Alarm system for a duplex??

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Old 08-24-07, 11:25 AM
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Alarm system for a duplex??

I am waiting for my new duplex to be built. We will be living in one side of it and renting out the other. I am hoping to find an alarm system that can have the main box in our side, but allow for 2 totally separate configurations. I've read a little on partitions, but I'm not sure how this works. Basically I need either side to have they're own monitoring so if the alarm goes off on the other side they don't always call me.

Is this possible or would I just need to install 2 alarms, one for each side.

Thanks for your help!!
 
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Old 08-24-07, 06:27 PM
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Partition capability is the feature you want. A number of panels can do this trick with varying degrees of gracefulness. In essence, the system can be split into two or more virtual alarm systems.

You do need to sort out how many zones each half of the system needs in order to figure out just how many zone expanders will do the trick.

Nearly all partitionable system have 8 basic hardwire zones, but you may need more, depending on how many windows and doors you are dealing with.
 
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Old 08-24-07, 07:01 PM
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My girlfriend brought up a good point. If we move out and have renters on both sides, one side would have full "control" of the alarm, right? I'm not so sure this is the best solution. I guess the only way to fix that is to install 2 separate systems in each side.
 
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Old 08-24-07, 07:41 PM
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Nope, they would only have "control" of the physical hardware of the main control box and it's power supply. Partitions can be set so that each has a code that can only control it's area, as well as a true master code that can control either.


The problem of the control box can be solved by installing it in a location that can be secured, like a real locking cabinet.
 
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Old 08-25-07, 04:20 AM
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Be aware though, that if it's connected to the phone line for tenant a, and they move out, you'll have to move it to the phone for tenant b. And if they get their phone shut off for non payment, could be issues. When you move out, it may be better to switch to cell only to avoid hassles, but then you have another monthly charge/

Also, the same would be with power, if it gets shut off between tenants. Just something to remember.
 
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Old 08-25-07, 08:17 AM
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Most duplexes have a firewall that is built from the foundation, through the attic. I would not recommend a partioned system, because running the required wires could compromise the firewall. I would recommend two seperate systems, so that there is no worry of the firewall being compromised or if the power or phone is turned off. Also, each tenant may want their own monitoring service.
 
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Old 08-25-07, 12:13 PM
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There are proper ways to penetrate a firewall, and I would be suprised if there zero penetrations. A metal conduit penetrating at least 12 inches on either side, and sealed with fire caulk is sufficient to meet fire and building codes and maintain integrity.
 
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Old 08-26-07, 04:18 PM
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If you can answer yes to any of these question, then go ahead and proceed in putting in one panel to serve two units.

1.) Would you put in one furnace?
2.) Would you put in one hot water heater?
3.) Would you put in one circuit breaker box?

If you have one panel and two partitions how can a tenant that has a service issue get to the panel to power it down when the siren will not stop? Furthermore, do you want one tenant to be able to disable the other tenants service? Trust me on this, you need to panels. Any professional that recommends one panel is a hack. If a client demanded one panel for two seperate living quaters for to seperate tenants, then I would walk away. I do not need the business that badly.
 
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