What is a Monitored Burglar Alarm?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A monitored burglar alarm is one that notifies a monitoring company in the event that an alarm sounds. This notification allows the alarm monitoring company to determine whether or not the alarm is a legitimate sign of trouble. If it is, the alarm monitoring company may then contact the police or fire department and send help to the property in question. This eliminates the need for the property owner or resident to get to a phone and call for help himself.

In most cases, an alarm keypad on a burglar alarm calls a monitoring station when an alarm sounds.
In most cases, an alarm keypad on a burglar alarm calls a monitoring station when an alarm sounds.

In most cases, a burglar alarm emits a high-decibel alarm in the event that motion is detected or an entry way is breached while the alarm is armed; the loud noise may provide some protection from unlawful entry, as a criminal may feel compelled to leave the premises if he hears an alarm. This is not always the case, however, and many people prefer monitored burglar alarms for added peace of mind. Usually, an alarm keypad on the burglar alarm calls a monitoring station when an alarm sounds, alerting it to potential trouble. In turn, the monitoring service phones the alarm’s owner to confirm the alarm. If the resident or property owner does not answer the phone and confirm that it is a false alarm, the monitoring service usually calls for emergency assistance.

A person may have an alarm installed without monitoring, as he may believe the neighbors will hear it and attempt to help; the problem with this theory is that people are often used to hearing false alarms and may simply ignore the sound. If a person’s neighbors do attempt to help, however, they may face the risk of being injured by the criminal who caused the alarm to sound. It is possible that a neighbor or passerby would call the police if he heard a blaring alarm. The problem with that, however, is that it may be a false alarm and police may charge a per-incident fee after being summoned for a minimum number of false alarms. With a monitored burglar alarm, however, false alarm police calls are often reduced.

In most cases, choosing a monitored burglar alarm means spending additional money on security. An individual may, for example, foot the cost of buying burglar alarm components and install the alarm himself. He may, on the other hand, pay for professional installation. If he chooses to have a monitored burglar alarm, however, he’ll typically have to pay a monthly fee to keep the monitoring active.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


That was very rational. When deciding to put up security cameras, determine first the areas you’d like monitored. This gadget could be quite expensive if you put up one unit in every corner of the house. The key to such problem is proper angling. Home safety is paramount, and that’s why it is really good news that home security cams are more affordable now. Having a secure home wouldn’t then be at all impossible for some people.

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