Is An Alarm System w/o Monitoring Useful?
An alarm system without monitoring is better than no alarm system at all. A UL-listed, central station monitored alarm system is always preferred, since it ensures local authorities are dispatched. However, a local noise maker may deter an intruder from breaking into a secured premise.
Setting up your security system without monitoring is possible, however, the user should understand that the system can only be used locally. The system can still be set up to trigger alarms, but the user will not be notified unless they are within earshot of the panel. Sirens can be installed into the system as well, to give a "boost" to the security aspect of the system. They can be used to startle intruders as they attempt to break into the premises, and they can also alert neighbors to a possible break-in if the siren is loud enough.
In some cases, users can download an application so they receive updates and "remotely" control the panel. Apps that do not need the panel to be monitored will only work when the user is on the same wireless network as the panel. Either way, the user will need to be in proximity to their security system. However, these apps are still useful if the owner will be on site for the majority of their time. They are also useful if there is someone else within proximity to the panel that has access to the user's wireless network, and has the credentials to log into the application.
Some companies will offer the ability to "self monitor" an alarm system. The user registers their panel with an alarm company, and is then issued an app that monitors the system from wherever the user has a wireless or cellular signal. It is important to note that the application issued by a company will not be required to be on the same wireless network as the panel. This proves useful when the user wants to have control over their system, even when they are not on site. It will allow the user to change the arm state of the system, and will include live notifications of any alarms or troubles that are at the panel.
The most secure option for the user is to have a monitored system. With a monitored system, the user will no longer be in charge of responding accordingly to alarms, as a central station will do that for them. With a central station monitoring a system, any alarms or troubles will be sent out and responded to 24/7 by a team of experts. If a user is unable to notify the authorities of alarms due to a poor signal or dangerous situation, the central station will be able to contact authorities or call the user to verify any false alarms. A central station will be able to adjust their response, depending on the preference or schedule of the user. For example, in some cases, users can set up temporary contacts if they are leaving for vacation and do not want to be alerted of alarms. There are obvious advantages to having a system that is monitored, however, it is completely up to the user how they want to have their system set up.
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