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Burglar Alarms vs. Smart Home Security Systems: A Comparison

Published 07/01/2021 by General Security


Safeguarding your family, home, and property from intruders and trespassers is always a high priority, especially during the warmer months. With some homeowners adding burglar alarms, others choose to implement a comprehensive security system with smart technologies.

While the terms burglar alarm and smart security system are often used interchangeably, they are vastly different. The former is a basic system comprising a keypad, siren and contact sensors, while the latter is more robust with added smart features, such as security cameras, 24/7 Central Station Monitoring, glass break and flood sensors, remote monitoring, and wellness and energy management functions.

Deciding the best solution is dependent on your needs, space, budget, lifestyle, and other factors.

Learn more about the benefits and features of each, as well as a brief comparison, and accompanying smart technologies. 


Which System Is Best?

As aforementioned, adding a burglar alarm or smart security system is a personal choice built on several factors. While the former provides basic protection for your home and property, the latter is a more comprehensive offering. Similarly, both solutions provide increased safety and security, and added property values. Some insurance companies might also offer up to 10 percent discounts on homeowner policies. It’s best to check with your designated company for exact amounts and qualifications.  


Smart Security 

With some homeowners adding burglar alarms, others choose to implement a home security system with smart technologies.

A comprehensive smart security system features additional technologies, such as indoor, outdoor and doorbell cameras, flood and glass break sensors, fire and life safety equipment, and energy management and wellness benefits.

Additional layers, such as cloud-based video analytics and surveillance, motion detection and remote monitoring, can assist law enforcement in apprehending potential thieves and vandals.

Burglar Alarm Systems

Also known as an audible alarm, a bells-only system is prominently situated on the side or front of the home. When triggered, these sound a loud noise alerting the intruder they’ve breached a contact sensor. This will often deter and scare away the trespassing party.

There are instances where unwelcome individuals will still try to enter the property. It’s therefore recommended to add a complete smart security and alarm monitoring system for added protection, such as 24/7 Central Station Monitoring. Immediately dispatching emergency services, this service can be the difference between large-scale damages and property loss, injuries, and even death.


Accompanying Smart Capabilities

A smart security system also facilitates  technologies that otherwise wouldn’t be available with self-monitored burglar alarms. This includes remotely arming and disarming your system, and checking in on children and elderly loved ones when you can’t be there—all from the convenience of a mobile device, from anywhere in the world.

The following smart capabilities can also be added on to any burglar alarm system: 

Smart Keypads: Serving as your system’s central hub, this arms and disarms your system via security pin, or through any mobile device. It also facilitates contact sensors and security cameras.

Security Cameras: Whether you’re looking to deter so-called porch pirates, or want to check on elderly loved ones through Wellcam and Wellness, these are must-haves for any home security system. 

Fire & Life Safety: When implemented with 24/7 Central Station Monitoring, alerting your family to the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure and smoke inhalation can safeguard against severe illness, injuries, and even death. 

Wellness Sensors: Traditionally installed on windows and doors, contact sensors can also be utilized to benefit wellness. When placed on drawers and cabinets, refrigerator doors, and mattresses, these can monitor elderly loved ones and alert about slips and falls, or help manage their eating habits and daily medications.

Glass Break Sensors: Activated when detecting the noise or vibrations of a window shattering, these sound an alarm and send an alert signal to your security system. 

Flood Sensors: Consider adding flood sensors to monitor moisture, leaks and temperature—all of which could develop into costly water damage.

Motion Detection: Recognizing security camera scene activities through analysis differentiation, pixel matching, and frame referencing, this detects any images that don’t match programmed camera settings.

Video Analytics: This utilizes virtual tripwires, activity zones and alert triggers, such as indoor/outdoor lights and music

A comprehensive security system also facilitates smart technologies that otherwise wouldn’t be available with self-monitored burglar alarms.

Professional vs. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Installation

Whether you choose a burglar alarm or complete smart security system, both are available for DIY or professional installation. General Security provides help regarding customizable packages, as well as support for DIY customers located within our designated U.S. East Coast service areas. 


Understanding the Differences
& Benefits

If you’re still deciding between a traditional burglar alarm or a smart home security system, it’s best to work with a reputable service provider, such as General Security. Our experienced advisers can help outline the best technology to protect your family, home, and property.

General Security provides customized smart security systems for added protection and peace of mind. Request a free, contactless quote from us today. 

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