Alarm System

Turnkey’s licensed technicians can provide the following services for your Dallas, TX alarm system, (also known as intrusion detection systems):

  • Cabling – install necessary cabling for fully function alarm system including cabling for door and window sensors, motion detectors, glass breaks, control keypads, sirens/strobes, temp/humidity sensors, duress buttons, etc.
  • Wireless – install, program, and test wireless devices such as door and window sensors, motion detectors, glass breaks, temp/humidity sensors, keychain fobs, duress buttons, etc.
  • Central station monitoring – Install, program, and test alarm system for connectivity to 24×7 central monitoring station. Verify alarms are received properly and proper actions to take are recorded.
  • Install and wire power supply, alarm panel, wireless receivers, and other head end equipment
  • Custom programming such as auto arming/disarming, scheduled events, and triggering other devices upon alarm conditions
  • Pool alarms, cabinet alarms, exterior perimeter detection, and many other types of alarm detection.
  • Install yard signs and window stickers as requested.
  • Service existing systems and resolve system problems
  • Provide lower cost monitoring than what you may be paying now!
  • Certificates of qualified alarm system installation (for providing to insurance companies and reducing premiums)
  • Perform system maintenance and tune ups
  • And much, much more!

Our engineers can also assist with system design and specifications for larger systems.

Alarm System Basics:

Before choosing a company to provide and install your Dallas, TX alarm system or provide alarm monitoring, it is good to become familiar with the basic operation and components related to a detection system. You should also make sure that the company you choose is licensed by the Texas Dept. of Public Safety. ALL alarm companies that perform any work in the state of Texas should be licensed by the Private Security Bureau.

A basic system will include sensors to monitor the front and back doors of a residence or business and sensors to monitor all first floor windows, an alarm siren, a motion detector, and the main alarm communicator panel. This basic system usually requires a monitoring contract agreement to be signed. The monitoring contract can range from 1 year to 3 years with a set monthly rate for 24×7 monitoring. A typical installation would cost from $100-$500 and the monitoring contract would be for 3 years at a rate of around $30-$35. For a higher installation cost the monthly monitoring costs would be reduced and vice-versa. The monitoring rates also vary depending on what type of monitoring is chosen. There are various monitoring options, from the standard POTS telephone line to IP based monitoring and cellular monitoring. These options will be discussed in detail below.

Wired vs. Wireless

Hardwired systems are usually much more maintenance free and do not have problems with interference and low batteries. However, newer wireless devices now have batteries that will last 5-7 years, are mostly immune to interference, and thus are virtually maintenance free as well. The advantage of a wireless system is that the installation cost is much less and it is easily serviced. In residences that are already built and did not have an alarm system installed, it is more feasible to do a wireless installation. In some cases it is not possible to get a wire where it is needed and wireless is the only option. Hardwired systems are best installed during construction of a new building and will offer many years of maintenance free security, but the installation costs will be higher.

System Components:

Alarm Control Panel – receives all signals from alarm points in the protected areas and communicates status to a central monitoring station, trigger local alarms, and performs all advanced alarm system functions. The control panel also holds alarm event memory and users/PIN codes. Control panels come in a wide variety of formats and capabilities. A basic panel will have 4-6 alarm input zones, a bell or siren output, allow 1-4 keypads and up to 32 users. More advanced panels can accommodate hardwired as well as wireless zones (hybrid control panels), have capability to expand up to hundreds of alarm points, can accommodate up to 100 users, multiple “partitions” or areas that are functionally separate, include remote programming software, and various other advanced features.

Keypad – The keypad is used for programming the alarm panel, adding or removing users, and arming/disarming the system. A special code can be added to function as a duress code that can be entered under duress to send a silent signal to the monitoring station. There can be multiple keypads attached to one control panel. If a single control panel contains multiple partitions or areas, a keypad should be included for each partition. Some keypads include speakers and microphones for 2-way communication with a central station.

Door and Window Sensors – Door and window sensors can be hardwired or wireless and signal when a door or window is opened or closed. The sensors work by use of a magnet which opens and closes the circuit as the door is opened or closed.

Motion Detectors – Motion detectors use PIR (Passive Infrared) technology are typically installed in a front main room with a large area. A typical motion detector can cover a 40′ x 40′ area. You’ll want to choose a “dual technology”; motion detector which integrates PIR and microwave technology, virtually eliminating false alarms. If you have a pet, you’ll also want to choose a “pet immune”; detector which will not be triggered by animals up to a certain weight limit. There are also a variety of outdoor motion detectors now which can work around the perimeter of a home or business for added protection or notification.

There are many other types of sensors and detection devices, such as:

  • Glass Break Detectors
  • Sirens/Strobes
  • Temp/Humidity Sensors
  • Water Leak Detection Systems
  • Photoelectric Beams
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Monitoring Options:

POTS Phone Line – The classic phone line which has been in use for decades is still very reliable and widely used for alarm system monitoring. The alarm panel communicates to a central station over the telephone line system in your home or business. The only drawback to this method is that a smart criminal will cut the phone line coming to the building before entering, thus disabling the ability to report an alarm. Also, some residences are doing away with land lines so this is not an option. Many times a system is monitored with a land line and a cellular backup in addition in case the phone line is cut.

IP Monitoring – Uses your internet connection service instead of a phone line. Disadvantages are similar to a standard phone line in that if your internet connection is down or the line has been cut, there will be no notification to the alarm monitoring center. Advantages are that the monitoring center will know immediately when the panel has lost communications as 2-way polling is much easier to accomplish. With a phone line the panel status is only checked once a day because a modem must dial into the panel and verify connection. So, real time monitoring is a big advantage. Also, the quality and speed of communication will be improved over a standard phone line and it is much easier to connect to and program/monitor the alarm panel through the internet. Furthermore, if you do not have a POTS phone line, using IP monitoring will save on phone line costs. If your internet connection is reliable, this is a good option.

Cellular Radio – A cellular communicator functions like a cell phone and when backed up by battery, is highly reliable and always on. A cellular communicator can be used as a backup to IP or POTS monitoring or can function as a standalone unit and serve as the primary and only form of alarm communication. The setup and monitoring for a cellular radio and a bit more expensive but can provide an excellent alternative to POTS and IP monitoring.

Take a look at our products page for manufacturer’s products that we recommend and support. Please contact us for assistance in deciding which system to choose and to discuss the various options.

Let Turnkey Integrators provide the services you need for your Dallas, TX alarm system installation, service, monitoring, and design. We also provide services in the following areas and around much of the state of Texas – Fort Worth, Arlington, Irving, Denton, Mansfield, Midlothian, Waxahachie, Waco, Benbrook, Highland Park, Garland, Grand Prairie, Mesquite, Centerville, Farmers Branch, Duncanville, Euless, Bedford, Hurst, Dalworthington Gardens, Desoto, Red Oak, Ennis, Lancaster, Seagoville, Coppell, Grapevine, Carrollton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Plano, Richardson, Rockwall, Rowlett, Cockrell Hills, Cedar Hill, Alvarado, Crowley, Burleson, Kennedale, Bisbee, Haltom City, North Richland Hills, River Oaks, Benbrook, Edgecliff Village, Colleyville, Keller, Southlake, Hillsboro.