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How Your Burglar Alarm Work?

A Burglar Alarm System comrprise a Controller, Keypads, Detectors and Sirens. The Controller can communicate with the outside world using telephone line. In an alarm event, the Controller can dial a mobile or telephone number; or connect to a Central Monitoring Station for Alert. The controller can also be connected using IP or SMS Modules.


Burglar Alarm Controller

The Controller is the brain of the system. It comprises the main microprocessor with built-in software.  It has a number of inputs and outputs and is powered by a 12Vdc Power Supply with a 7AH backup battery. 

Many controllers come equipped with 8 inputs (often referred to as Zones) and an output to activate a Siren. The capacity can be increased by adding expansion cards.  The RISCO LightSys 2 can be expanded to handle up to 50 zones.

The Controller can connect to the outside world using telephone lines, IP Network and GSM/SMS modules



Keypads are the user interface to the system.  With the keypad, you can arm or disarm the system.  You can check the status of the zones and reset the alarm.  You can interrogate the system for the systems status and troubleshoot any faults that may be indicated.  And you can program the system using the keypad.

Keypads can be numeric with indicating LED. Or they can come with LCD Display Screen or even Touch Screen. They are aesthetically designed to blend with your decor.


Detectors and Sensors

Detectors and sensors are connected to the Controller. They are grouped into zones. Motion Sensors detect movement using body heat. Panic Buttons trigger the alarm, frightening intruders and alerting neighbours.

Magnetic contacts mounted on doors and windows to detect doors and windows being opened.  Fire Detector detect smoke and heat alert users to fires.



The purpose of the siren is to attract a neighbour’s attention when there is an intrusion.  The Strobe light provides an indication of where the siren is coming from.

While the siren does play a role in frightening the burglar and drawing attention, it can be a nuisance to neighbours particularly if the alarm is unattended.  Hence under Singapore’s Code, the siren cannot be sounded for more than 10 minutes.


Three Types of Response

In the event of an alarm, the burglar alarm panel will activate the external siren. The siren will sound, attracting attention and frightening the intruders.

While the siren can be a good crime deterrent, and can possibly frighten the intruder, forcing him to cut short his visit, it is not always most effective from the perspective of help and response.

Reduce false alarm and stop siren from false activation

There are 3 types of response. They are:

  • Bells Only
  • Self Monitored
  • CAMS Monitored

Bells Only

Bells Only alarms are alarm systems not connected to any phone line. In the event of an alarm, only the siren will sound.  This is not advisable as there is no guarantee that someone will respond or do anything.

Self Monitored

The alarm system is connected to a telephone line or the internet.  It will dial out to a mobile number or notify the User via SMS or on the mobile Apps. Better than the Bells Only, there is a way for someone to be notified and alerted. For such systems, we encourage the users to extend alerts to close friends, neighbours and family so there is more than 1 person notified.

The weakness of the system lies with the users. If the user is busy or in the house with the intruder, he may not be able to reach out for help.


The alarm system is connected to a telephone line.  It will dial out to a third party Central Alarm Monitoring Company (CAMS). The CAMS have staff working 24 x 7 monitoring the alarm. On activation, they will verify the alarm and contact the police where needed. This is the best form as it ensures that there is a third party who will respond.

We work with Chubb Security for the provision of this service.

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