Security Alarms Q&As

Here is a collection of answers to some of the most common security alarm questions from our customers. We hope you find this information useful. And if can’t find the answer here please give us a call on 0508 11 00 22 or email us, we’d pleased to help.

Do I need an alarm sensor in every room in the premises?

We recommend installing a sensor in every room that has:

  1. Easy external access which would make gaining entry and escaping straight forward such as an external door, window or access onto a deck
  2. High value and/or easy to grab items such as laptops, electronic equipment, stock, jewellery, games etc
  3. Rooms that allow external access and are hidden out of the way of public view such as a rear stock room or wash-house.

There are a number of options for the type of sensor (or sensors) that are fitted although two of the most popular are PIR motion sensors (which detect body heat and movement) and door or window switches (that detect if a door or window is opened).

For rooms that are low risk such as internal meeting or conference rooms and kitchens or bathrooms with no external access points, it is not usually necessary to install a sensor.

What happens to the alarm if there is a power cut?

The majority of alarms models include a battery system that will keep the alarm running for a period (normally up to 24 hours) during a power cut. The alarm will remain in the same state as it was before the power cut so armed if it is armed and disarmed if it is disarmed. The battery back-up also retains the settings and programming codes of the system. If the alarm is monitored it will send a signal to the monitoring company that there has been a mains power failure and they will be able to notify you.

What can cause a security alarm to false trigger?

The majority of false triggers in alarms are caused by something other than a person triggering a PIR sensor (a PIR sensor is designed to detect body heat and movement). Some of the most common include:

  • Pets – if you leave a pet in a house with a normal PIR sensor the pet will likely trigger the alarm. We recommend fitting pet sensitive PIRs which will reduce the likelihood of a false trigger (see below).
  • Spiders or other insects – a little insect walking over a PIR sensor lens will appear huge to the sensor and can cause an activation. We recommend regularly checking PIR sensors to make sure they are clean and free of dust or cobwebs.
  • Other heat sources – PIR sensors need to be positioned so they are not facing into direct sunlight (from a window for example) and other heat sources such as open fireplaces.

A window or door switch may also false trigger if the magnets on each side of the frame move out of alignment. This can happen in older buildings with framing that is warped or moves, or as the result of a door being slammed.

Can I get pet sensitive PIR sensors?Yes, we have both hardwired and wireless alarm models that can use pet friendly PIR sensors.

Depending on the alarm model this may be a PIR with settings that allow the installer to adjust the sensitivity and/or weight tolerance of the sensor. Or, there is also now a PIR sensor with an in-built microwave sensor (hardwired alarms only). This sensor needs both the PIR (movement) and microwave (body mass movement) parts to activate before it will trigger the alarm allowing it to better tolerate pets moving about without sacrificing sensitivity within the sensor. These are our preferred pet friendly sensor.

Please remember that pet friendly or pet sensitive PIR sensors are designed to reduce false triggers from pets but they won’t eliminate them in all instances. Large pets, multiple pets in one room, or a pet that jumps up onto a piece of furniture mounted near a sensor may still trigger the alarm.

How long will the battery last in my wireless alarm sensor?

Trinity’s range of wireless alarms use long life Lithium batteries that will last up to three years. Most models will also send a low battery warning to the monitoring company or to you when the battery needs to be replaced. Many other types of wireless alarms do not have long life batteries or a low battery warning so be careful when choosing your wireless alarm.

Can I get additional sensors and devices with my alarm?Yes unless the system is very basic most alarms can have additional sensors and devices added. This means the alarm can be customised to suit your premises and can be upgraded at a later date if required.

Additional devices include PIR sensors, smoke detectors, window or door switches, panic devices, additional keypads or remotes and even sirens.

Do I need a phone line for monitoring?

Yes, monitored alarms are connected to a phone line. This allows it to send the signals to the monitoring station. If you already have a phone line the alarm can use this, it does not need its’ own dedicated phone line. Learn more about alarm monitoring here.

If you do not have a phone line the alarm can be connected via an optional GSM dialer or over 3G on IP. Alternatively choose a text monitored alarm that will text you on alarm trigger or notification rather than sending a signal to a monitoring company.

Do I have to sign a contract term for alarm monitoring?

No, unlike many providers, we not require a contract term for alarm monitoring. If you choose to cancel the monitoring service we only ask for one month’s notice of cancellation. Learn more about alarm monitoring here.

Can I get Trinity CCTV to organise alarm monitoring for my existing alarm?

Yes in most cases we can arrange alarm monitoring, guard patrol and guard response services for existing alarm systems (just make sure you are not in a term contract with another provider).

Can I change my monitoring response plan if I go on holiday?

Yes. All you need to do is contact us or the monitoring station with the details and we can arrange a temporary response plan for the duration of your holiday.