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Alarm System: How It Works

The purpose of an alarm system is to sound an alert to homeowners and contact monitoring stations and law enforcement authorities when an attempt is made to break into private property or when something dangerous is happening within the home such as a fire. The use of alarm systems has increased over the years as more and more homeowners have become aware of the benefits of using such as system. Sometimes, burglaries will be halted even by having some signs in the yard and the window that the home is protected. Obviously, more homes without alarm systems are broken into each year than homes that have alarms.

An alarm system is composed of a variety of parts that function together to keep a home safe. Because of advanced wireless alarm system technology, there are many options when it comes to the best alarm systems for your home. All alarm systems and alarm system equipment, no matter how basic or advanced, function in basically the same fashion.

Alarm System Control Panel

The most important part of the alarm system is the control panel, or the “brain” as it is typically referred to. This is the part of the system that connects to your phone line, cellular device or broadband connection. The control panel will send out a signal to the monitoring company, homeowner and authorities if the system is breached.


Programming is done from the alarm system keypad. The keypad allows you to turn the system on or off and make adjustments to settings. Keypads can be placed in any room of the house. Keypads can also be integrated into the control panel.


A sensor is a part of an alarm system that lets you know when something has gone wrong. For instance, if you have a heat sensor tied in to your alarm system it will notify you when the temperature in your home reaches dangerous levels. Sensors can also be put on windows or doors to send an alert when they are tripped. Motion sensors can be placed both inside and outside of a home, and they are set up to detect motion in a room or an area of about 1,000 square feet.


The alarm siren is an important part of any alarm system and can be placed anywhere in the home. When a sensor is tripped, or a motion detector set off the alarm will sound, hopefully scaring off any intruders.

Alarm System Optional Equipment

Security systems companies offer extra alarm system equipment such as video cameras, home automation features, carbon monoxide detectors and high water detectors. These parts interconnect with the rest of the alarm system seamlessly to provided advanced coverage.

Alarm System Yard and Window Signs

Although not tied directly to the control panel, yard and window signs are an important part of even the best security systems.

You can learn more about each alarm system company and how their alarm systems work by visiting our alarm system reviews