Outdoor Sirens and Strobe Lights
Outdoor sirens and strobes are needed if you want to alert everyone in the surrounding area to a system alarm. These devices are often used at commercial and industrial locations where people need to be alerted across a very large area. By using the siren outdoors and not having the sound muffled by a building, the sound can travel further. With a loud enough siren, everyone in the surrounding area will know that there is currently an alarm.
Sirens are typically activated during intrusion and life-safety alarms. Having a siren activate during an intrusion alarm is a great way to let any security personnel know that action is needed. A loud siren is also great for scaring away any intruders. No intruder is going to want to stick around when a siren is blaring, especially when they know that the police are on their way. When a break-in occurs, it is very important to get the intruder out as soon as possible. This way, any damage or theft is minimized. An intrusion siren can also be helpful for letting police know the location of the crime.
But sirens are equally as important for life-safety functionality. A life-safety emergency that warrants the use of siren could be something like a fire or an outbreak of carbon monoxide gas. When one of these alarms occurs, it is very important that everyone in the building is alerted as soon as possible. This can be a matter of life or death. A loud outdoor siren will ensure that everyone on the premises is aware of the alarm and that they need to evacuate immediately. Strobes are also helpful, because they can provide an alarm indication for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Traditionally, outdoor sirens and strobe lights are hardwired devices, and they must be connected with the panel. Since outdoor sirens and strobes often draw a large amount of power, you normally need an external power supply to use one of these devices. You also need a power relay that tells the power supply to activate the siren when an alarm occurs. A backup battery is also needed, in case an alarm occurs while the power is out. You will likely need a professional to install an outdoor hardwired siren, as it can be a difficult task for a DIY user.
In more recent times, alarm manufacturers have released wireless outdoor sirens and strobe lights. These devices are much more convenient and easier for a DIY user to set up. You just have to make sure that the wireless siren and strobe communicates at a frequency that is compatible with your alarm system. Remember that since the device will be used outdoors, you will likely need some impressive wireless signal range to make things work properly. If necessary, you might consider adding a wireless repeater to your alarm system so that you can more effectively overcome range issues.