DIY Wired Alarms


Generally, a wired alarm system consists of a control panel with a back-up battery. The back-up battery provides four to six hours of energy during a power failure. The location of the panel should be protected in order to prevent tampering. A phone jack connects to the house phone line. This device enables the alarm system to tap into the phone line to signal the monitoring company of an intrusion or fire at the location.


You can beef up your DIY wired alarm system by adding passive infrared motion sensors (PIR), window and door sensors, fire detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. You can also add glass break detectors or ceiling-mounted glass break detectors to your DIY wired alarm system.

Installation Methods

The most effective alarm system is one that focuses on the entry points on the perimeter of the home. The theory here is that a home intruder will be shooed away by an alarm sounding when one of these entry points is breached. Start with the basement, and working your way up, sketch out the window and door areas that must be protected and by what type of device.


Position the control panel in a location that is not easily accessible, such as a basement. Put the control panel close to the phone line and electrical panels. The control panel must be protected by a magnetic sensor or motion sensor. Plan the route for the wires. Start the installation process and work toward the basement or the location where the control panel is installed.


It may help to have a central closet or other space to run the wires to and down to the panel. Put as much of the wires as possible within the protected areas of the home.


Usually magnetic sensors are mounted on each window and door that is accessible from the outside. Such sensors detect when a circuit has been opened, which means a door or window has been opened.


A typical installation method can run from the entry door down to the basement. Often, recessed contacts are installed in doors. These devices are concealed when the door is closed. Begin drilling in the door jamb about 4 inches from the floor. You’ll need a 3/8-inch diameter drill bit, 12 to 18 inch long. Pull the wire up through the hole out of the basement. Give yourself 12 inches of wire to work with at the door and at the panel before you cut it from the spool. A keypad can be installed on the wall immediately adjacent to the entry door. A code must be entered into the keypad to set the alarm or shut it off.


Work carefully when stapling the wires into place because you will have a difficult time tracing a wire that has been penetrated with a staple. Mark the wires with masking tape so that you will be able to identify the device and location when you connect the wire to the control panel.

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