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When Should an Alarm be Updated?

Amherst Alarm is very fortunate to have so many loyal and long term customers that are using their security system every day to protect their family, home, employees and buildings. The security systems that are installed new today are vastly different from those installed 10 or more years ago. While the concept of the system is the same, today’s systems can do much more! Some of the features that today’s new systems have are:

  • Multiple codes for arming / disarming
  • New User friendly keypads to update those that are a little old and worn
  • The option to turn on some sensors and have others off
  • Monitoring for water leaks, furnace / heat failure and sump pump failure
  • Using your smart phone to turn the security system on or off from virtually anywhere
  • Anet Secure communications systems to our Monitoring Response Center, eliminates the vulnerability of phone lines being cut, or the reliability of internet provider phone service
  • Anet24 service gives you the ability to control your security system from your smart phone, and also allows you to control heating / cooling, lights, locks and even look in with video cameras! Check out our demo at www.iloveanet24.com

An alarm system is like any other appliance or device. It’s designed to operate for a number of years with minimum maintenance while providing usually trouble-free service.   Like anything, it can be upgraded or replaced. It’s like the old color TV you have that kind of works; it has a greenish screen tint, the sound isn’t that great, and the remote doesn’t have a sleep timer or “favorites” button. Sure, it may be serviceable for a few more years, but eventually it’ll fail, usually when your favorite marathon of The Brady Bunch is on.

Generally, for the end users, updating is beneficial if you have an old (10-15+) year old installation, with very few “zones” but several devices. Partial rewiring and separating devices would be beneficial, as well as adding new hardware. Replacing motions, glass breaks or other burglary devices should strongly be considered. Contact switches, if not of the sealed reed type, should be replaced. Fire devices should be replaced at this age, regardless of functionality or maintenance. Wiring issues should be addressed, including verification with a meter, correction of any damage and rerouting as necessary.

Keep in mind; a system of this “vintage” has usually been out of production for some time, and service “spares” are usually dwindling in supplies. You may find that you can replace a single component, such as a keypad, with a newer unit and keep the system intact, but that’s usually an exception.

A good time frame to consider an upgrade is around the 5-7 year mark, depending on the manufacturer and panel you installed originally.

It may be time to look at upgrading your alarm system. As with all electronics, what was good ten years ago may not be sufficient today. Here are a few reasons that you may want to consider which will help you make an informed decision when investigating a system upgrade:

  • Your present system may have become obsolete and cannot be repaired.
  • You may want to add additional equipment in your home or business but the equipment is not capable to adding more monitored zones.
  • Most of the older systems are hardwired and it may be impossible to add extra equipment if additional wiring is needed.
  • You may have added additional buildings to your property that you want monitored which may require an upgrade to your present system to make this possible.
  • Lifestyle changes may have changed your security requirements and therefore the system may no longer be operating in a way that suits your specific needs.

Keep in mind, the amount of hardware, such as motions and fire devices, you’re going to end up replacing are in direct proportion to the amount of maintenance and upkeep you have done to your system. A simple seasonal vacuum or use of canned air (duster) will go a long way. Replacing the battery is also part of the routine, with 3-5 years the recommended interval.

Give us a call today – Ask to speak about an upgrade with one of our system designers who can give you all the details about upgrading your protection. And YES, we have a special discount for you, our loyal client!