I'm planning on getting an intruder alarm for my 3bd mid-terrace house in London, with a detached garage at the end of the garden that backs onto an alleyway. I've had several alarm companies come to quote, but they all make vastly different proposals in terms of what they suggest installing, so it's very difficult to compare like for like.
I'm conscious that what they're proposing might not be the best system for me - just what suits them, so I wanted to get your objective opinion as to what would be ideal. I should mention that by far the best installer I have had visit was from Banham, who really knew what he was talking about, with the worst being from Verisure (who just wanted to sell me his product).
Once I've gotten some advice from you as to what I should be going for, I'm hoping to ask a number of installers whether they can install it, and choose whoever seems most competent.
So here is my current thinking as to what I want - would you mind letting me know what you think?
1. Wireless system with option to wire stuff in (particularly in case the reception in the garage becomes worse over time as the 868 band becomes more congested).
2. Bells only with an autodialer. (I can't see a point in my case in getting it monitored or with police response - by the time they arrive, the burglars will have everything worth taking).
3. The system configured to minimise false alarms at almost all cost. E.g. I don't want the siren to sound if the wireless comms go down or if power is disconnected - I want it to fail silently.
4. Control panel in an airing cupboard with a wireless keypad near the door. I think I should have a wired keypad too in the cupboard - I don't want to be unable to turn off a constantly sounding alarm because of a wireless issue.
5. A dual tech sensor in the kitchen/diner and high quality PIRs in the lounge, hallway and landing (are quad tech less prone to false alarms?)
6. Two wireless bells (one at the back of garage and one at the front of the house)
7. Wireless contact sensors on the front door, the garage doors, the rear french doors and a shoc sensor on the garage window.
8. Internet connectivity.
I've settled on a Texecom system. Sadly Banham seem to only offer a Pyronix system, but that's not my preference - I see this system as lasting 20 years and I want to be able to reprogram it and make additions if I need to - I see this as 'my' system, just like I might get someone to set up a computer for me, but I want to be able to install software myself! I hear Texecom is more difficult at the back end but offers much more support to end users.
But I'm confused as to what to specify - specifically:
(A) Are quad sensors the right choice to minimise false alarms, or are they more sensitive than regular sensors?
(B) I've figured out I'll need a GSM dialler and the Smartcom wifi/ethernet communicator - that's right, isn't it?
(C) Is there any chance with a Texecom system of faults causing the alarm to sound (e.g. faulty wireless connection, low batteries, etc?) Is there any way to avoid this if so?
(D) Looking at the Texecom Premier Elite system, I see essentially 3 options (1) - A grade III metal control panel like the Premier Elite 48, with a separate wireless expander and hard wired keypad next to it (for emergency use) , (2) a grade II plastic control panel the 64-W - I wouldn't need the wireless expander as it has inbuilt wireless capability, but I'd still need the emergency keypad, (3) the Premier Elite 64-W LIVE, which contains wireless tech and a keypad. Is there any downside to (3)? Is it less flexible? Would I still be able to add GPRS modems, etc, down the track?
I'd really appreciate any advice you have.