Business Security: Intrusion Alarms 101

As a business owner, your place of work is more than just a place to make a living. 

It's a part of you. You've put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into making it what it is today. So understandably, you want to do everything possible to make sure it is properly protected.

In most cases, that means installing some type of burglary or intrusion alarm system. We're here to help. Check out our guide to learn more about intrusion alarm systems and how they work; so you can feel more confident when choosing a system to protect your small business.

Benefits of an Intrusion Alarm System

An intrusion alarm system can be a tremendous asset to your business. It can protect your facility from after-hours break-ins, theft and vandalism. The system can provide you with peace of mind that your business is being looked after even when you aren't there. A comprehensive intrusion alarm system not only protects your inventory and assets, but it makes your customers and employees feel safe.

Parts of the Alarm System


Intrusion alarm systems are made up of a number of components that work together to monitor for, and alert you to the presence of, intruders. Some of the primary components are:

  • Door/window sensors - When a door or window is left open, these sensors alert you. They are placed in a door or window and on the adjoining sill or frame. When the two sensors are touching, everything is noted as being secure by a magnetic connector. However, once the door or window is opened and the connectors are no longer touching, the alarm is triggered. Simple yet effective!
  • Glass break sensors - Breaking glass produces a specific sound frequency; glass break sensors use a microphone to listen for that unique frequency. Once it is picked up, the sensor will trigger an alarm. Since the sensors have a large range of several feet, a wall of windows may only need one sensor installed.

  • Motion detectors - When they are enabled, these devices use vibration, ultrasonic waves, microwave pulses, infrared heat, or any combination of these to detect movement in a given space. The range and focus of motion detectors varies greatly. Many are designed to only monitor small rooms from a particular corner with 50-75 feet of range. However, long range and 360 degree motion detectors are available for special applications. Long range detectors can detect up to 200 feet (great for long hallways & warehouses) and 360 degree detectors are great for vestibules and doorways with multiple points of entry.

  • Panic buttons - These devices allow for people to discreetly call for help in the event of an emergency. When the button is pressed, a signal is sent to the alarm system's control panel. The signal is then transmitted to the alarm monitoring center and the police or other emergency services are dispatched immediately!

  • Control panel - The control panel is the brain of your system. It's where the signals from all of the devices above are sent and processed. The control panel is usually installed in a closet or utility room.

  • Keypads - A keypad is the interface where you will control your intrusion alarm system. From the keypad you will arm/disarm, set users, and perform many programmatic functions. Keypads can vary from simple push-button alphanumeric keypads to full screen displays, and can have a hard-wired or wireless connection. Some systems may require multiple keypads for multiple facility entry points. A specialized fire-alarm signal rated keypad may be used for those who utilize combination fire & intrusion alarm control panels.

Managing the System

business-intrusion-001Most commercial intrusion alarm systems are monitored by a professional security company; meaning that if an alarm is triggered by your system, a notification is sent to your security company's monitoring center and they alert the authorities. These monitoring centers are staffed 24/7/365 by trained professionals.

Many monitoring centers receive notifications not just of triggered alarms, but of low batteries in system devices and any communication faults or errors between those devices.

Even though your security company is doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to managing the system, there are still a few decisions that need to be made within your business about certain system management issues. For example:

  • Who is in charge of the account?
  • Who can arm and disarm the system?
  • Who gets reports of alarm activity?
  • Who is called in the event of an emergency?

Beyond the Basics - System Integrations

business-intrusion-003Now that you have more information about how the system's components work together to keep your business safe, let's take a look at how the intrusion alarm can integrate with your fire alarm system and remote access technologies for an added level of protection.

Integrating with Fire Alarms

Integrating your intrusion and fire alarm systems can be extremely beneficial, it can:

  • Reduce false alarms - The integrated systems can provide confirmation of an incident from several sources before an alarm is raised.
  • Lower maintenance costs- When systems are integrated and serviced by a single provider, this can reduce the cost of maintenance contracts.
  • Provide more efficient system control - The ability to monitor and control the systems from one place makes the process easier and more efficient.

Remote Access Technologies

With the help of apps, you no longer have to be standing right in front of your system to manage it. Remote access apps, like Total Connect, give you the ability to arm/disarm your system and receive notifications about its status right front your phone, tablet or computer.

About EPS Security

eps-tech-and-truckEngineered Protection Systems, Inc. was founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1955. What began as a modest, local operation with a handful of employees has blossomed into a multi-state company with more than 200 employees, three additional Michigan branch offices and thousands of satisfied customers.

Over the past decade, EPS has more than doubled in size. We currently rank as one of the top 30 largest security providers in the nation. We offer the stability, experience, skills and technology of a national provider; yet the people who manage EPS are the same local people who own it. We are your neighbors.

Contact Us

eps-buildingLet us show you the EPS Advantage, and what it can mean for the security and protection of your business. Visit us at to get your free, custom quote or call us at 1 (800) 966-9199.