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What is a Central Burglar Alarm and How Do They Work?

May 20, 2024

Mammoth Takeaways

  • Central burglar alarms provide a direct connection to monitoring centers, ensuring prompt response to intrusions and offering peace of mind to business owners.
  • These alarms detect unauthorized entry and activate a series of steps, including alerting authorities and notifying property owners, to ensure swift action against threats.
  • Consider factors like property size, security needs, and budget when selecting a central burglar alarm system, and seek professional guidance for optimal installation and integration.

Did you know that a study from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte found that 60% of criminals flee at just the sight of a security camera and security system? But here's the thing: just having a business monitored is enough to make would-be thieves reconsider their actions.

This doesn’t mean you should put up decoy cameras, though. Employing a state-of-the-art security system and burglar alarm has benefits that go way beyond deterrence. Want to know more? Find out how a central burglar alarm can benefit any business or location and bring peace of mind.

What is a Central Burglar Alarm?

A central burglar alarm is a sophisticated security system designed to detect unauthorized entry into a property and alert the occupants and monitoring service of the intrusion.

These alarms provide a sense of security and peace of mind for business owners, acting as a deterrent to potential burglars.

The key feature of a central burglar alarm is the direct connection to a monitoring company with the ability to dispatch necessary authorities.

How Central Burglar Alarms Work

Once a central burglar alarm system is activated, it begins a series of steps to ensure prompt and effective security measures. Here's a breakdown of the process:

  • Detection Phase: When a sensor in the alarm system detects unauthorized activity through an entryway such as a door or window or an unauthorized presence through infrared, it sends a signal to the central control panel.
  • Verification: The central control panel receives the signal and verifies the alarm activation. This step is important to minimize false alarms.
  • Alerting Authorities: Upon verification of an actual intrusion, the central control panel triggers the alarm system. This may include loud sirens or strobe lights to alert occupants of the building and deter intruders.
  • Notification: Simultaneously, the alarm system notifies the monitoring center. Operators verify the alarm and take appropriate action, such as contacting the property owner or authorities.
  • Owner Notification: Modern burglar alarm systems can also notify the property owner directly via smartphone app notifications or text messages.
  • Dispatching Authorities: If the alarm is confirmed as a genuine threat, the monitoring center dispatches emergency responders, such as the police, to the location.
  • Resolution: Once authorities arrive, they assess the situation and take appropriate action, such as apprehending intruders or securing the premises.
  • Resetting the System: After the threat has been addressed and the premises secured, the central burglar alarm system is reset to its normal state, ready to detect any future unauthorized activity.

Types of Sensors Used in Central Burglar Alarms

  • Motion Sensors - Devices that detect movement within its designated range, triggering an alarm or initiating other connected devices when activity is sensed.
  • Window and Door Contacts - Consisting of sensors and magnets, these recognize when windows or doors are opened or closed. The disruption of the circuit between the magnet and sensor triggers the alarm system, providing reliable detection of unauthorized access.
  • Glass Break Detectors - Glass break detectors are devices that trigger the alarm system upon detecting the sound frequency or vibrations of broken glass.

Communication Methods

Wired vs. Wireless Systems

A wired security system is one that relies on a physical connection such as an ethernet cable or phone line to provide a constant connection.

A wireless security system uses WiFi in order to connect to the appropriate hubs and equipment and is devoid of wires.

Internet vs. Cellular vs. Landline

  • Internet - Internet signals are four times faster than landline signals, providing significant speed advantages for home security. However, internet-connected systems can be potentially disabled by cutting the associated cables.
  • Cellular - These types of security systems communicate between sensors and the control panel to the monitoring center via wireless signals by using cell towers. This method offers increased security compared to landline systems. While cellular signals can be affected by bad weather and radio interference, they eliminate the vulnerability of physical connections, such as cut cables.
  • Landline - A landline home security system connects to the monitoring center via wired phone lines, offering stable communication, but vulnerable to being cut. While traditional landlines are less popular due to the rise of wireless options and better speeds.

Benefits of Installing a Central Burglar Alarm

  • Peace of Mind - Stress is a constant offender in modern-day Americans’ lives. Having a quality and expert installed security system can ensure that your properties are taken care of; even when you're not around.
  • Potential Insurance Discounts - Having qualified security systems on-site may make you eligible for insurance discounts.
  • Deterrent to Criminal Activity - It's been proven that criminal activity and vandalism is reduced significantly by the presence of security systems.
  • Constant Surveillance - Security system technology and burglar alarms allow for 24/7 monitoring.
  • Quick Response - In the event of an intrusion, burglar alarms immediately notify authorities or designated responders, ensuring a rapid response to the situation.

Professional Installation Process

For the best performance from your security system or central burglar alarm, opting for professional installation is the right choice. Professionals offer expertise in selecting the appropriate security level and ensuring proper installation of different systems, providing optimal performance and genuine peace of mind.

Once you’re in touch with a security system installation professional, you’ll work together to find out the specific needs for your property and move through the following steps:

  • Initial Consultation - The central burglar alarm installation company will typically schedule a meeting with the business owner to discuss their security needs. During this consultation, they'll assess the property's vulnerabilities and discuss the type of alarm system that best fits their requirements.
  • Design and Proposal - Based on the consultation, a customized alarm system setup will be tailored to the property's layout and security needs. They'll then provide a proposal outlining the equipment, installation costs, and ongoing monitoring fees.
  • Installation Appointment - Once the proposal is accepted, an installation appointment will be scheduled. The business owner should ensure that someone is available to grant access to the property during the installation process.
  • Installation - A team of professional technicians will arrive at the property at the scheduled time to install the alarm system. This typically involves mounting sensors, control panels, and any other necessary equipment in strategic locations throughout the property. Wiring may be required for hardwired systems.
  • Programming and Testing - After the installation is complete, the technicians will program the alarm system according to the client's specifications. They'll then conduct thorough testing to ensure that all components are functioning correctly and that the system effectively detects intrusions while minimizing false alarms.
  • Client Training - Once the system is installed and tested, training will be provided to the client on how to use the system effectively. This may include instructions on arming and disarming the system and responding to alarms.
  • Monitoring Setup - If the client has opted for professional burglar monitoring services, the central burglar alarm installation company will assist in setting up the monitoring service. This typically involves connecting the alarm system to a central monitoring station that will alert the appropriate authorities in the event of an alarm.
  • Finalization and Documentation - After the installation is complete, the technicians will finalize any paperwork, such as warranty information and user manuals, and provide it to the client for their records.
  • Follow-up and Maintenance - Follow-up appointments may be scheduled to ensure that the system continues to operate smoothly and address any issues that may arise. Additionally, they may offer ongoing maintenance services to keep the system in optimal condition for additional fees.

The Importance of Maintenance

Routine maintenance ensures that your security devices are up-to-date and functioning properly. There are a variety of tasks that should be done on a regular basis in order to achieve peak performance out of your investment.

  • Cleaning - Dust and debris can build on components if they aren't regularly checked, affecting sensor readings. It's essential to remove this debris to ensure accurate sensor function, as blockages may lead to faulty readings.
  • Updating Software - The software used in security systems serves as the brain of the operation. Outdated software poses potential dangers for improper system function or holes in protection. It's important to regularly check for and install the latest updates to ensure proper function.
  • Battery or Power Supply Maintenance - Different systems operate different power sources. Wireless units primarily use batteries. It's critical to ensure security control panels have sufficient power, as the system won't work if the batteries die, or the power supply fails.
  • Regular Upkeep - It's wise to check components monthly and run tests to ensure the system is working properly. Even if a component looks functional on the outside, regular checks will uncover any potential or existing faults hidden underneath.

Integration with Other Security Systems

Linking with CCTV and Access Control Systems

Many brands of security devices can seamlessly integrate with established systems such as CCTV networks, eliminating the need to completely replace existing setups when upgrading. An installation professional can assess your current setup and recommend burglar alarm brands and units that complement its use, potentially saving time and money in the process.

Choosing the Right Burglar Alarm System for Your Needs

In a world of individuality, there is no one-size-fits-all option. Luckily, the market is filled with a multitude of options, each tailored to specific needs.

In order to install the proper security system for your locations there is a list of factors that should be considered before purchase.

  • Size of the Property - Every security system has a maximum range of signal and operation. It's important to map out the size of the intended installation location to ensure the appropriate number of units or a larger unit with broader coverage is installed.
  • Level of Security Required - Each business has unique needs, resulting in varying levels of security requirements. A business with over 100 employees requires a system that can handle more than a system designed for a company with 5 employees. These security levels may involve different equipment installation, such as RFID entry, AI tracking, and many other options.
  • Budget Considerations - Businesses, like individuals, have different budgets. It's crucial to select an option that meets security needs without exceeding the set budget. This may involve creating a custom installation package to fit within those specifications.

Mammoth Conclusion

Mammoth Security Technician

With technology advancements constantly coming to market and becoming increasingly affordable, it's wise to invest in a central burglar alarm. A properly installed unit can bring peace of mind, while also protecting assets that you've worked hard for. Not to mention the improved safety for your employees and clients.

Security systems and alarms don't need to be complicated. We've got you covered with knowledge and experience!

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

Do you have questions or want to learn more? 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 today!




Research. Utilize the tips in this guide to determine the needs of your business. Assess the required coverage size and range, set a budget, and identify features that meet your specific needs. If you have questions or need assistance getting started, don't hesitate to reach out to the professionals.

Monthly. The proper function of your central burglar alarm and security system relies on maintaining its components. Check and clean the unit and test its features every month to ensure functionality.

It depends. Many existing alarm systems can be integrated with newer components and features. However, it's important to have a security installation professional assess your current equipment. We can make sure it's still in proper working order and that the model can be upgraded or integrated with a new system.

Legal requirements and restrictions vary from state to state and even from town to town. Contact your city or town hall to inquire about any necessary permits or guidelines that must be followed before starting an installation project.



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