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What are Wireless Alarm Systems?

By Charity Delich
Updated Jan 27, 2024
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Wireless alarm systems are battery-powered security systems designed to alert occupants of a building to certain kinds of danger, like a burglar breaking into a home at night or a fire starting in an office building. Typically, wireless alarm systems communicate triggering conditions to building occupants using wireless signals, such as line carrier, infrared, or radio waves, which are transmitted on a special frequency. A wireless security system can protect users from more than just an authorized intruder. Many systems are also equipped with smoke and gas detectors, motion sensors, water detectors, and low temperature detectors.

When a wireless alarm system is set up, wireless sensors are typically put throughout a home or commercial building. Doors and windows are commonly equipped with these sensors. A control panel, which houses a circuit box and a standby power source, is also installed. When a sensor is engaged, it signals the control panel. Depending on how it is set up, the control panel then usually emits a loud noise or contacts the police or fire department.

Wireless alarm systems are common in both home and work environments. Home security systems are typically used to prevent triggering events from occurring in a private residence while commercial security systems are usually designed to keep a company secure. Depending on how the security system is structured, it can notify building occupants of an intrusion, a flood, a fire, or other dangers. Some of these security systems include wireless door alarms, which use wireless technology to set off alarms when doors are opened.

Wireless digital security systems are distinct from wired security systems. Wired security systems use wires in order to signal the occurrence of a break-in, the presence of smoke, a water leak, or other triggering event. Wired security systems generally require electrical power to operate. They are often more expensive to install because the wires need to be routed through the building’s walls.

Advantages and disadvantages exist to using wireless alarm systems, and potential users should carefully weigh the pros and cons before purchasing a system. In general, wireless alarm systems are easier to install and cheaper than wired systems. Since they are battery-powered, wireless systems can work even if a power fault occurs.

One of the drawbacks to using wireless alarm systems is upkeep. Unlike wired systems, wireless alarm systems operate off of battery power. As a result, they require regular monitoring to ensure batteries are not running low. If portions of a building are out of the control station's range, wireless systems may also leave some areas of a building unsecured. Some companies and families use security systems that combine both wireless and wired security systems, allowing them to maximize the benefits of both systems.

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Discussion Comments
By anon74611 — On Apr 03, 2010

Wireless security systems are getting better every day!

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