days have a smartphone with an email account configured, and if you don’t have an email account, it is quite simple to set up a free email service on your smartphone. Having this interface will allow free descriptive emails to be reported by your alarm system.
Control Room Alarm Monitoring
This form of alarm monitoring involves your alarm system connected to a 24/7 monitoring centre. The benefit of this relationship is that your alarms monitored 24/7 for any issue. The alarm centre will know the moment that someone breaks in.
There are a couple of downfalls. The first is the cost, residential alarm monitoring charging from $1 per day and business alarm monitoring costs from $1.15 per day.
Secondly is that you decide how alarms get actioned which usually involves a monitoring centre operator enacting the procedure below
1. The property phone numbers called
2. The site contacts called
3. If no contacts available send a guard that costs a response call out fee
If you require control room monitoring, most alarm panels provide contact id dialling out of the box. This connection utilises the existing copper phone line network that isn’t future proof. There are wireless options available that use the GPRS phone system that cost a set monthly fee. These options are my preferred option for control room connection for future proof monitoring. We supply and install the Permacon GPRS monitoring unit that costs a $45 per month monitoring fee.