Choosing a pager alarm requires an analysis of what you want your alarm to accomplish, what range you want available for your pager alarm, and what you want to pay for the system. Pager alarms are typically designed to send a signal when the integrity of a vehicle or building is breached, such as when an unauthorized person breaks into a house or car. Other specialty pager systems are designed for paging medical or emergency personnel and even for providing a training feedback alarm to help children overcome bed-wetting.
Car alarm systems activated by motion or vibration are being replaced by more sophisticated alarm systems. The sirens or horn honking resulting from internal car alarm systems activated accidentally have become too common to effectively deter break-ins or theft. Rather than generating a response to a potential theft, the alarm noises often elicit annoyance from anyone within hearing of the car alarm.
Features on new two-way pager systems installed in cars alert the owner to break-in attempts and even identify the point of break-in, whether door, hood, or trunk, and some models will dial a preset telephone number. Many pager alarms now have start/kill features as well as remote keyless entry of doors. An owner can not only start a vehicle and unlock doors from a distance, but can kill the engine from a distance. Similar two-way alarm pagers, without door lock features, are available for motorcycles.
The transmission range of pager alarm systems varies, and different functions might have different ranges in the same car alarm system. While keyless entry might have a range of about 200 feet (about 61 m) and more, the pager alarm function could have a range over a mile (about 1.6 km). Although the transmission range is typically less for video, pager alarm systems are now available with a camera and will transmit pictures to a remote pager receiver.
After determining the features most appropriate for your pager alarm, cost will generally be the next determinant for choosing the best one. Basic car alarms with keyless entry features are inexpensive. As features are added, costs grow for automobiles, and even more for systems installed in homes and offices.
Many emergency, law enforcement, and medical personnel carry personal pagers. Responding to an alarm page over a personal pager rather than a cell phone can be effective because the dedicated alarm precludes confusion over the nature of the call. Non-alarm cell phone calls will not appear on a personal pager dedicated to a particular emergency function. Costs for these systems depend on the features included, and are comparable to car alarm systems.