Home Alarm System

Questionfairy

New Member
Messages
3
Hi guys,

We're looking to have an alarm installed and I've been trawling the web for a good while and I'm still not sure.

All I know is that phonewatch is a no go.

We'd ideally like a provider that isn't too expensive.

The house was a new build so it therefore doesn't have a pre existing system, in addition to this,, it is also wired for a wired alarm system.

I'd appreciate any advice on the matter.

Thanks
 

PM9999

Registered User
Messages
45
In our previous house we self - monitored (with the facility to add 3rd party monitors, if required) and found it quite effective. HKC system, with SMS paging facility. It was a retrofit to an existing alarm, so we used the already installed PIRs/wiring (8 zones), with new sounders (internal/external), controller unit, battery back up, input panel and text sending unit. The alarm was app controlled (switch on/off remotely via interweb), requiring an annual fee (for app and text SIM) of about €60. Install cost was about €1300 (no new PIRs). It was reliable over 5 years living there, and only false alarmed once when a slug entered the bell box and shorted 2 contacts. (The slug paid the ultimate price ......) Our new house already had a working alarm, but if that fails, I'll be back to an HKC app controlled system as we had before - very happy with it.

Paul
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,063
I would avoid fixed alarm systems. The world is wireless now.

I have a piper which I monitor via app. You can hook up other cameras, motion detectors, etc too. You pay for the device but monitoring via app is free.
 

michaelm

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,688
Personally I wouldn't pay for a monitored alarm. I have a basic alarm which I set at night (perimeter) just to alert me of an attempted break-in. Otherwise I suppose having the box on the wall is a slight deterrent. We set it during the day if everyone's out but I don't set it going on holiday as I don't want it to annoy my neighbours and I don't want to think about it. Naturally, I don't claim any alarm discount on my house insurance (although I suspect many do who don't realise they don't meet the T&Cs for this).
 

Jetblue

Frequent Poster
Messages
160
I have a HKC system similiar to PM9999.
It's brilliant, no false alarms and very cost effective.
Wired sensors are better and much cheaper than wireless.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,650
I would avoid fixed alarm systems. The world is wireless now.
Wireless sensors are significantly more expensive and a boon to installers who make a lot of money replacing batteries.

Wireless makes sense if retro-fitting wiring is going to be problematic. If you already have wires, use them where possible and supplement with wireless sensors if required. The modern panels from HKS and Siemens are hybrid and will support wired and wireless sensors.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,063
Wireless sensors are significantly more expensive and a boon to installers who make a lot of money replacing batteries.
You can install them yourself. And also change the batteries yourself.

The whole thing is much less problematic if you need to change windows, repaint, re-plaster, etc.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,650
You can install them yourself. And also change the batteries yourself.

The whole thing is much less problematic if you need to change windows, repaint, re-plaster, etc.
I know, I've installed a few systems over the years. I've never had an issue painting around sensors or cabling. Replacing windows shouldn't really cause any issues, but it's not something most people do too often. My current system is the HKC hybrid, I chased cabling to most points and added a few wireless sensors for the shed and one point running a cable would have been a real pain. A few hours running cables saved me €600. I've only ever had a few problems over the years, but always with the few wireless sensors where the system misses the heartbeat or fails to confirm state during the arming cycle.

If you have wiring in place, save ~€50 per sensor and go wired. If you later need to make significant changes that mean you can't reuse a particular cable, replace that sensor with a wireless one.

You need the system engineer code unless you're OK with setting off the alarm, most installers won't give you that as they reuse them.
 

RedOnion

Frequent Poster
Messages
3,809
Just remember with self installed alarm systems, no matter how much better they are, you cannot use them to get a discount on your house insurance. If you've said you have an alarm, but it's self installed, the insurance company can use it as a reason not to pay if you have a claim.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,650
Just remember with self installed alarm systems, no matter how much better they are, you cannot use them to get a discount on your house insurance. If you've said you have an alarm, but it's self installed, the insurance company can use it as a reason not to pay if you have a claim.
Very good point.

If you do claim such a discount on your home insurance, make sure you keep records of the system being signed-off as inspected to the standards they require every year.
 

Páid

Frequent Poster
Messages
510
If you do claim such a discount on your home insurance, make sure you keep records of the system being signed-off as inspected to the standards they require every year.
Also, the alarm needs to be armed every time the house is vacant or you will not be covered for burglary. Personally I don't claim the alarm discount for this reason.
 

Buddyboy

Frequent Poster
Messages
575
And if you're handy, have a look at the Yale DIY alarms. Easy to install, expand with additional sensors (and I think they have camera options now. Connect to your phone/SMS card and will call/txt/msg you with alerts.

I have one of their (older) systems for around 20 years and it has been fault free, other than battery replacement and the odd errant spider setting off the PIR sensor (which is the 2nd most common false alarm apparently )
 

MangoJoe

Frequent Poster
Messages
127
I think an important detail to consider when deciding whether you should ensure its a monitored Alarm system or not is when is the last time you heard an alarm siren blaring locally and proactively investigated the situation? How about when it was at 3am on a rainy February night?

Usually people just complain about nuisance alarms and wait in an irritated state hoping that somebody gets around to silencing it.

OP check out options to monitor your alarm yourself - You can have it text any number of mobiles automatically, eg friends family or whoever.

Also offering this suggestion unprompted to anyone who happens to read this post now or in the future.... Strongly consider fitting at least one 12V smoke alarm to your alarm system. This is an option that nobody seems to be aware of but if there's an electrical fire while you're at work then it might mean saving your house. (* My system texts me that the Smoke Alarm in Hall has activated etc)

Ditto for a panic button at some strategic point in the house..... Additional costs for me were a pittance, same as adding a couple of extra PIRs.
 

riddles

Frequent Poster
Messages
107
Rather than restart a new thread I would like to check on a quote for a wireless alarm. Its a four bed detached house which has not been wired for an alarm before.

For a wireless HKC alarm with sensors outlined as below I have got three quotes from below to which is 1700€ and the most expensive 2175€

Is this in and around the standard?

Control Panel:The panel will be H.K.C. The panel has zone omission facility, and is mains operated with a 12 volt stand by rechargeable battery.
Bell Box & Strobe Light:The bell box will be fitted in an agreed position; it will incorporate one self activating bell unit, tamper switch and one flashing light.
Internal Siren:One Echo internal siren will be fitted.
Keypad:


New GSM Voice Unit:


There will be one keypad fitted in an agreed position. This unit will switch on and off the alarm system.

This Unit sends a voice message as well as other features available on a downloadable app (approx €10) to a number of pre programmed telephone numbers supplied by client via the Mobile Telephone Network. There is a monthly fee by the provider of €7 per month for this service.
Detection Devices:There would be a number of Detection Devices fitted as set out on page 2.

The cost of the supply and installation of this system is €1,756.
The proposed detection devices would be as set out in the table here under.
ZonesDetection Devices and area to be covered
Zone 1One contact to be fitted on the front door.
Zone 2The sitting room window will have one shock sensor and two contacts fitted.
Zone 3The hall window will have one shock sensor and one contact fitted
Zone 4The dining room French door will have one shock sensor and one contact fitted.
Zone 5The dining room side window will have one shock sensor and one contact fitted.
Zone 6The kitchen window will have one shock sensor and two contacts fitted.
Zone 7The utility window will have one shock sensor and one contact fitted.
Zone 8The back door will have one shock sensor and one contact fitted.
Zone 9The play room window will have one shock sensor and two contacts fitted.
Zone 10The bathroom window will have one shock sensor and one contact fitted.
Zone 11The back bedroom window will have one shock sensor and one contact fitted.
Zone 12One beam to be fitted on the landing.


Optional Extras:

Fob:
This unit will switch on and off the alarm system. There is also a panic button on this unit. Cost of this unit is €48
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,650
That looks to be a comprehensive set up alright, price is around what I'd expect.

The HKC sensors have a decent range. If you have any outbuildings storing valuables such as tools, bikes, etc., perhaps add a door contact & shock sensor and a PIR to that. Get that set up a separate zone that can be alarmed using the Part Set feature so it can be armed when the rest of the house is disarmed.
 
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