Alarm monitoring systems ensure a security guard will quickly respond in the event of your burglar alarm being triggered any hour of the day or night.
While break ins will always be a real possibility no matter how advanced your security system, monitored alarm systems ensure burglars have a very narrow window – often less than 10 minutes to perform their robbery.
This means they will be restricted to taking smaller items, cause less damage and have great difficulties in accessing safes.
Security alarms are connected to your monitoring service via different forms of communication technology. Which form of communication depends on your chosen alarm system and its compatibility with your monitoring company
- Phone lines
The original and still most popular communication system for monitored alarms in New Zealand. They are reliable and are simple to set up using existing phone lines.
Unfortunately it is becoming more common, particularly with commercial premises and warehouses for thieves to cut phone lines before breaking in.
Phone lines also have limited and slower data transfer capabilities than other technologies
- Cellular radio
Wireless digital transmission is popular as it allows for more data to be transferred at greater speeds.
As it uses radio waves, it isn’t as vulnerable to simple line cutting sabotage like phone lines. A downside is cellular radio equipment requires eletricity to operate and backup batteries generally last less than half a day.
Transfers of large amounts of data at increasingly quick speeds is a clear advantage of an internet capable monitored alarm system.
However one of the key advantages of internet over other technologies is it allows for remote monitoring and surveillance viewing direct to your computer or cellphone.
The main drawback relates to reliability as internet connections remain vulnerable to power and connection outages.
Alarm monitoring costs
Monitoring companies will seldom charge an initial setup fee. Ongoing charges are approximately $1 a day to be connected to a monitoring service. For this cost you get a ‘watch’ on your site 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
How does monitoring work?
Upon receiving an alarm activation, your alarm monitoring company will dispatch a patrol car to the site.
Larger security monitoring companies will have an in-house security patrol team.
Smaller monitoring companies will contract out to a specialised security guard company.
Security guards will check site entrances, if keys are held they will also check internally, particularly the activated sensor area and reset the alarm if required. Guards are also required to provide a written report included arrival and departure time to and from site.
Sensor notification calls
While it can be a hassle with late night false alarms, it is advisable to instruct your monitoring company to call 1 or 2 designated people before dispatching a callout.
A high percentage of activations tend to be false alarms due to over sensitive sensors, loud external noise and false movement inside a site.
So in the event you can get to the site quickly or you are certain that is a false alarm due to someone being onsite you will save callout fees.
Factors to consider
When choosing a monitoring company there are a number of factors you should consider. The most important are explained below:-
- Distance from patrol dispatch office to monitored property
When your alarm is triggered you want to know a patrol is going to arrive in time to thwart theft and damage to your property.
If you ask an alarm monitoring company how long it will take a patrol car to reach a site, they are likely to under estimate the time it takes to arrive to a site.
Instead you need to know the distance from the patrol dispatch office to your site and the approximate drive time, as a guide – less than 10 minutes from dispatch to site arrival is good.
- Cost of call outs
Call out rates in New Zealand range between $60-90 depending on the monitoring company. Frequent call outs can add up over the year, so it pays to compare rates.
Check the alarm monitoring companies your neighbors/ neighboring business use, ask them about their experiences, costs, dispatch arrival times
There is little point having an alarm siren sound if nobody is going to do anything about it. These days burglar alarms go off all the time and people just ignore them. A monitored alarm ensures a response team on site in the event of a sensor activation.
For their low monthly cost, monitored alarm systems provide a thick additional layer of security for your home or commercial site.