THOUGHT CENTER > Blog > Burglar Alarms

What is a Burglar Alarm and How Do They Work?

May 20, 2024

Mammoth Takeaways

  • A burglar alarm is an important security system component that can detect and deter unauthorized entry. It can be of various types, including wired and wireless systems, each with multiple components like control panels, sensors, and keypads.
  • Proper installation of a burglar alarm is vital, and maintenance involves regular testing, battery management, and software updates to ensure top performance.
  • When choosing a burglar alarm, consider the user-friendliness, integration capabilities, accurate detection, and cost-effectiveness of the security system.

Discover the power of burglar alarms – an essential shield in the world of modern security. Did you know? Over 39 million U.S. households rely on alarm systems for protection. These systems have evolved with technology, offering everything from basic intrusion detection to cutting-edge surveillance features and remote monitoring capabilities.

Imagine sensors detecting unauthorized entry, alerting you or a monitoring center in an instant. In today's uncertain times, with crime rates on the rise, burglar alarms provide not just security, but peace of mind for homeowners and businesses alike.

What is a Burglar Alarm?

A burglar alarm is an important part of a business’s security system, designed to detect and deter unauthorized entry. It recognizes and responds to unauthorized entry, typically through doors, windows, or other access points. A burglar alarm consists of various components, including sensors, a control panel, alarm sirens, and user interfaces.

The improving technology has been one of the factors that has led to a decline in burglary and vandalism events in the United States.

Types of Burglar Alarms

Wired Burglar Alarms

Wired burglar alarms are hardwired into a building's electrical system, requiring professional installation. They are known for their reliability and stability, as they don't rely on batteries and are less susceptible to interference. However, installation can be more invasive and costly, especially in existing buildings.

Wireless Burglar Alarms

Wireless burglar alarms use radio frequency signals to communicate between sensors and the control panel, allowing for easier installation without the need for extensive wiring. They are more flexible and can be easily expanded or relocated, though they may be susceptible to battery outages.

Components of a Burglar Alarm System

Control Panel

  • Acts as the central hub of the system
  • Receives signals from sensors and controls the alarm system
  • Communicates with monitoring services

Sensors and Detectors

  • Door and Window Contacts: Detect when doors or windows are opened or closed
  • Motion Detectors: Sense movement within the premises
  • Glass Break Detectors: Identify the sound frequency of breaking glass
  • Infrared (IR) Sensors: Track changes in heat signatures

Alarm Sirens

  • Emit loud sounds when a breach is detected
  • Alert employees and deter intruders

Keypads and User Interface

  • Allow authorized users to arm, disarm, and program the security system
  • Provide feedback on the system's status

How Burglar Alarms Work

A burglar alarm detects unauthorized access through disruptions in electrical circuits on doors, windows, or by using other means such as infrared or through a motion detector. An alarm sounds, alerting nearby individuals of a potential security breach.

When a disruption is detected, the information is sent to the control panel. It verifies system activation before initiating response protocols, such as triggering an audible alarm, notifying a monitoring center, or sending alerts to the owner's smartphone app.

DIY vs Professional Installation for Burglar Alarms

DIY Installation

The installation of a burglar alarm system is a step that can significantly impact its effectiveness. Some people prefer the DIY route – these security systems can be more cost-effective and easier to install.

However, the simplicity of setup varies by security system complexity, and getting it wrong could cost more in the long run. It's essential to compare the best security systems, focusing on features like professional monitoring, smart home integration, and DIY alternatives, to ensure you're selecting the most suitable option.

Professional Installation

Professional installation, on the other hand, ensures that the security system is thoroughly tested and optimally set up by an expert. While this might include additional fees this approach is often recommended for those seeking the best security systems, emphasizing the importance of professional burglar alarm installation, smart integration, trial periods, and customer feedback to find a security system that meets different needs and budgets.

Burglar Alarm Maintenance Tips

Ensuring that your burglar alarm system is functioning at its best requires consistent maintenance. It’s important to periodically carry out tests on the system sensors, including testing the motion detector through a process known as alarm verification.

Choosing reliable intrusion alarm systems is important for their advanced features and benefits like fast detection, false alarm immunity, wireless integration, mobile app control, scalability, warranty, and installer training.

Battery Management

It’s equally important to manage batteries effectively within your alarm system, especially for wireless elements. Batteries should be replaced yearly or according to manufacturer guidelines, which helps prevent unexpected power failures.

Cleanliness Upkeep

Maintaining cleanliness by routinely inspecting and cleaning all components of dust and debris is necessary to avoid potential malfunctions of the alarm system due to obstructions. This allows parts like motion sensors to work effectively.

Software Updates

Always remember to install updates for software and firmware provided by manufacturers designed expressly against newly identified security threats.

Periodic Maintenance Checks

Regular checks should be done on the main control panel, external siren boxes, and individual sensors to verify everything is in working order. Regularly check the alarm’s functionality as part of system maintenance, regardless of the system’s appearance or recent software updates.

Benefits of Using Commercial Burglar Alarms

Commercial burglar alarms offer several key benefits for businesses of all sizes.

24/7 Surveillance

hey provide around-the-clock protection, helping to deter potential intruders and prevent theft or vandalism.

Enhanced Protection

Commercial alarm systems enhance protection and safeguard personnel and visitors through access control and alerting authorities during unauthorized entries.

Seamless Integration

Also, commercial burglar alarms can integrate with other installed security systems, such as surveillance cameras and access control, providing a wide breadth of protection for the premises.

Insurance Benefits

Investing in a burglar alarm system may also potentially lower insurance premiums for businesses, as they demonstrate a commitment to security and risk mitigation.

Overall, commercial burglar alarms are a vital component of any business's security strategy, safeguarding assets, property, and personnel.

What to Consider Before Choosing a Burglar Alarm

Selecting an appropriate alarm system for burglary prevention can feel overwhelming due to the many choices available. However, by focusing on certain factors, you can make a well-informed decision. It's important that the security company offers a varied selection of products tailored to meet the distinct needs of their clients.

For an alarm system to be effective, it should have several key characteristics:

  • Easy to use with straightforward installation and operational processes
  • Capable of minimizing false alarms while efficiently identifying legitimate threats
  • Designed for seamless integration with existing security systems
  • Balancing affordability and high-level security provision

Mammoth Security Knows Burglar Alarms

Mammoth Security Technician

Burglar alarms are indispensable in today's world. Whether it's deterring potential intruders or providing crucial alerts during a security breach, these alarms are ideal for businesses.

Need help choosing the right alarm system for your security needs? We've got you covered.

At Mammoth Security, we specialize in commercial-grade burglar alarms and install them regularly.

If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact us by phone or by clicking the contact button.

Be sure to request a free site survey and consultation with one of our knowledgeable and friendly team members if you’re in the market for a new system installation or upgrade!




A burglar alarm for businesses typically detects unauthorized access through various sensors, such as door and window contacts or motion detectors. These alarms act as a deterrent to intruders and help protect valuable assets and personnel.

When selecting a burglar alarm system for your business, consider features like customization to fit your specific needs, remote monitoring via smartphone or web interface, integration with other security devices, reliability with backup power options, and advanced false alarm mitigation technology.

Yes, a burglar alarm is a worthwhile investment for businesses of all sizes. They provide peace of mind by deterring potential intruders and protecting assets, inventory, and personnel. Burglar alarms can also lower insurance premiums and increase the resale value of business property.



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