23 March 2015

REVIEW: Yale Easy Fit Telecommunicating Alarm

"Hello? You're being burgled."

Big fans of the security experts Yale, we've really enjoyed testing a few of their kits out; from cleverlocks to clever cameras. But Although we feel as safe as houses with their gadgets installed, one thing we've never tried is a full house alarm system - and only because they seem like such a hassle to install. Fortunately Yale have come to the rescue with their aptly named Easy Fit Telecommunicating Alarm.

House alarm systems have been around for decades now, but in all that time they haven't really changed that much. Most involve setting crude motion detectors around your property which, when triggered, make a exterior siren sound. Only those who live in the country or the Arctic tundra won't be aware of how annoying house alarms are, and also how ineffective they can be. Come on, if you heard you neighbour's go off, surely your first thought would be 'Bloody alarm!' rather than 'Quick, call the police!' The Yale Easy Fit Telecommunicating Alarm is different.

In the box (which is surprisingly small considering what's inside) you get two motion sensors, two door/window sensors, two exterior alarms (one is a dummy), the base unit with keypad etc, all the wires you need (which are delightfully few in number), screws, plugs and documentation. Obviously the documents include a step-by-step run-down of how the system is installed, but if you watch this simple video you'll have cracked it.

Yes, it really is that simple. The magic here is that all the components of the system have their own batteries and communicate wirelessly - even the outside alarm. Because of this the only DIY you'll have to embark upon is screwing in a few small screws to suspend the units wherever you want them. Even the outside alarms are easy to put up, although you will need a ladder to get them high enough. Still, sourcing a ladder is a lot easier (and cheaper) then hiring an electrician to wire the parts of a traditional alarm together. Thanks, Yale.

As shown in the video, every element of your system (and others that you can buy to add to it) is activated by pulling the plastic tab out, then tapping the small button and waiting for it to connect to the base unit. And it is that base unit that gives the system the moniker telecommunicating, as, should the alarm be triggered, you'll soon get a call - and it won't be from your neighbours complaining about the noise.

That touch screen unit is not only where you can programme the traditional pin code to activate and deactivate the system, but you can also store up to three phone numbers into it. Once triggered, the system will then ring those numbers in the order you've specified, alerting you to the alarm. Obviously most people will programme their mobile phones as the primary contact, but it is great to be able to add other numbers, and to be able to change them whenever - handy if you're going away to a mobile reception dead-spot and want the system to alert a friend or family member's phone.

Once set up (all-in-all, with programming of the box and screwing in of all the components, it took us just over an hour) the system behaves just as you would expect it to. Setting the alarm is as easy as entering your pin and arming it, and deactivating it is just the reverse within the set grace period. Although the touch screen panel requires a plug socket to continually work, it does also feature a back-up battery pack which is apparently good for ten hours - so you're not stuffed if there is power cut while you're gone.

We seriously couldn't believe just how easy this thing was to install, and how relatively inexpensive it is. When something as integral to your home as a burglar alarm can be fitted in just an hour, and be something that won't set you back a small fortune (not to mention the fact that you can take it with you when you move) makes this so completely desirable.

We'll be honest that the telecommunication element is great, but is by no means the greatest selling point here. Although it offers peace of mind that you would be contacted if the alarm was triggered, the fact that the system is such an easy install is a major factor in getting people to install a burglar alarm in their home in the first place. If more people realised just how easy a thing the Yale Easy Fit Telecommunicating Alarm was to set up, more would be sold, and crime figures might even drop as a result. That's the dream, anyway.  

Around £250

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