More and more people across Canada and the world are choosing to have home security systems installed in their homes and workplaces. If you’ve ever wondered about security installation please read on to learn about how personalized alarm systems can be!

Step 1: Determine what your system will be composed of

You may have already heard that most security systems can do more than just protect against intrusion. Fire detectors, water leaks sensors, sump pit levels switches and even carbon monoxide and natural gas sensors can all be programmed to report to the alarm system control panel. To begin your security installation planning, it is best to have a good idea of what aspects of the home you will be protecting.

Begin by adding up all the doors and windows you would like protected. Motion detection is recommended for covering the staircases and the alarm control panel unit. Glassbreak detection can be added if deemed necessary. Feel free to discuss this with your technician if you are using one as he or she may have some tips for you as well. It is up to YOU to determine the level of coverage for your home or business!

Step 2: Determine if you want to trigger any outputs from the alarm

This is a lesser known feature of alarm panels. There is an “output” (usually at least 2) on the control board that can be used to trigger some kind of output in the home. Typical uses for this are triggering garage door openers, or activating a strobe light when the alarm is tripped.

Step 3: Determine if you want the System to be Monitored by the Central Station

For a monthly fee you can have all the signals reported by your alarm system routed to a “central station,” where operators will follow predetermined procedures in the event of an alarm or life safety condition. Typical action includes calling certain contacts affiliated with the home. If no one can be reached, police or security guards can be sent to investigate.

Usually when purchasing a new alarm system the installation company will provide a discount for signing a monitoring agreement. Home insurance companies also usually give discounts for “monitored” alarm systems.

Step 4: Determine What Path, if any, the Alarm System will use to Communicate with the Central Station

If the security system is monitored, it is important to have a reliable path to communicate with the central station. This can be done by one of 3 ways:

  1. PTSN Telephone Communication
  2. GSM Cellular Communication
  3. IP Internet Based Communication

In terms of cost, the fee for telephone is usually the most cost effective. However the cellular modules are probably the most reliable as they do not depend on any physical wires. Check with your security installation provider to find out what works best for you. If you have a VOIP telephone line, the alarm system may not be able to transmit over it.

Step 5: There’s an App for That!

If you would like control of the system through the use of a remote computer or smartphone app there typically must be certain modules added at the control panel. There are plenty of different apps to choose from, with varying costs from high to none at all. Some popular apps are Connect2Go, and Ultrasync.

If you are in the Ottawa, Ontario area the staff at Barnes Protection Services are always willing to come by for a free quote. Our monitoring rate starts at only $20/month + HST and service is second to none! Write us a message at or give us a call at (613) 726-6349 to book your free quote.