• "Texecom Hardwired & Wireless Devices"
  • "Agility Wireless Devices"

Detectors

The Basics

There are many alarm manufacturers producing alarm panels and detectors, I hope to explain a little about the different type of detectors available.

Note not all manufacturers produce the same range of products.

At Secure I AM we supply and fit Texecom and Risco products, because they are quality reliable products covering nearly every possible alarm system need. The images above and list below are not exhaustive list of products available.

Wireless devices make installs less intrusive, makes decorating easier but the devices are priced at a premium due to the wireless technologies involved.

Hard wired devices require cables to be hidden, makes installs difficult and labour intensive and there is a greater potential to damage the decor running cables, but the prices of the devices is significantly cheaper and outweigh the labour costs. When you come to redecorate it can pose some challenges.

Detectors come in 3 major types.

1. Not powered and hard wired

These are usually panic buttons and door contacts and come in various shapes and sizes and grading options.

2. Powered and Hardwired

Probably the most diverse range of detector available, from shock sensors, glass breaks and your PIR's to name a few.

3. Wireless devices

Wireless devices are the same as devices 1 and 2 but with a wireless transmitter, there are many wireless systems on the market, old thick walls and Metal are wireless devices worst enemies but a quick survey for wireless should help determine suitability.

Terms you may have heard:-

Door contact - designed to activate the alarm when a door or window is opened, usually placed on the main entry door of an alarm system.

Dual Tech - Dual technology devices use PIR and microwave technology to help eliminate false alarms, often used to cover conservatories where the temperature can vary considerably and issues with direct sunlight are more dominant.

Anti cloak - based on dual tech, but designed to help detect against burglars trying to hide their heat signature.

Anti masking - designed to create warnings if objects are placed in front of the detector making it useless, you need to keep items a minimum distance away. The alarm system will give a warning that a detector is masked and will not set without intervention from the user.

Petwise - designed so you can arm the alarm system and let your animals roam the house, the positioning of these devices are important. The size and activities of your animals are important considerations.

Quad - 4 detection elements of which two have to be triggered to give an alarm, this helps eliminate false alarm activations.

PIR - passive infra red, there are many variations of this such as quad element.

Shock - designed to activate when some is trying to break in via a window or door, the vibration triggers the device, helps stop the burglar gaining access to the property by force.

Glass break - designed to detect windows being broken in during a burglary attempt rather than say dropping some glass on the floor.

Smoke - smoke detectors can be integrated into intruder alarm systems, they still need to be tested periodically.

Gas - you can now get detectors that will tell you if there's a gas leak

Flood- designed to trigger when water bridges the electrodes, useful when someone leaves a tap running, in flood risk areas can be used to trigger an alert to give you advanced warning and you can move your valuables, even to trigger a pump to start.

PIR Camera - designed to take a series of pictures upon alarm activation, or to take pictures on demand.

Panic Button - designed to be pressed by the occupant of the premises to raise the alarm, hard wired or wireless, wall fitted or carried around on a key ring, worn as a pendant or on a wrist strap ideal for the elderly and infirm.

Grading of alarm systems is not based on how good the installer is or the quality of the devices. It is based on the grade of equipment used throughout the install and how it's been installed. Grades are based on the current regulations, ideally you should aim from a grade 2 or above in a domestic household.