Smart Alarm vs Fully Monitored Alarm



A smart alarm system uses the wireless technology, home networks, and the prevalence of mobile phones to integrate your security with day-to-day life.

From door sensors to wireless CCTV footage, a smart security system means you can customise, monitor, and manage your security systems anywhere, at any time, from your mobile phone.

Essentially, it gives control of your security back to you and makes it convenient and accessible to you, whenever you want to check in.


In addition to the security benefits of smart alarm systems, there are several other benefits for the home or business owner who chooses a smart system:

  • Price

Install only the sensors and security systems you want to use, where you want to use them. This reduces unnecessary and unwanted costs, giving you much more control over the price of your property defences.

  • Ease of use

Because you don’t need to pay someone else to install your systems, you can set your security up easily and quickly. Everything syncs with your phone, so it couldn’t be simpler to use and review.

  • Monitor your home anytime, anywhere

No matter where you are in the world, you’ll have the ability to monitor your home security systems from your smartphone.


HomeControl2.0 V2 (BLUE)-amos

A Matter of Security install an alarm product as standard that will enable you to take complete control of your home alarm system from the palm of your hand.  Some of the functions can include;

  • Biometric login

Login to your system using biometric login (facial recognition/fingerprint) on both iOS and Android devices for easy and simple access to your system. No need to enter your user code every time you enter the app.

  • Remote Arming & Disarming

Ever worried that you left home and didn’t set the alarm?  Or have that teenage child that always forgets to set the alarm when they leave the home? Simply open the APP connect to the alarm and check if the alarm is set.  If not, simply set it with a touch of a button.

  • Receive Alarm Activations

No point in having an alarm system that just makes a noise.  Be notified of an activation in real time instantly through the smartphone APP. Receive voice notifications of alerts instantly.

  • Receive Arming & Disarming Activations

Want to keep a watchful eye on those using the alarm system? Cleaners, Children or Staff will be supplied with their own arming device and the APP user will receive notifications when the alarm is armed and disarmed.

  • Detailed history of events

Events and notifications can be viewed in the app, showing a log of what’s happened on the system, giving the user added visibility over their system.

All you need to know about monitored alarm systems events

Some of our most frequently asked questions here at Unique are regarding monitored alarm systems, and with a few different options available, it’s understandably difficult to know what’s best for your property.

As your prospective installers, it’s our responsibility to best inform you of the types of monitoring available, the benefits and drawbacks to installing monitoring on your alarm system, and to explain exactly why monitored alarm systems are vitally important for effective fast response. In this brief guide, you’ll learn what alarm monitoring is, how it works, and our final recommendation.

So, what is alarm monitoring exactly? 

Alarm monitoring is the additional signalling (communication) that’s installed on your alarm system and linked directly to our Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). The ARC will be notified of any confirmed activations (intrusion) and can then alert your designated key holders or the police to respond. A confirmed activation can be:

Sequential confirmation
The most popular form of confirmation on a professionally installed system. Occurring when two different detection devices activate within a short period of time. This is usually a door contact first and then an interior motion sensor.

Audio confirmation
Using microphone technology in the alarm panel, small but sensitive microphones enable the ARC to listen for suspicious noises. For privacy, the microphones can only be active when the alarm is sounding, meaning the operators in the monitoring centre can listen to all activity for gathering evidence throughout a break-in.

Visual confirmation
This is an effective way of definitely confirming intrusion when your CCTV Camera System is linked to the ARC with the whole security system so the video footage can be watched live. A valuable asset to have especially if your property is unoccupied regularly for long periods of time.

Key holder response
In the event of an alarm activation on a monitored system, designated key holders (yourself, family, or a professional company) will be notified by the ARC to respond and confirm intrusion or clear the property. False activations can be costly by causing unnecessary call-outs for the alarm company attending – a monitored system has the ability to reduce the chance of those call-outs. This is a safe and cost-effective way to ensure a response to your property if you’re unable to attend.

Police response
The ultimate peace of mind for property owners with high-value items inside. As soon as the alarm activation is confirmed by the ARC, the police are dispatched immediately. There are additional costs involved with this type of monitoring as we have to apply for a Unique Reference Number (URN) from the police to comply. And since the introduction of the ACPO 2004 Policy, if the police respond to 3 false alarms within a 12 month period, the immediate response will be withdrawn unless a secondary witness to the crime occurs.

Important note: unmonitored Burglar Alarm Systems that have been activated will not receive an automatic police response. If you’re at work or on holiday and a neighbour calls the police because your alarm is sounding, then there’ll need a be a secondary witness to confirm intrusion before police dispatch.

How do monitored alarm systems work?

As mentioned above, monitored alarm systems use what’s called signalling to communicate via a pathway to the manned Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). There are two main types of signalling that are used within alarm systems that we install here at Unique Fire & Security.

Single Path Signalling
The main benefit of Single Path Signalling is its affordability, for installation and with maintenance. The main drawback is that there’s only one path, so no backup in case the line is tampered with.

Our DualCom DigiAir utilises all mobile networks via our WorldSIM instead of a telephone line to signal an alarm from the protected premises to the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC).

It is designed for low to medium risk premises and is an ideal upgrade for wired digital communicators as it eliminates call costs and phone charges. DigiAir is small enough to fit into any existing or legacy control panels. It can be supplied complete with a Compact Power Supply for installations where the control panel is unable to consistently provide 12v DC and provides a more aesthetically pleasing finish.

DigiAir is unaffected by Next Generation Networks (NGNs), the telephone network upgrade from copper to fibre to accommodate higher speed broadband services. Unlike older digital communicators, DigiAir does not rely on copper to send a signal.

Dual Path Signalling
Two lines of signalling are better than one, right? Correct! If there happens to be an issue with the primary line then this type of monitoring will automatically utilise the backup mobile network to alert the ARC of activation. The main benefit of this system is self-explanatory, when it comes to protecting your property, having a backup is always recommended. The main drawback of this system is the cost involved in both installation and maintenance – these systems require pricier equipment and require more checks during maintenance.

For all our alarm system monitoring needs, we install CSL DualCom products exclusively. They are the original inventors of integrated Dual Path Signalling back in 1996 and have pioneered the move from wired systems to wireless radio technology in the electronic security industry. A great company to be partnered with.  Options can include connection to a hardwired line + radio or dual radio solutions as an example.

For more information on communications options contact our team and ensure you contact your insurance provider before having a fully monitored solution installed. DigiAir Connected flyer 2017[2]

How much does alarm monitoring cost?

As with any alarm system installation or maintenance inspection, the cost of monitoring has multiple different options available that depends on your specific requirements (we would have to conduct a survey in order to provide a valid quotation). Having a monitored alarm system is a future-proof investment.

For an average 3-bedroom house or small/medium sized retail shop you can expect to pay an additional £150-£240 for the initial installation of basic single path monitoring with key holder response only, then on a yearly basis, a similar price for maintenance on the system. Larger properties that require dual path monitoring with police response on their system can expect to be paying an additional £240-£400 for the initial installation and a similar price for maintenance on that system per year going forward.



Are you ready to feel secure?
Recent Security Posts