Alarm System Devices

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Thorn Security provides a wide range of alarm system devices which come together as your security system. The best security systems are combinations of devices, working together as well-designed solutions to provide peace-of-mind. Everyone always thinks a security system is about door/window sensors and motion detection but it is a whole lot more. Here we discuss some of the important security devices beyond that of the basics.

Smoke Detectors

Monitored Smoke DetectionWhat happens if you have a fire and nobody is home, or you are difficult to wake? Thorn Security‘s 24-hour monitored smoke detectors offer round-the-clock protection while also reducing your home insurance premiums. We strongly recommend Monitored Smoke Detectors in every home because they save lives and property when every second counts. Pets are protected by Monitored Smoke Detectors but they are scared by regular smoke detectors becoming frantic or hiding.

Every 6 months, fire departments throughout the country remind homeowners to check smoke detector batteries. With Monitored Smoke Detectors, you never have to worry as battery levels are monitored by your security system. Monitored Smoke Detectors can also be used to supplement those regular smoke detectors to provide the best protection. In addition, some monitored smoke detectors can listen for regular smoke detectors sounding to still notify the response centre.

Carbon Monoxide Sensors

Monitored CO DetectorNext to a monitored smoke detector, a 24-hour Monitored Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector may be the most important device for Security. Without the aid of a detector, it would be virtually impossible to know if carbon monoxide was present at dangerous levels. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen or smelled, and can be deadly within minutes, it is important to have a functioning detector in your home. Regular carbon monoxide detectors are less expensive than the monitored versions. Therefore we tend to recommend Monitored CO Detectors when animals are in the home, or when customers wants the ultimate in protection.

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because it is difficult to detect without the use of specialized equipment. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels such as natural gas, propane, oil, coal, and wood. It is a deadly gas that can cause illness, brain damage or even death if inhaled in high concentrations. That is why monitored carbon monoxide detectors are essential for any household or business that uses fuel burning appliances.

Regular carbon monoxide detectors are less expensive than the monitored versions. Therefore we tend to recommend Monitored CO Detectors when animals are in the home, or when customers want the ultimate in protection. Give your pets the protection they deserve with Monitored Carbon Monoxide detection, so we can ensure they are kept safe when you are not home.

Glass-Break Sensors

Glassbreak detectionPre-entry protection! Glass-break Sensors are used to detect an intruder breaking glass to gain entry to your home or business. The golden rule of Security is D.D.D.R. and Glass-break Sensors detect breaches in security prior to intruders gaining entry. Once triggered, the intruder is deterred, delayed, detected and they know there will be response. These sensors allow your system to sound the alarm BEFORE they get inside! These dual-technology sensors are virtually false-alarm proof as they are triggered by both the pitch and frequency of breaking glass to activate. Many wireless security panels have built-in glass-break detection right within the panel but additional glass-break sensors are available for more remote or susceptible areas to intruders.

With increased problems throughout Vancouver Island with vandalism, glass-break sensors are a must for any business. Again, they provide detection before anyone has entered the business while also alerting you to attend the site quickly to ensure anything inside remains secure. Sometimes vandals break glass windows or doors for fun, but the next passer-by sees opportunity. Some Glass-break Sensors are designed to work on glass that also have security films for added security. Security films do not stop glass from being damaged, but can make it much more difficult to gain entry – something many business locations are now considering for added security.

Panic Buttons

Panic buttons can be effective in improving safety in various situations because they provide a quick and easy way for individuals to summon help in an emergency. For example, in a workplace setting a panic button can be installed to allow employees to immediately alert other staff or law enforcement when emergencies occur. Having a panic button readily accessible can provide a sense of security and empower individuals to seek help in dangerous situations. Overall panic buttons can be an effective tool for improving safety and providing peace-of-mind in a variety of settings.

Our 24-hour panic buttons offer “help when you need it” protection. Simply press our panic button and even if your security system is disarmed mode, your system will immediately activate and alert our 24-hour monitoring centre. Panic buttons are available in several solutions from hidden under-the-counter buttons, to wearable necklaces or bracelets. We often provide panic buttons at reception desks, where individuals are the first line of defence, and are often outside of ear-shot from the rest of employees. In addition, panic buttons can also be useful for individuals at risk of domestic violence or other forms of abuse. We also provide lone-worker solutions to keep workers safe when working alone or in remote areas.

Medical Alert

Medical Alert pendants or bracelets are available as inexpensive add-ons to your security system. Many systems are available as independent systems but if you have a security system installed at home, you already have the system for communication and the response centre ready to respond. All you need is the button added to get help at the touch of a button.

Numera Libris Personal Safety medical alertMedical Alert devices allow us to continue to lead a safe and independent lifestyle within the confines of our residence. They also provide some peace-of-mind for our children who worry about us as we grow older or if we are on our own. With Medical Alert as a part of your security system, you are safely protected inside the house while also easily being able to call for help at any time. Falls happen more as we grow older, and we don’t want to be left on the floor for hours or days – it is unnecessary when Medical Alert exists.

We also have many customers going through treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation who are concerned about how their body will handle treatment side effects. Do not worry, we can easily add Medical Alert to most security systems so you can focus on getting better.

Let’s keep an eye on each other

Frankly, anyone living on their own should have a medical alert button around their neck while home alone. My own Brother died at 55 after waking up in the middle of the night to get a drink and suffering a heart attack at the fridge. He was found the next day after his girlfriend checked on him – he was 4 feet away from his cell phone. Our Father died at 51 from a heart attack, so the family history sometimes dictates a safer approach. With Medical Alert, my Brother may still be here.

Let us provide you or someone you care about with the means to summon help when it’s needed. Medical Alert can be added to nearly any security system or is available as a stand-alone medical device. Many options exist, such as fall-detection devices and even cellular based devices that allow you protection while gardening, walking, shopping or travelling.

Rate of Rise Temperature Sensors

Rate of Rise detectorFires typically cause a rapid rise in temperature in the surrounding area. Typical Rate-of-Rise sensors detect a rapid rise in temperature and signal an alarm if the increase is 15° or more per minute, depending on the manufacturer. This type of sensor works well in areas where dirt and dust are present like garages, which may cause a regular smoke detector to under-perform. Rate of rise detectors also work well in kitchens which regularly fill with smoke or attics where we expect an excessive number of particles of dust or moisture.

Heat Sensors

Depending on where you live on Vancouver Island or your specific elevation, heat sensors are sometimes used. If your furnace breaks down or your furnace goes out at the wrong time, you could be in for a real nightmare with frozen pipes. Alternatively at the other end of the thermometer, computer rooms overheating with the air conditioning failure can cause data losses and dowtime. Heat sensors can alert you before problems reach critical levels.

Water/Flood Sensors

Flood water sensorUndetected water damage from hot water tanks, leaking pipes or environmental flooding costs homeowners tens of thousands of dollars and insurance companies millions. For this reason, many insurance companies will offer additional discounts when water/flood sensors are in place in bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and basements. I have seven water sensors in my home tied together with an automatic main water shut-off valve. When water is detected at any of the water sensors, water flow to the entire home is automatically cut-off, the alarm system siren sounds, notice is sent to the response centre and automatic notification is even sent to me on my cell phone.

Like monitored smoke detectors and monitored CO detectors, detecting flooding when you aren’t at home is crucial. Even if we are home, flooding in one area of the home that goes unnoticed, can cause a lot of damage. So many times in life, we make the decision to protect ourselves after something bad happens – but we could be proactive! Truthfully, I didn’t have water/flood detection until after I had a frost-free bib break and spew water throughout my home while I was outside watering the garden. Knowing that flooding happens, pipes burst and hot water tanks blow, I wish more people would add water/flood protection to their security systems andt protect themselves first.

Wireless Key Remotes

You can have wireless control of your security system! You can arm and disarm your security system without having to use your keypad. Key remotes can also be used to trigger a panic alarm while at home. They work just like the key remote we all have for our cars. They are a definite convenience items to make arming and disarming easier.

Even better than key remotes is or a similar interactive service which allows you to easily arm and disarm your alarm using your cell phone.  For many of us, we may not have our car keys with us when out for a walk or taking a bike ride, but we always tend to have our cell phone.

On Vancouver Island, some customers hate cell phones and just want things to be easy. For you, controlling your alarm system by wireless key remote could not be easier.

Video Doorbells

ADC Video DoorbellWe have all seen the advertisements on TV for video doorbells where we ask the delivery person to wait while we remotely open the door so they can place the package safely inside. Sadly, that is mostly marketing embellishment. The truth is that most delivery drivers are already back at their vehicle and driving away by the time notification reaches you, you unlock your phone, open the app and connect to see who is there.

But video doorbells can be a great addition for some customers if they do not want the expense of better-quality camera systems, video analytics and improved connectivity. Many people bought video doorbells to install themselves and then found connectivity issues. Properly installed video doorbells by Thorn Security are a great solution for many people or homes but they rarely ever meet the expectation laid out in the TV marketing. The biggest issues are power, connectivity, Wi-Fi reliability and delayed notification. We would love the opportunity to provide you with some free advice before you consider the self-installed solutions as well as discussing the differences and benefits of the Video Doorbell solutions we install for customers at Thorn Security.

Security Cameras

Live view security camerasSecurity cameras should be considered the 2nd level of security whether residential or commercial. A well-designed security system provides D.D.D.R. which is the first level of security. Once your first level of security has been designed, cameras provide the second level of security. Let me say that I do love security cameras, for me they provide eyes, day and night so I know what happened and when.

So much to discuss when talking about security cameras which is another blog post coming soon. If you can afford security cameras, I recommend calling Thorn Security for discussions on the right solutions. Make sure your security alarm system is in place to provide D.D.D.R., and then add additional awareness with cameras.


All-in-one wireless security system like the QolSys, 2GIG, Interlogix GE Simon and others, have the siren together within the alarm panel. Wired security systems like many DSC, Interlogix, and Honeywell systems have the siren as an external device. Most security systems offer the ability to add additional sirens for increased awareness.

Sirens are really meant to announce to intruders that they have not gone unnoticed! They have been noticed, and now the pressure is on. It may be that you have just awoken the homeowners, or a guard service is being contacted, maybe the neighbour is being notified, or the police are on the way. The siren tells intruders to run away. Adding additional sirens for larger properties increases awareness during alarms. Placing additional sirens in high theft areas where thieves are headed may also be beneficial. It is very hard to concentrate with loud sirens blaring. Some even contain strobes to make seeing more difficult or to grab attention from the roadway.

Tilt Sensors

Tilt SensorTilt sensors are mostly used in garage or overhead door situations to detect whether doors are open or closed. Most of us at some time have made the mistake and woken to realize that we forgot to close the garage door last night. Tilt sensors provide the awareness that tilting doors are open or closed. It is also nice to set alerts if your garage door opens during the night. Most of us would never hear the garage door opening during the night, but we will hear the alarm siren! Tilt sensors are sometimes also used on large dog doors, storm cellar doors and even mailbox doors.

Garage Door Controllers

Most garage doors have remote controllers, which allow you to remotely open the garage door when you get home. But these remote controls don’t really offer any security. Someone easily breaks into your car, grabs the remote and opens your garage door to grab your valuables.

When garage door controllers are part of your security system, you always know whether the doors are open or closed. You can activate your garage doors from anywhere in the world with interactive alarm service. I love this feature! Sometimes, remotely opening the garage door for a neighbour to borrow tools when I’m not home. My regular garage door controllers are kept safely in a drawer inside the house. I only use service on my cell phone to open and close my garage now. It’s just safer!

Photoelectric beams

Photoelectric Beam sensorsThese aren’t as common nowadays but we still find uses for them. Passing through the invisible photoelectric beam trips the alarm or at least awareness. Depending on the manufacturer, they can be used indoors or out to provide awareness of someone or something. In your retail space, in the shed, pool area or elsewhere. Many times, advanced motion detectors are more reliable but that is why the experience of Security Advisors is so important. Our job at Thorn Security is to find the right solution to best meet your security needs.

Motion Detectors

Motion detectors are another way to monitor to activity inside a home or business. Some can even be used outside to security outdoor areas. The standard motion detector is a passive infrared sensor (PIR) that measures infrared light radiating from objects or radiant heat. Sadly, for many homeowners, your standard PIR can result in false alarms if not installed properly. Location for placement of these devices will reduce false alarms tripped by heating ducts, draperies, pets and more. Even spiders crossing over the face of a PIR may trip an alarm by mistake. When a door contact trips an alarm, that door almost certainly opened. But with PIR’s placement is crucial for increased effectiveness and reliability.

Many different types of motion detectors exist from:

  • Dual tech motion detectionThe standard PIR
  • Pet-immune motion detectors
  • 360 degree ceiling mount motion detectors
  • Long range motion detectors
  • Curtain motion detectors
  • Outdoor motion detectors
  • Dual-tech motion detector which includes microwave detection
  • Even motion detectors with built-in cameras that snap a photo of whatever tripped the detected motion
  • and many more

Trust in the experience of Thorn Security to recommend the right solutions for your specific needs and budget.

Door/Window Contacts

These are the most common and frequently used security devices as part of your security system. Door/window contacts come in many varieties, but they basically monitor for almost anything opening. They can be

  • Wired
  • Wireless
  • Remoted (wired) wireless

They can be quite large, with extended range and long battery life or very small and discreet. We even have recessed and remoted contacts. These devices can also used to protect cabinets, liquor, cigarettes, safes,  artwork, freezer doors, medicine cabinets and much more.

The Thorn Security Plan

Protected by Thorn SecurityOur Security Advisors and Technicians work together to create the Security Plan. When the Security Alarm Plan is ready, our Licensed Security Alarm technicians carefully install the system. Proper installation by a trained professional is very important to help reduce false alarms. These same technicians will return to your home to maintain and service your alarm system when required.

Thorn Security handles every aspect of your alarm system from sales to installation, servicing and support. You can securely access your security system remotely via your cell phone even though we monitor the system for alarms. We pride ourselves in delivering the best home and commercial security systems available, customized to your specific needs.

We love Wiring

At Thorn Security, we also offer electrical services as Thorn Electric, so wires don’t scare us. If you have a hard-wired security system, trust in Thorn Security to maintain your wired security system. Don’t replace your wired security system with a wireless system unless you talk to us first. Call Thorn Security to come have a look at your hard-wired system as wired specialists for both alarms and cameras. We offer wireless systems as well, but exclusively for situations where wired is not a suitable alternative.

Talk to a security expert today!


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Thorn Security Ltd

9197 Mainwaring Rd, North Saanich, V8L 1J9.


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