Alarm sirens can be extremely important system accessories in certain cases. Remember, not every system comes with a built-in siren. These external devices are used when a system doesn't have a siren or when you want to achieve a louder alarm for your system. You might also add an alarm siren if you need to spread out the alarm sound throughout a larger building because the system's internal sounder doesn't travel far enough. No matter what your application, there is most likely a good alarm siren that will meet your needs.
A system will activate its siren during intrusion and life-safety alarm events. An intrusion alarm occurs when there is a break-in, and someone has entered the premises when the system is in an armed state. A life-safety alarm is either a fire or an outbreak of carbon monoxide gas, and the siren activates to let building occupants to know to leave immediately. In both cases, sirens are extremely important for making sure that everyone in the building takes immediate action. Although sirens have nothing to do with the system reporting out an alerting the local authorities, they can still save lives in ensuring a quick response from the building occupants.
One very important aspect for sirens is their ability to scare-off intruders. If an intruder breaks into your home or business, you want them to cause as little damage as possible. An activated siren will basically tell them that the police are on their way. They won't want to stick around to cause damage and steal your belongings. They will want to get out immediately. Minimizing damage and loss is extremely important during a robbery. You likely have possessions that cannot be replaced. Your best bet is to scare off the intruder before they cause such harm. Remember, as long as your system is set up for central station monitoring, the police will still arrive at the scene as quickly as possible, whether your siren activates or not.
Fire and carbon monoxide alarms are pretty important for sirens. These alarms represent life-threatening situations. If the building occupants are not made aware of the situation quickly enough, then it is very likely that casualties may occur. You want a loud siren that makes sure that everyone in the building knows what is happening. Either that, or you should at least have multiple sirens spread throughout the establishment so that everyone on the premises is alerted.
When it comes to choosing a siren, you have multiple options to choose from. Traditionally, alarm sirens were hardwired, and you had to run a wire from the panel to the siren. If the siren consumed a large amount of power, then it is likely that you also needed a power relay, an external power supply, and a backup battery. This is often still the best option if you need a very loud siren. However, there are now also wireless sirens that can communicate with systems through RF frequencies or Z-Wave. These wireless sirens are considerably louder than internal panel sounders, and they are often great options for homes and small businesses. The advantage to using a wireless siren is that set up is much easier, especially for DIY users. You can get sirens of all types from Alarm Grid.