Many homeowners or companies who purchased security systems in the past might consider extending their security to include remote monitoring. This being the case, you might be wondering
“Is my existing security system compatible with remote monitoring?”
Generally speaking, security surveillance and remote monitoring are two distinct parts that make up the whole security package. While the vast majority of security companies offer both services, the whole system works better when the system is integrated from the start. This way there are no incompatibility issues.
The good news however is that most of the popular security brands are technically compatible with various remote/alarm monitoring services. This is great if you’re satisfied with your present security system but unhappy with the remote service, or vice versa. That said it isn’t always as straight forward as making a simple connection as we’ll attempt to explain…
In any type of home or business security system all the essential equipment is contained within one unit. This is known as the centralised control panel. It’s designed to monitor and register the various state of sensors distributed throughout your home or business. When any particular sensor changes state – eg, when a door or window is opened, or smoke or movement is detected, the control panel will respond by making programmed alerts. If the system isn’t connected to remote monitoring it still functions by setting off loud alarms throughout the property, thus alerting people that there may be a problem.
Alternatively, when your alarm system is connected to remote monitoring and it detects a sensor problem, a signal is also sent directly to a remote alarm facility. This being the case the monitoring company are notified that there may be a problem and as a result some type of action needs to be taken.
More sophisticated control panels can also notify you personally whether you’re at home or away, and/or relay your address and type of emergency to the relevant authorities (police, fire brigade etc). However, and here’s the sticking point…. the signal sent by your system control panel needs to be ‘understood‘ by the equipment used at the remote monitoring facility. So in effect it can all boil down to something as simple as a compatibility issue.
So what can you do if you’re faced with this situation?
The first and most obvious option is to buy a whole new security system. This way you know for sure that it’s going to be compatible with remote monitoring. Clearly however, it’s a costly option, and one that mightn’t be entirely necessary, especially if there’s nothing wrong with your existing system.
The second option is to talk to the company who installed your system giving them the make, model, and serial number. The reason being that some systems have specific features which are only supported by the company that installed them. As such only their monitoring system will work with their security system.
The final option is to talk to a company that specialises in supplying converters which modifies many (but not all) existing systems so that they can be hooked up to their monitoring services. However for obvious reasons, you’re tied into their company whether you like it or not!
Out of those three options… We would suggest that the simplest and most cost-effective way to add remote monitoring to your existing security system is to go with the company who initially installed it. That way, you’ll know for sure that you have a full security system and total peace-of-mind.
Get in touch
To find out more about security systems and remote alarm monitoring contact MA Security. As well as providing security monitoring, we can also design and fit CCTV/security alarm systems in your home/business. Contact our experienced team on 1300 020 406 to see just how we can help you.