Coming up on Saturday this weekend we have a unique Today’s Special value……. a burglar alarm! We have never had a home security TSV before but I think the time is right for this, as it is simple to install and a very effective way of protecting your home and monitoring what is going on. The item number is 505505, and it will be available from 12am on Saturday 31st January (not before!)
You can secure, monitor and control you home from a smartphone app – giving increased peace of mind, without the need for an expensive monthly contract which typically is around £22 per month or more.
This means parents are notified immediately when their children let themselves in (using the RFID tags included), if there’s a power failure, or an intrusion. If there is an intrusion, miGuard tracks homeowners down via phone and/or SMS, and lets them listen in so they know what is happening – and to verify if there is an intrusion, or false alarm, before deciding whether to call the police. As the control panel has a built in mobile phone, users can also have a hands free two way conversation and even leave a voice memo.
The free, smartphone app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play, allows the user to ‘Full Arm’, ‘Part Arm’ or ‘Disarm’ the system, as well as leave voice messages or monitor (listen in), therefore reducing the need for monthly monitoring charges. The app also allows the user to check system status and alter a range of settings.
The miguard alarm not only looks cool and sleek, but enables a whole new approach to DIY home security and remote monitoring/control – simply by using smartphones The range is a modular system, so add-ons can be made now or in the future. When I checked the following accessories were available: wireless sirens, flood detectors, smoke detectors, PIR (motion) detectors, PIR Camera, window contacts and IR beams.
Installing is was really very straight forward and well within the capabilities of the most modestly skilled DIYer. In fact I would say that if you can put up a shelf and set up your mobile phone then you can do this. It took me about two hours to completely install the system and set up the free app on my iPhone. However, now that I have done it I reckon it would only take about 45mins to do it again.
First step is to install the free SIM that the system comes with. This is preloaded with a number of texts but I found that there were not enough to FULLY set the system up so had to preload some.
My SIM was a Vodafone so I called 0333 304 8048 and found out how many texts were left and could pay for more. I was in a bit of a puzzle where to put the power supply in but seemed so obvious when I found the hole! DUH!
Almost all the PIR and door sensors etc were pre-paired with the control panel so I didn’t have to do too much, but I did need an additional PIR and found that pairing sensors up with the control panel is child’s play. I installed the door sensors first of all and used the sticky tape as well as some screws for extra security.
Deciding where to put them is straight forward and although I have quite a selection of doors they went up fine. The PIR sensors are incredibly easy to put up and easy to adjust the angle. It’s important to think about where they should go and in some ways you have to think a little bit like a burglar to decide the best place for them. You actually need surprisingly few of them to cover your house.
Then, when the whole system was connected and working, I decided to fix the control panel. I made a mistake here (I was warned about it in the manual but didn’t notice until after the event). If you press the anti-tamper button on the back of the control panel more than a few times, it resets the system. Oops, I did this so had to re -pair all the devices (which actually only took about 5 mins). I would advise if you are securing it to the wall, switch it off and take out the power cable and fit it so that you are happy with its fixing and then reconnect the power cable and switch it on before slotting it onto the fixing bracket.
When it was all in position I found that some of the more distant PIR sensors and the most distant door contact weren’t making contact with the control panel. I have an old house and wondered if thick stone walls might be a problem. A quick phone call to the miGuard support number (0345 0257 1000) again and they gave me a way of testing this. It turns out that my walls may well have been the problem but this was quickly rectified by the optional range extender. if you are in any doubt whether you might need one of these, think about if you have had any problems with cordless phones reaching ALL around your house. If you have had this sort of difficulty, you may need to think about the range extender.
The app is very straight forward to install and quite intuitive once you understand the way that it thinks! I did have to call the MiGuard customer service helpline as I had a few issues as to how to use the app. They were brilliant and clearly know their products very well. They helped me sort things out and now I have got the whole things sorted out.
I have yet to install a wireless smoke detector and decide how best to use some of the alarms features (like voicemail and messages etc), but I think it’s a very good system and could save you a lot of money compared with a monitored system. It certainly is easy to install and provides some level of security as well as information on what’s going on at home, which could be real peace of mind if you have kids who are in and out all the time or an elderly relative who you might be concerned about.
Join us all through Saturday for this unique TSV