Lots of people have been asking whether their house alarm will work over Gigaclear. Hopefully, these notes will help you decide.
First question to ask – Is the alarm monitored? If it is monitored by an alarm company then see below. If it is not monitored then it is not relevant what type of broadband you have. So yes Gigaclear will work with unmonitored alarms.
There are two types of alarm monitoring. Both would be monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), which can be an alarm company or central monitoring station.
DIAL UP – The first type uses a device to dial up the Alarm Receiving Centre if the alarm is activated. These dial-up devices are often called Digi box or Digi modem and the dial-up can be via a phone line or mobile network. This type of monitoring does not check whether the line has been cut. DigiWolds has tested this type of alarm plugged into a Vonage box connected to a Gigaclear router and it worked without any issues. So yes Gigaclear will work with alarms which have dial-up devices.
REDCARE© – The second type uses a regular pulse on the line to check not only whether the alarm has been activated but also whether the line has been cut. If the Alarm Receiving Centre detects no pulse in a certain period of time then the alarm is activated. This type of monitoring is usually provided by BT under the name Redcare© Classic and is run over the telephone line. Redcare© Classic will not work over Gigaclear as it links directly to equipment in the telephone exchange. However, there is a product called Redcare© Secure IP which will work over Gigaclear. Anyone with Redcare© Classic can move over to Redcare© Secure IP. Whilst this has not been tested on Gigaclear it works over any network connection so it is not relevant whether the network is provided over copper or fibre. So yes Gigaclear will work with Redcare© but the customer must move from Redcare© Classic to Redcare© Secure IP. Other companies also offer a comparable IP based product, for example, CSL Dualcom IP.
Redcare© Secure IP will detect whether the alarm has been activated or whether the internal wiring has been cut or the Gigaclear fibre has been cut and so is very secure, as its name suggests!
Both Dial-UP and Redcare© monitoring can be provided via a mobile phone (GSM) connection. However many houses in the countryside do not get a reliable mobile phone signal and so this type of monitoring would generally only be used as a secondary line of defence.
Imagine a scenario where there is a power cut. Any Redcare© Secure IP monitoring will trigger that there has been an activation but the alarm company will get that from every customer in the area because the power has been cut. Therefore they will not respond. DigiWolds would recommend fitting an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to the Gigaclear router to enable it to function during a power cut. Using a UPS the alarm monitoring can carry on during the power cut and so if the Alarm Receiving Centre does receive an activation from this property then they know there is an alarm and that it is not just down to the power cut in the area. Eventually, if the power cut is long enough, the UPS will run out of power. If the UPS can be monitored by the alarm unit itself then the alarm company can see that action is required to keep the alarm actively monitored. DigiWolds will shortly be testing monitoring a UPS from an alarm system and will calculate some figures for the UPS required.
Prepared by Martin Spooner from DigiWolds with thanks to CIA Fire and Security Ltd for their help with these tests.
For more information about Digiwolds:
Telephone: 01285 898037
Published 16th February 2016