How to install alarm system, a Step by Step guide

how to install alarm system - diagram

In this article we are going to show you all the steps for an alarm system installation in your home. This is designed only as a planning guide for each phase beginning with making a plan and how to buy the right alarm equipment, recommended tools for installation, and videos on how to wire for an alarm system, through to testing and using your system.

Alarm System Installation – Make a plan

Begin by making a planning sketch (like the one posted below) for how much and what types of protection you feel you want. Some people want as much alarm system protection as they can afford while other people are looking for just some basic coverage that fits within their budget. Only you know what will make you feel comfortable. But, to help you get started we’ll offer this tip.

When you are sleeping in your home but are startled awake, what part of your home concerns you most for risk of an intruder? Consider making a note of this on your plan too.

As part of the planning process it’s good to make a quick sketch of the floor layout(s) of your home and noting the windows and doors on your diagram, we’ve posted a sample just below. Consider, at the very minimum, putting an alarm sensor on each entry door and this includes any entry doors from a garage into the home. And, believe it or not, most burglaries occur at the front door.

Next, decide how many windows you feel you want to protect. Contact sensors on windows only sense the window being opened however, because breaking glass is rather loud and burglars don’t want to risk being seen they’ll tend to avoid breaking glass and even if they do it they often reach in and open the window. This makes a contact senor a good option. Keep in mind, nothing is full proof, you want a secondary detection device.

An interior motion sensor is that secondary detection device. It’s only operational when you want it to be; typically it’s only activated when no one is home. And, today’s sensors are immune to the movement of one or two household pets yet require proper placement during installation.

For more information on the burglar alarm components click here.

how to install alarm system - diagramNow that you have an idea about what sensors you feel you need it’s time to decide on what equipment to buy

Purchasing Alarm System Equipment

Often, alarm systems come in a kit. Typically the kit includes the absolute basic requirements for an alarm system installation such as: control panel, keypad, a motion sensor, inside alarm siren and battery backup. These basic kits are available in both hardwired and wireless packages. We recommend you decide whether you want to install a wireless or hardwire system. Wireless will be a bit more costly to buy but easier to install and requires you replace batteries every so often whereas hardwire is slightly less costly but the process of how to install the alarm is more complex. We’ve posted a review on a wireless alarm here. Decide also on whether to monitor the alarm or not. Here is some information on alarm monitoring. Your answer to this question might affect your decision on what type of alarm kit to buy because different kits have different monitoring capabilities; on this page we walk you through the steps to help you make this particular decision. You will also need burglar alarm wire, 22/4 is commonly used wiring and is available in solid and stranded; it’s a matter of preference. Some feel stranded is more reliable and others feel solid is easier to work with.

Tools recommended for an alarm system Installation.

Here is a list of recommended tools to help you complete an alarm system installation. We are going to assume that you already have some tools such as a: ladder, drill, level etc. Drill Bit(s) – 3/8” flex shaft Glow Rod(s) – This is a necessity during the process of fishing wires inside walls Drywall anchors – For properly fastening the control panel, keypad, and motion sensor and siren devices. Sheetrock saw – This helps to cut a small access hole for the wires to enter into the control panel if you decide Screw Driver – A very small screw driver is needed to secure wires to wire terminals Wire striper – This helps to strip burglar alarm wire for making connections Beanies – Used in joining two or more wires together Labels – Label any wires you run so at the control panel you know which wire runs where. Masking or painters tape and a small marker will work for this.

Install your Alarm System – The Step by Step guide to the actual Installation

We are going to keep the alarm system installation easier by listing 6 steps for how to install alarm. They are:

Step 1. Carefully read the installation manual that comes with the Alarm System Installation kit. Check with local officials regarding any requirements to install an alarm.

Step 2. Determine where to install an alarm keypad paying special attention to avoid any wiring installation parallel to high voltage electrical wiring as it may induce interference and cause false alarms. Determine also where to install the control panel and siren(s) and motion detector(s).

Step 3.  Prepare to fasten the control panel to the wall by first leveling and marking it’s location, installing the anchors and cutting any necessary access hole(s) in the sheetrock.

Step 4.  Drill any holes necessary to fish wires for keypad(s), Siren(s) and motion sensor(s) and power transformer for control panel. Be extra careful not to drill into other wiring during this alarm system installation step.

Step 5. Run wires for the devices listed in Step 4 and the control panel.

Step 6. Secure the Control panel to the wall and fasten the mother board inside the control panel box. Make your wiring connections at both the control panel and device(s). Power up and program the alarm in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions

Testing and using your alarm system after an alarm installation

Once you’ve completed your alarm system installation we recommend you take time to familiarize everyone in your home on the system operation etc. As well, if there are any issues with the equipment itself or the alarm installation, a day or two of testing allows you to make adjustments. And this concludes how to install alarm system.