Sirens for Security Alarm Systems

What type of Siren Should I have Installed?

There are several types of Sirens to choose for your Home Security Alarm System.

Sirens are a vital component of any home security alarm system.  Along with a strobe light and alarm monitoring, the siren is intended to 1) alert the burglar that he has just been detected, 2) let family members about the alarm violation, and 3) alert neighbors to take notice.If there is an alarm activation, 3 things should happen simultaneously; the alarm siren should start ringing (audible), the strobe light should start flashing (visual) and the alarm panel should transmit the signal to the monitoring station for police dispatch (silent).

On “old fashioned” alarms, the siren would keep ringing until the homeowner returned to deactivate the system.  Modern systems ring the siren for a per-programmed length of time, typically 4 minutes, then resets itself.  Honolulu, Hawaii has a noise ordinance that limits sirens to 15 minutes.  Make sure that your alarm siren doesn’t ring too long; you might get a fine for noise pollution, and you WILL upset the neighbors.

A good quality system will consist of all three types of notifications.

Alarm systems can use one of the following types of sirens:

Interior – designed to be installed inside the home.  Typical sound output: 85dB.  Pros:  Difficult to tamper with, less expensive, less of a nuisance if the activation is a false alarm.  Cons: Usually can’t be heard by the neighbors.

Interior Horn – designed to be installed inside the home, often hidden in the attic.  Typical sound output: 130dB.  Pros:  Difficult to tamper with, mid-expense, VERY LOUD, if mounted properly, can be heard throughout the neighborhood.  Cons: Not weatherproof, needs appropriate installation, large & bulky, easily tampered if the burglar can get to it, if mounted properly, can be heard throughout the neighborhood.

External Armored Siren – designed to be installed outside of the house, preferable as high as possible to avoid tampering.  Typical sound output: 120dB.  Pros:  Difficult to tamper with, tamper switches to resist attack or disabling, weatherproof, LOUD, reasonable aesthetics.  Cons:  higher cost, although tamper resistant, could still be disabled, visible.

Be sure to test your alarm system frequently.  On a quality system that has a track record of working properly, I would recommend AT LEAST monthly; more frequently if it is a new system, or you have concerns whether it is working properly.

External Armored Siren with Strobe – designed to be installed outside of the house.  Combines the External Armored Siren with a Strobe Light.  See my previous post Every Home should have a Strobe Light.

If you live in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii and would like to get more information about alarm sirens or other information about business and home security alarm systems, call Aloha Alarm at 808-488-4111.

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