Burglar alarms can constantly monitor the health of attached circuits, sensors, and devices to ensure that they remain operational. This is known as supervision. Poor implementation of supervision is a common source of false alarms. However, if properly installed, supervision can reassure users that the alarm remains functional, and can alert installers to potential problems, allowing them to repair them. In this note, we examine alarm supervision, including
- What is a supervised circuit?
- Supervised vs unsupervised circuits
- Getting the right resistance
- Using resistors
- Where to install the resistor
- Insider threats
- Implementation challenges
- Using alarm supervision
What Is A Supervised Circuit?
A supervised alarm circuit or device is one that is constantly and actively checked by the alarm panel to ensure that it is still functional and responsive. It does this by reading the resistance on the circuit, and comparing it against a selected range.
Alarm Supervision: Pro And Con
There are many reasons to use alarm supervision, including:
- Some standards require supervision
- Ability to bid on higher profit alarm jobs, such as UL listed alarms (jewelry stores, banks, etc)
- Commercial fire alarms always require supervision
- Ability to takeover supervised accounts
- Supervised alarms can let alarm installer know when alarm is defective
- If alarm is unsupervised, customer may be relying on broken alarm to protect premises
Some alarm companies never use supervision, or only use supervision for commercial applications but not residential ones. Key reasons include: