||Posted - 05/21/2012 : 10:57:00 AM
Greetings all! I'm interested in upgrading the fire monitoring and (possibly) the security features within my home, but I'm confused concerning some of the options available. I'm hoping someone can look at my situation and recommend appropriate product(s).
I have two dogs, which are my current security system. I also work from home 3 days a week, so my home is most always occupied. I'm more concerned about the couple of days when it's not. I currently have no electronic security, but I do have wired fire alarms with battery backups. These were installed by the builder when the home was first built. The home is "pre-wired" for security, which means that low-voltage wiring has been run to each window/door, but no sensors are installed.
Here where the fun begins. My fire alarms have both wired power and batteries. Apparently, they run on battery first, with the power as a backup, or the power is solely used to trigger all alarms when one goes off; I'm not sure. The net result is that I have to replace the batteries every year, even though the alarms never go off. Failure to do so causes the units to "chirp" incessantly until the battery is replaced. This is a problem for me.
One of my dogs is seizure-prone when she's exposed to significant stress. The chirping alarms are an extreme source of stress for her. To the point that I actually have to send them outside just so I can safely climb the stepstool to replace the batteries. Otherwise, they're trying to climb ME. :) I can only imagine what sort of state they'd be in if the alarms went off while I wasn't home.
That said, I would like to replace my current alarms with ones that actually run off the home's current and actually use the batteries as a BACKUP. Secondly, I'd like the units to communicate with me via messaging prior to going off. That is, if a low-battery is detected, instead of chirping, I want an SMS message or email or something sent to me instead. If the alarm triggers, I want to be notified as above and have the ability to turn it off remotely.
Finally, since I'm sure this will require some kind of central security alarm center, I'd like to utilize the pre-wiring I have (if feasible) to install security monitoring for doors/windows as well as wireless cameras for visual monitoring. Again, remotely accessible and controllable.
I look forward to any suggestions that can be made and I thank everyone for their time.