Home Security: Installation and Alarm Monitoring

June 12, 2015


Job One of Home Security Is to Secure. So Why Do so Many Home Security Alarms Fail to Do So?

How many times have you heard the siren of a home security alarm and ignored it? An all-too-commonplace scenario, Australian homeowners are often left to pick up the pieces when poorly installed or monitored home security fails them. A lack of understanding about quality, industry licensing and regulations could be why home security systems across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth aren't delivering the level of safety consumers expect.

The main purpose of any home security system is to protect your home from burglars or intruders. You want to feel comfortable that your family, your property and your assets are all taken care of. This means having an advanced security system that deters burglars at the outset, while providing you with the emergency attention you need if danger happens to strike. But how do you ensure the security system in which you've invested is going to deliver?

Perfecting the foundations from which your security system is built is crucial to both your personal safety and the protection of your financial investment. You can start protecting your investment at the very beginning by educating yourself about security installation and alarm monitoring.

Make Sure You Have a Professionally Installed Home Security System

Make sure you have a licensed security system installer. Seriously, failing to do this could place you at risk both physically and financially.

The first, and arguably the biggest mistake Australian consumers are making is the failure to check the credentials of their security system installer. This can place you doubly at risk. How? Firstly, an unlicensed operator is prone to unprofessional errors. Secondly, an unlicensed or unqualified installation may end up costing you your insurance claim, if not your life and property. So what do you need to know about Australia's security licensing laws?

  1. Each state and territory has its own licensing conditions and government body regulator.
  2. Security licensing applies to installers, technicians, salespeople, contractors, monitoring operators, patrol services and guards.
  3. Licensing is mandatory under each state's legislation, making it illegal for an unlicensed person to undertake security installation in your home.
  4. Operators undertaking illegal security work can be prosecuted and face substantial fines.
  5. Operators who are unlicensed have typically not undertaken a criminal history check. Do you want that person installing your 'security'?

asial_search_home_security_providers Head to the ASIAL website to check that your security provider performing at the highest national standards.

How does poorly installed home security affect you?

As a homeowner, illegally installed security may render your home and contents insurance invalid in the event of a burglary. Your insurance provider should have compliance standards, and any unprofessionally installed security system will no doubt fail to meet these.

At a more immediate level, unprofessionally installed security systems place you at risk of intruders and burglars. A recent Australian security system survey found that:

  • 18% of panels were incorrectly located outside an alarmed area;
  • 15% were located within the entry/exit point and;
  • 46% of panels were not capable of dual end-of-line supervision.

These all constitute errors in the installation of a security alarm system, making them vulnerable to tampering and failure. However they're not the sort of thing a typical homeowner would know to look out for. It's important to be sure you're dealing with a knowledgeable, legitimate security installation provider, not simply someone who claims they install alarms.

A poorly installed alarm also means you could end up dealing with frequent false alarms. Improperly installed security systems are set off by everyday disturbances like curtains, winds and pets. This is even though it's easy to have a pet friendly alarm system when properly designed and installed.

You can find out more about security licensing from ASIAL's "Who Needs a Security Licence" resource page.


Get a fast quote on alarm monitoring for your home now.

Home Security is Never Complete Without Proper Alarm Monitoring

If you're planning on investing in a security system you should be considering alarm monitoring.

Alarms being triggered are a part of the everyday landscape. The presumption is that it's either been falsely sounded or that security services will be dispatched and it's somebody else's problem. Yet the latter is only likely to happen if the service provider is effectively monitoring that home security system.

So what exactly is alarm monitoring?

Alarm monitoring describes the 24/7 communications between your home security system and the Calamity central monitoring station. When your control panel registers an emergency event, a signal is sent out to our monitoring centre. This signal then propels our security monitoring staff into action. They'll attempt to verify the alarm and contact the appropriate authorities ensuring help arrives at your home when you need it most.

It's also an important part of the day-to-day operations of your security system.
Your security system is designed to regularly send arm and disarm signals. This demonstrates to both the police and your insurer that your home is properly armed. While this becomes incredibly important in the event of an incident, it's often a relatively unthought-of part of your security. Yet, failing to give it enough thought can cost you more than you think.

How can a poorly monitored or out-dated alarm monitoring system cost me money?

If your home security alarm monitoring is connected via a phone line, you'll be logging and paying for regular calls. This can be as many as 20 or more chargeable phone calls a week. That's why we offer IP monitoring; connecting your home security alarm panel with our ASIAL A-graded monitoring centre via your internet connection and several mobile networks. Not only can our IP monitoring systems save you call charges, they also prevent your system being disabled by having the phoneline cut and are not affected by the NBN rollout. Read our post on Alarm Monitoring and the NBN here.

Failure to properly monitor and assess arm and disarm signals or maintain a security system can result in false alarms. They'll annoy the hell out of your neighbours and you'll end up paying the security dispatch fee or have weak security. Calamity is committed to false alarm reduction.

What makes for good alarm monitoring?

The peak national body for the security industry, ASIAL, provides an alarm monitoring grading program recognised and preferred by insurers, banks, police and government due to its in-depth auditing processes. Calamity's monitoring centre has the highest possible ratings, including ASIAL A-Grading and Five Diamond Certification, representing a level of excellence across both the physical security of our monitoring centre itself, as well as the training of our staff, the level of their service and the speed of our response times.

Good, professional alarm monitoring assures you receive:

  • High response times in the case of an emergency;
  • The option to have IP alarm monitoring instead of outdated phone line monitoring;
  • The comfort that false alarms will be properly assessed and attended to, saving you both the hassle and extra costs; and
  • The benefit of lower insurance premiums (check with your insurance provider is this applies to you).

What can alarm monitoring include?

  • Detection and prevention of burglaries and intrusions;
  • The detection of smoke, heat, fire or flood;
  • The triggering of emergency/panic buttons.
  • Temperature monitoring
  • System failure or fault
  • Arming/disarming information - a great way to keep an eye on domestic or business staff comings and goings.


Getting the Right Security Alarm System for Your Home

So you know you need a licensed installer and alarm monitoring in order to protect your home and your investment. But what kind of home security alarm is best for you?

Home security alarms can basically be divided into two alarm types. You can choose to use one over the other, or opt for a system that integrates both to achieve a better level of security:

  • Perimeter Systems: Technologically advanced, a perimeter system alarm gives you the freedom to move without the fear you're going to set your alarm off. A combination of reed switches, vibration sensors, outdoor detectors and acoustic sensors work to detect forced entry to the premises. This is done without limiting residents, guests or pets from occupying the inside. Good detectors and proper system design does not suffer false alarms from things as simple as the wind blowing through a curtain which may affect older systems.
  • Internal motion detection systems: This is the alarm system most people are familiar with. You typically set this alarm whenever you leave the home and turn it off once you arrive home. You can isolate certain areas of your home to be actively monitored while you're asleep. However, this kind of alarm can be limiting, especially if you have a young family or are a bit of a night owl. Ideally a system includes a combination of internal motion detection systems and perimeter systems giving you the comfort and peace of mind of using the system when you are out, but more importantly when you are at home or asleep.


All Calamity installers are trained to design a security blueprint and system based on the layout of your home, your lifestyle, your needs and your budget. Fill out a 100% confidential enquiry form now to get a fast quote on home security installation or to find out more about our alarm monitoring services.

Find out more about wireless home security, home security cameras and CCTV security systems in the next instalment.

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