10th Jun 2005

Alarm System Installation

Once you’ve selected an alarm system, then comes the problem of fitting it and activating it. There are two main options: pay for a professional installation, or get your hands dirty and do it yourself.

Professional Installation

With advanced security systems for home or car use, particularly monitored home security solutions, comes the option of professional installation. All home security companies will offer this option, and most car security centres will, too. This is highly recommended for laymen with no prior knowledge of electrical work and advanced DIY. It may cost extra, but you know that the job will be well done and reliably. Often a guarantee period is included in the price, for additional peace of mind.

Alarm DIY

If you opt to install your own alarm systems, here are some handy tips to keep in mind.

Vehicle (Car/Motorbike) Alarm Installation

Car alarm installation is a task for a car mechanic or electrician, or a car enthusiast with some experience or technical guidance. Many of the same principles of car audio installation can be utilised in car alarm maintenance and fitting. For example, a grasp of in-car wiring will come in very useful, particularly when connecting all of the individual components to the central alarm computer, or attaching the crossover cable to the pressure sensor. Most wiring will take place through the interior door panels and into the area below the dashboard (usually close to where the car audio centre is located – in fact, the wiring may pass right through this area.) Detailed instructions will be supplied with any good car security kit, but also be sure to consult your car’s manual to find out about any idiosyncrasies in the wiring and power systems. Car alarms are usually wired to the main car battery, but in the case of small cars or ultra-powerful alarms, a backup power supply may be required. Once again, consult the owner’s manual.

For motorbikes, the fitting is usually simpler, as there is less installation and wiring to contend with. Most of the motorcycle alarm systems on the market can be fitted in less than 30 minutes, provided that you equip yourself with the right tools and a basic grasp of motorcycle maintenance. Motorcycle alarms usually need to be wired to the motorbike’s own battery, and then the sensors (e.g. tilt, shock and remote control) need to be mounted to a suitable location, which will be explained in the manual for any given alarm system. Of course, for novices or those fitting more complex alarm systems, professional installation is always an option.

Home Security Installation

All of the typical home security appliances can either be installed by a trained professional – usually supplied by the security company – or as part of a DIY project. For more complex systems, such as infra-red sensors in every room, paying for expert installation is probably the safest and most convenient option.

If you are installing a home security solution yourself, be sure to follow a few basic guidelines:

  • Note down carefully any wiring alterations or installations that you make, in case they need to be altered later.
  • Thoroughly test infra-red alarm systems before putting them into use. Is the angle of the sensor correct? Is it securely affixed to the wall or ceiling?
  • The same goes for camera installation. Also be sure to ensure that an appropriate power supply is present – before installing the camera, locate the nearest mains power unit for wiring purposes.

Home Smoke Alarm/Carbon Monoxide Alarm Installation

Fitting a smoke alarm is easy – simply affix it to the ceiling or high on a wall using the mounting kit that is usually provided. If you aren’t able to reach these high places, it’s a simple job that a fit friend or relative could do for you.

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