Every alarm system has some kind of control unit to manage all security activity within the home. With today’s wireless home alarm systems, these control units are smarter than ever, as well as easy to operate. They also interact with you, for better control and customization.
Wireless alarm system control panels: How they work
The alarm system control panel is in constant communication with every security sensor in your home. Until recently, that communication transpired over wires that physically connected the components. That meant customers had to have wires running all over their home, and installation was a complicated, costly undertaking.
Luckily, wireless home alarm systems made everything simpler, quicker and cleaner. Now the control panel communicates with the sensors over a wireless frequency. To set up the system, you just plug the control panel into any electrical outlet, in a convenient central location. Many people simply set it on the kitchen counter.
The control panel has two main jobs: 1) sound an alarm in case of trouble and 2) signal for help. The best wireless home alarm systems include 24/7 monitoring at a central station staffed by trained professionals. When the control panel receives a security alert from a sensor, it transmits that alert to the monitoring center. The control panel knows which sensor signaled the alert, so it can pass along the appropriate information. The monitoring team then responds accordingly.
Different kinds of alerts are handled differently. For example, if the smoke and heat sensor triggers, the control panel tells the monitoring staff to dispatch the fire department instead of the police.
Remote Control Panels with Special Options
Many customers with large or multi-level homes choose to place a second control unit in an alternate location in their house. For example, the master bedroom is an excellent location, so you can arm your system or check your security status at night, without venturing downstairs.
These “auxiliary” controls add convenience and peace of mind, on top of enhanced security. FrontPoint offers two great choices in auxiliary control panels, with special features like LCD read-outs, for easy night-time viewing as well as smart interactive capabilities.
The first of these controls is our Touch Screen panel. It’s extremely user-friendly, with a 3.5 inch color LCD display screen. Simply tap on the screen to control your FrontPoint alarm system. Its special features include home automation. For example, you can leave the lights on as you head upstairs at night, and then turn them off using your Touch Screen when you’re ready to go to sleep. Turn the heat up or down in the same way. This kind of easy interactivity lets you save energy and reduce your utility bills, so the unit practically pays for itself.
If you like the idea of arming or disarming your home alarm from a secondary location, but don’t need home automation, FrontPoint also offers the Talking Remote Touchpad as a cost-saving alternative.
Like the Touch Screen, the Talking Remote Touchpad provides all basic Control Panel capabilities, from any alternative location. Designed for verbal response, it adds the “cool factor,” as well as simplicity and convenience. Now you can be sure your home alarm system is armed at night, without even turning on the lights, or putting on your glasses. This option is perfect for an in-law suite!
Keychain Remote Controls
How about an alarm system control you can carry with you? Now that would be convenient! Or course we’re talking about a Keychain Remote. (And yes, FrontPoint makes those, too.)
The Keychain Remote attaches to your keys, for super-easy, any-time access. Now you can disarm your home security system and turn on lights right as you’re walking up the front steps! It’s equipped with a “Panic Alarm” for emergencies. This is a great, highly-affordable accessory for your home alarm system. You might want one for each family member.
Some customers use the Keychain Remote inside their home, in place of the auxiliary control units mentioned above. You can set it on your nightstand, or in a handy drawer – anywhere within reach.
Mobile Apps for Interactive Wireless Alarm Systems
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and online technology, you no longer have to be home in order to control your wireless alarm system. Now you can stay in touch from wherever you are, using your cell phone, computer or even tablet. Today’s advanced alarm companies (think: FrontPoint!) offer free “mobile apps” for a variety of devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone.
Mobile apps take the worry and the guess-work out of home security. Forget to arm the system? Forget to close the garage door? Check in with your wireless alarm system online or on the road. Enter commands through your phone, just as if you were standing in at your control panel in the kitchen.
Your smart control panel will also notify you when there’s something you should know. You’ll receive instant alerts via text or email anytime a sensor triggers at the house. Or if the power goes out. You can also keep track of who’s coming and going by checking the alarm system record of user code activity.