At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
A person's home is one of the most important and possessions he can own--and one of the most expensive. In order to protect this vast investment, certain steps should be taken. Alarm system monitoring is one way a person can go about protecting his property. A building with alarm system monitoring has an alarm company who can contact local authorities in cases of fire, burglary, carbon monoxide. In some cases, a home that is protected by such an alarm system qualifies for a discount on homeowner's insurance.
Alarm system monitoring has several uses. One of its main purposes is to prevent burglaries. If a thief tries to break into a building with an alarm system, a loud siren will sound and scare the burglar off. Meanwhile, the alarm company will see that the alarm has been triggered. Normally, a representative will call the building to make sure it wasn't a false alarm and to make sure that everything in the building is okay.
A home or property with an alarm system will usually have their phones wired. This means that in case of the alarm sounding, the phones will shut down, and only the alarm company will be able to call the property. When the representative calls, the occupants of the property will usually have to give them a special code. This code is a predetermined password that lets the alarm system monitoring company know that everything is okay. After the call, the phones will return to normal.
Should the occupants give the wrong code to the representative, the alarm company will dispatch the local authorities. They will also dispatch the authorities automatically in cases where there is no answer or if a panic button is pushed. A panic button is a special button on the alarm display that will automatically set off an alarm, either silent or noisy. Though preventing burglary is normally the reason a person will get an alarm on his property, it isn't the only reason.
An alarm system monitoring company can also observe a property for fire or for the presence of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that can be found in the exhaust of cars and as a byproduct of burning fuel. It is odorless and colorless, and thus is difficult to detect. In the case of carbon monoxide levels, the fire department is often called out without the alarm company calling first. The same procedure is usually followed in the case of a fire alarm going off.