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How to Tell if your Security System is Outdated

April 16, 2014
Residential and commercial security systems are supposed to provide peace of mind, but that could lead to a false sense of confidence. Many homes and businesses throughout California are being protected by outdated security systems that are no longer up to the task. To determine if your current equipment is an outdated security system, consider the following points.

No Remote Monitoring

A basic security system is local, which means that it triggers an audible and/or visual alarm locally, and then someone on the premises must recognize that alarm and respond to it in proper fashion. A modern security system is monitored around-the-clock, year-round by a monitoring station. When an alarm occurs, a response agent receives it, assesses it and then responds to it accordingly.

No Plan B for Calling Home

In the past, a security system would be hardwired to the local phone system. When it needed to communicate with the monitoring station, it would call home via that line. That approach introduced a vulnerability that was relatively easy to exploit. Modern systems normally don’t use the telephone line, but more importantly, they have redundancies in place, such as the ability to communicate via a cellular network if the primary mode of communication is offline.

No Network Integration

A lack of network integration usually indicates an outdated security system. Network access is now the primary way that security devices communicate with each other and with the monitoring station. In addition, network access facilitates a wide range of popular security features, including remote access and home automation.

No Remote Access

Monitoring is no longer limited to just the monitoring station. All the best residential and commercial security systems have remote monitoring and remote access capabilities available to the client. Using these access points from a laptop or mobile device, a homeowner or business owner can inspect and manipulate the security system, including viewing camera feeds, locking/unlocking doors, adjusting the thermostat, turning off lights and so forth.

No Wireless Equipment

Whenever a wireless device is practical, the professionals prefer it to a wired solution because it is more convenient and cost-effective. If, for instance, the environment changes and motion detectors must be relocated in order to compensate for that change, the transition is much easier with wireless devices.

No High-Resolution Cameras

In the past, security cameras were expensive, and that made them rare for use in residential security systems and commercial security system for small and medium-sized businesses. Much has changed, and high-resolution security cameras are so affordable and effective that not having them is unusual. In fact, most security companies include them in their default packages, and many insurance companies provide even greater discounts when security cameras are present.


When in doubt, ask a professional. Since 1953, the professionals at Pacific Alarms have been serving residential and commercial clients throughout California. They can help you assess your security, determine if it’s an outdated security system and, if it is, modernize it in a way that best makes use of your available time and budget.