How Long Does a Burglar Alarm Last?

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If you’re thinking about buying or replacing a security system, you might wonder about its life expectancy. Longevity is an important factor, but there are also reasons to replace a burglar alarm before it fails.


Numerous security systems last around 15 years. They usually remain in service for at least a decade; some units perform well for as long as 35 years with upgrades and upkeep.


An alarm may fail prematurely if lightning strikes your home or a strong power surge enters its electrical wiring. Protective equipment like surge suppressors and lightning rods can reduce the risk.


Many systems contain batteries that need replacement after three to seven years. The equipment will only continue to work reliably if someone installs new batteries of the correct type.


You might be able to extend a system’s lifespan by upgrading it. For instance, it may need a new cellular transmitter after the cellphone networks stop supporting older units.


Consider replacing an old burglar alarm to take advantage of new technologies. Some modern units can communicate using both wired and wireless connections, increasing the likelihood of success.


Older models may only have sensors that detect vibration, making them prone to false alarms. You can mitigate this problem by installing a new unit with audio-based sensors.


Some modern systems can detect a wider range of events. Consider replacing your equipment if you want to be alerted to flooding, extreme temperatures, or high carbon-monoxide levels.


Would you like to control your burglar alarm with a smartphone? If so, think about installing a modern unit. Rather than operating a control panel or specialized remote, you can use an iOS or Android app.

Basically, a well-made security alarm may last for one to three decades if it’s maintained well and doesn’t suffer damage in any lightning strikes or other disasters. Some owners replace them sooner to maximize performance.

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