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Home Alarm Basics & Tips

We understand that searching for a home alarm security package can be overwhelming and tricky! There are so many features and functionalities to choose from, it’s hard to know what exactly it is you need. Fortunately, we have many security specialists that are able to assist with the buying process, however in order to make a rough start, we’ve put together some of the basics a homeowner should know.

The Basic Home Alarm Componentry

Detectors & Devices

The end elements are the detectors and operating devices. These identify various hazards via detectors based on innovative technology. There are detectors that alert to home intrusion, while some other detectors identify a range of safety hazards such as smoke detectors. Detectors can distinguish between animal & human form & can incorporate cameras.

The operating devices in a smart home are components that turn on/off the lights, control the thermostat and open/lock door. These devices which require a wired or wireless connection to the main unit (panel). The number of connections are known as “number of zones”. It is important to remember that the greater the number of zones that are included in a system, the greater the ability to secure and operate more complex, larger homes and business properties.

Main Control Panel

Essentially the system’s brain, this is the unit that is connected to the end components on one side, and to an electricity supply (including a backup power battery) and communication channels (phone line, cellular, and internet) on the other. The panel interacts with the site, processes data, and transmits operating instructions to/from the various devices. There are many types of systems available, from basic systems with 5 to 8 zones, to more complex systems that include up to 32 zones, and large systems, mainly suited for businesses, which offer hundreds of zones.

Control Devices

Advanced security & smart home systems can be controlled by various devices, including a keypad (or touch screen) with a password, remote control, a special key, chip, computer via the internet and a smartphone app that allows receiving notifications/pictures/video, operating your smart home devices from anywhere in the world. At Ross Galt, we provide all these solutions.

Alerts & Notifications

Alerts are about notifying the owner there is a hazard or threat based on the information received from a detector or a device. After information is received, an alert or push notification is sent immediately via a communication channel and/or through activation of a siren or alarm.

Security System Tips

Now that we have given you the breakdown of makes up a home security package, you’re probably still a little confused about what you want and need. For example, do you want physical remote control or a smart app? Do you need a wired or wireless? And How many detectors do you need?

Here are some FAQs to help you with the selection process.

Wireless or Hybrid Combination?

Firstly, decide whether you are interested in a security system to prevent intrusion only, or to have more of a global protection system that also includes detectors for additional safety hazards (an intercom system, indoor and outdoor cameras, and other custom enhancements). There are three types of systems – wired, wireless, and hybrid, but which one should you choose?

For A New Home?

If you are in the planning and design phase of a new home, this is the time to ask your engineer or architect to plan the security and protection infrastructure in consultation with a security expert or professional installer. While you can choose either a wired or hybrid system in this phase, you may want to consider hybrid as the hybrid allows you to add wireless devices later, without replacing the main unit.

For An Existing Home?

If you wish to secure an existing home, then a wireless system may be the better solution if the premises is multi level &/or difficult to run cabling. Regardless of the system type, it’s important to ensure that the system is properly installed and that the system’s operation frequency is the approved local frequency for these systems. At Ross Galt, we offer a maintenance service where we can check your system, to ensure each device is working correctly.

Mapping Access Points

The principle of having a security system is to have the ability to identify and alert the property owner in the case of an intrusion. A quality security system will operate effectively to identify an intrusion from all possible access points.


Working with a security professional you should examine the premises to assess risk and weakness points on the property and its surroundings, and to plan a system that will work with your security needs. Residential units in apartment buildings require internal protection in most situations, or protection off the main entrance in the residential space; and particularly for lifestyle properties, or homes with large internal grounds and long driveways, consider protection of outdoor areas that provides an additional level of protection. You may want to consider installing outdoor detectors and camera, as an external protection is more effective for protection from intruders since it alerts you before the intruder enters the premises and causes any damage (breaks window or locks etc.). Our security professionals at Ross Galt can help you map your access points and design you a tailored security plan.

Connection to a 24/7 Security Monitoring Centre, Yes or No?

Connecting your system to a monitoring centre will improve the quality of your security. When the system is connected, an alert is sent to the monitoring centre each time the system is activated. In this case, the monitoring centre will contact the homeowner by phone to ensure that there is no false alarm, and then if required dispatch a security guard to the premises to check the premises.. Take into account that connection to a monitoring centre usually involves a fixed monthly fee which is based on specific service type. The connection to the monitoring centre can be arranged by Ross Galt and will give you the ultimate, maximum security.

If you’re interested in installing a home alarm system, then get in touch with Ross Galt Lock &Alarm for a free consultation.

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