There are a number of different factors important in determining the cost of installing an alarm system at your business or home in Galway. First it’s important to understand the way the alarm industry works:
- Ultra Low Install Cost?
Over the last number of years, some companies in Ireland have pioneered installing alarms below cost and signing customers up to long contracts. This business model works as the equipment installed by these companies are proprietary alarm systems, which other companies are unable to work with. This allows these companies to keep a high customer retention rate as, if you need a working alarm, you need to deal with the company that installed it. Some of these companies are known to increase their prices at the start of every year by €1 per month, this adds up over time and soon your ultra low cost alarm installation has sky-rocketed to being a very expensive alarm.
- Working Outside Bell/Sounder?
Another trick used by some companies and often overlooked by the end user is no live working outside bell or sounder. In the event of an alarm triggering in your business or home, an outside bell is designed to alert neighbours and others who could be close by that your alarm is triggered and draws attention to your property. Some larger companies have done away with these in order to save costs. We fit working bells, as most local companies do, to our systems as we believe this makes for a more robust system and keep you safer.
- Monitored or Self Monitored?
There are two main types of alarm monitoring, fully monitored systems or self monitored systems. These systems offer the same functionality in terms of using the alarm, the main difference is what happens in the event of an alarm activation; a fully monitored alarm will contact through to an alarm receiving centre (ARC). The ARC will determine what to do from there, in the event of a fire or panic button being triggered they should dispatch the relevant services as soon as possible. In the event of a single alarm zone triggering, they will contact the key-holders in the order given by the customer. In the event of two zones triggering within a short space of time, the ARC should call both the key-holders and the emergency services.
A self monitored system is designed to contact through to the customer direct, usually through push-notification on their smartphone but it can also be via text message. This is a much more simple process and therefore cheaper on an ongoing basis. This system has its limitations, if you do not have 3G or 4G signal on your phone at the time, the message my not get through and if you are abroad this also may cause issues.
- Wired or Wireless?
The increased reliability over the last number of years has meant that wireless alarm systems are as reliable as wired systems, with battery life lasting, in some cases in excess of five years. Due to the technology inside a wireless alarm, these can be more expensive to fit but depending on the style and layout of a property, this can be offset by the reduced labour cost if the property is not pre-wired. Both wired and wireless systems have the same functionality, different types of sensors for different applications are available across both.
- Smartphone App?
If you wish to be able to remotely control your alarm, then your alarm needs the ability to send and receive data. Much like your smartphone, because of this much like your smartphone, it needs to connect through an embedded SIM card or connect through WiFi. Both have their limitations; a SIM card requires reasonable coverage which can be difficult in some rural areas or if your alarm control panel is fitted in a basement or other area in a property where signal is diminished for a number of reasons. On the other hand, connecting through WiFi requires the internet to always be connected, in the event of a power cut, this will hinder the alarms ability to connect. We would always recommend connection through SIM but in an area where the signal is poor, we can connect through both SIM and WiFi to be safe. A quick video of the smartphone app can be seen here.
Above are a number of factors to keep in mind when you are looking to price an alarm system in Galway, usually for a smaller system, about five devices, about €850 including installation with GSM unit.
The main questions to ask when looking for a quote are:
- If I no longer want to work with the company that installed it, if they go out of business or keep increasing their charges, can the system be looked after by anyone else?
- How long is the contract? This can be as high as three years.
- Will my neighbours know if the alarm has triggered? Is there an outside working bell?
- Is a monitored alarm right for me?
- Is the house already wired for an alarm? If not, can it be wired without too much disruption?
- Do I want access to set and unset remotely?
- Is there reasonable phone signal in the property?
I hope this article has helped and if you wish to contact us for a free on-site quotation anywhere in Galway, please contact us. Thank you.