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How does a Wireless House Alarm Work?

By Amy Hunter
Updated May 16, 2024
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A wireless house alarm works similarly to other wireless devices, in that it sends a wireless signal from a remote location back to a central control panel. Wireless home alarms are becoming more widely used because they have improved greatly since their debut on the market. In the early days of wireless home security, false alarms were a common problem with the systems. Today, wireless systems are comparable to wired systems.

A wireless house alarm is made up of several different components. Sensors are placed in various locations around the home, a central computer known as the control panel is installed in an out of the way area, and one or more keypads are placed at entryways. All three components are necessary for the wireless house alarm to work properly.

The sensors for the wireless system are strategically located around the house, in windows, doors, and any other area that may allow access to the home. These sensors are unobtrusive, until something interferes with the signal given out by the sensor. When the sensor detects motion or activity it sends a message, wirelessly, back to the central control panel.

Once the control panel receives a message, either it immediately places an automated telephone call to the local law enforcement agency or it calls a subscription based monitoring system. Occasionally, the control panel will also sound an audible alarm, but most homeowners prefer not to use this option, because it makes it more difficult to catch intruders in the home. A silent alarm allows responders to reach the home before the intruders realize that they have aroused suspicion.

Once the control panel sends a telephone call, one of two options may occur. In some cases a first responder heads directly to the address where the call originated, and in other cases, the dispatcher that receives the call will attempt to verify that the call is not a false alarm by placing a phone call to the residence. It makes sense to ask the local law enforcement what their policy is on responding to these calls, as some require a special registration procedure.

A wireless house alarm can do things other than deter burglars. One feature available on many wireless house alarms it the ability to receive a page or text message when someone accesses the home. This is a valuable benefit for the many parents who have children that come home to an empty house on a daily basis. Using this feature, they can easily tell when their child make it home, and make sure that they stay there.

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Discussion Comments
By anon932074 — On Feb 11, 2014

Just wondering when a wireless alarm is turned off, doesn't it still transmit a signal between the sensor and the control panel? However, obviously not triggering the alarm. Or are the sensors deactivated altogether?

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