top of page

Proactive or Reactive Security Alarm System?

Residential security alarm systems are often broken down to serve two main purposes, to protect property and/or alert the occupants of an unauthorised intrusion.

Typically an internal motion detection based system is considered as a cost effective way to protect property. Several motion detectors, commonly known as PIR's (Passive InfraRed) can be placed throughout the residence in strategic locations such as the Master Bedroom, Garage and Family areas. 

The owner would arm the system when he/she exits and disarm the system when he/she returns. 

A hybrid example using internal motion detection for unauthorised intrusion or personal protection is if you had upper and lower levels, you could arm the lower level of the property while sleeping and any intrusion would activate the alarm. This activation would occur after the intrusion took place. 

The above internal motion detection type system should be considered a reactive system, as the intrusion or break-in has already taken place. 

An alarm system designed to protect property and persons is also known as a perimeter security system. Generally, impact and contact sensors are added to door and window frames throughout for impact/opening detection and to the ceilings for glass break detection. 

This type of enhanced system when armed allows the occupant to move about the house freely. If an assault to the perimeter is detected the system will go into an alarm state and alert the homeowner. 

This type of system should also be considered a reactive security system, as impact and often damage to the property likely has to occur before the occupant is alerted. 

A proactive security alarm system is a system that pushes the area of intrusion detection beyond the perimeter of the building. Using targeted infrared to accurately cover all opening sections of the property and any passageways required for moving around the property. 

This type of system is not only designed to protect person and property but also actions the alert before the intruder is able to cause damage. 

Such a system is enhanced further when an electronic lighting control system is added, typically as part of a home automation or integrated systems installation. With strategic placement of external light fittings around the property. These lights would react to human movement beyond the intrusion detection zone. 

In addition, upon security alarm activation a signal can then be sent to the electronic lighting control system which can trigger external light activation, creating an added layer of protection using "shock and awe" with sirens and lights to discourage further intrusion. 

If you need further advice on security detection for your existing home or new building project, come speak to us. Surrounds is a licenced security agent, consultant and installation service provider with many years of experience in security installation but also integration with other systems like electronic keypad access, CCTV cameras and entry intercoms.


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page