If you live in the country or on a large property, monitoring the surrounding area with a good driveway alarm can make life a lot easier–and safer. With a cost-effective, easy-to-use driveway alarm, you’ll be immediately notified of unexpected visitors or sales people and warned of trespassers. Nothing is more disturbing then the sound of someone pulling up to your house when you’re not expecting it. Many homeowners with a larger house and grounds, and rural dwellers especially, often find out about unexpected visitors indirectly–or not at all. At worst, this sort of surprise can be a safety concern or, at best, an annoyance. You might have already reviewed dozens of systems, but yet probably still have a lot of questions. It’s our goal to answer those questions with this guide.
Low-Tech Driveway Systems can be Unreliable
Without an alarm, you won’t know until your “surprise visitors” is already on your doorstep! You might be lucky enough to have dogs that bark as a car winds up your driveway. The dogs are helpful, but how do you distinguish whether they’re barking at a squirrel–or a car? Should you check every time? And what may happen if you don’t check? The “canine early warning system” may turn out to be worse (or at least more inconvenient) than if you had no warning at all. In cases like this, a driveway alarm provides both safety and convenience for you and your family.
Full-Featured and Affordable Home Security Solutions: The High Tech Advantage
The concept of a driveway alert system is not new. However, the technology has greatly improved in recent years. These systems typically provide the most affordable and reliable way to protect your home and alert you when someone is on your property. The latest technology has made the best systems more effective, yet very simple to set up and operate. Just some of the improvements you’ll find on today’s driveway alarm systems include: a greater effective distance and protective radius than ever before and basic recognition of objects. Quality systems now have the ability to distinguish between a car, a goat and someone on foot. That’s a crucial feature that you can look for to identify the system that you need, depending upon your priorities and requirements. These and other high-tech features have made driveway alarms the reliable way to tell when someone is coming for an unscheduled visit.
How Driveway Alarms Work
Sets generally come with one transmitter, installed at some point along your driveway (how far down the driveway is up to you.). When the transmitter picks up the heat from an approaching vehicle, or the movement of a person or animal, it transmits an alarm signal to the receiver. Receivers typically plug into a standard electrical outlet in your home, wherever you want to hear the alert. Most systems give you the option to add additional receivers (if you want to be alerted in more than one location of the house) or additional transmitters (if you have more than one driveway leading to your property). You may also choose a driveway alarm system with a wireless, portable receiver that moves with you.
How to Choose
There are many models of driveway alarms to choose from and finding the best for your needs may seem daunting. Make your decision a simple one: First clarify your driveway alarm needs in the following important categories, then check the system’s feature lists against your needs. The closest match should be the best choice for you!
Things to consider when making a selection:
- Transmission distance: How far do you need the transmitter to reach? What is the distance from where the transmitter will be installed (on my driveway) to the receiver in the house? Driveway alarms on the market today can transmit anywhere from 650 ft. to several miles.
- Signal interference: Will there be trees, hills or buildings between the location of the transmitter and the receiver? Obstacles such as heavy woods or hills on the property may decrease the overall range. On a property with object interference, you may need a more powerful system. You can also use the experts at 1800Doorbell.com as a resource for information if you need guidance on the best strategy if you live in a wooded area.
- Type of notification: Do you want to detect ALL movement, including vehicles, people, and animals, or to be alerted only when cars enter your property? Are you having a problem with people entering your property unauthorized, or a pesky deer or dog reeking havoc on your flowers? If these distinctions are important to you, make sure your chosen alarm is sophisticated enough to tell the difference—and provide unique alarm sounds for each.
- Number of receivers and transmitters needed: Do you have multiple driveways or entry points–and will you want different chimes for each? The more sophisticated alarms can handle this–but be sure to check that the feature is included if it’s a priority for your property.
- Mobility: Do you need a wireless alarm receiver? If you need to move around your home or office or spend a lot of time outdoors, avoid systems that offer only a plug-in receiver. Look for a brand that offers a wireless, portable, handheld receiver. This advanced feature gives you the freedom to roam, yet still be alerted of a visitor on your property–no matter where you happen to be.
- Battery life: It’s cheaper and more convenient if batteries don’t need to be changed often. Check the battery life on the driveway alarms that you are considering. Ask an expert about real-world battery life and you can learn if systems live up to the specs they advertise. We have an expert staff at 1800Doorbell.com, so you can also contact us with any driveway alarm questions.
- Durability: Is the transmitter waterproof and will it work in the dark? Make sure to buy a durable unit for the best long-term performance.
- Installation: Look for a driveway alarm that is easy to install and use—and you’ll avoid the need to pay an electrician or contractor. Quality alert systems may have lots of advanced features, but that does not mean they have to be complex. Well-designed ones should be user-friendly.
- Customer Support: Once you’ve found the best driveway alarm for you, just order online from a reputable company. Reputable, knowledgeable dealers will ship quickly and provide phone and email support after the sale to help you with any questions. Later, if you want to add security lighting or other accessories, consult your dealer (such as 1800Doorbell.com) to help you choose the best products that integrate perfectly with your system.
Impressive Driveway and Entrance Alarms that Fit your Budget
The Driveway Informer – Wireless Driveway Alarms Like the Di2000S-A Keep Intruders Away Model DI2000S-A – $149.98
At 1800Doorbell.com, our most popular (and most recommended) driveway alarm is the Driveway Informer by Security 2020 (Model DI2000S-A). It’s the best because it easily satisfies all the important requirements–and excels in all of the categories above. This is an easy-to-use, yet fully featured, alarm solution that is also cost-effective. We’ve received tons of positive feedback about the DI2000S-A. We urge you to compare the Driveway Informer feature list below with your requirements. After that, we won’t be surprised if you decide that the Security 2020 (Model DI2000S-A) is the best solution for you.
Top 10 Driveway Informer features:
- Covers the distance with an amazing range of 1500 to 3000 feet.
- Flexible with a 360-degree rotational antenna on both transmitter and receiver, to allow line-of-sight adjustments. While direct line-of-site is ideal, the powerful transmitter should get a 1500 foot range in most cases.
- Customizable for your needs, with up to four monitoring zones and unique audio alerts for each.
- Expandable with an extra speaker option for an additional location (sold separately).
- Integrates with your other automated home security products with an accessories connection for items like the Siren, Strobe or X-10 Interface.
- Built in counter with digital display.
- Long-life battery that handles lots of traffic (2-year life at 500 rings per day!)
- Made in the USA.
- User-friendly system is simple to use and install.
- Cost effective system is manufactured to tough Military specifications. This driveway alarm will stand up to the elements. The Driveway Informer driveway alarm delivers great value and is built to last.
- Approved by the government on the GSA Purchasing contract.
Driveway Signal Bell Kit 1 Model 8DSBS1 $149.98
This Signal Bell Kit is a replica of the old-time gas station driveway bell–the type that rings when somebody drives over the black rubber hose on the ground across a driveway. Customers often comment that this type of signal bell was used by full-serve gas stations in the 1950s. It can give your business a vintage or “old-timey” feel, and it’s simple to assemble. The ding-ding sound is loud enough to be heard from anywhere–even in a noisy and busy environment. This Driveway Signal Bell Kit won’t work on a gravel driveway, however.
- Used on asphalt or concrete only
- Plugs into electrical outlet
- Printed with patent date of May 12, 1959, listed on the bell’s back and the packaging
- Sensitive ball system works with up to 300 ft. hose
MURS-BS-Kit Wireless Driveway Alarm Model MURS-BS-KIT $151.88
When you have a really long driveway or far-away gate, or even a corral entrance that you would like to monitor for activity, this long-range system was made for you. Users of this alert typically find it useful that the receiver and monitor work on the same frequency that handheld walkie-talkies use. If you already own or want to purchase walkie talkies you can have a multi-use device to communicate over large properties like a big storage area or ranch.
- Compatible with walkie talkies
- Several-mile range
- Battery powered transmitter uses (6 AA) which should last a year under most conditions
- Detects movement within zone
- Base plugs into electrical outlet
- Base station with 4 zones with unique vocal alarms
Whether you’re interested in improved security or just need a warning before visitors turn up at your door, 1800Doorbell.com has many driveway alert options to fit your needs. These alarms can serve as a nice supplement to your home or business security system. Give us a call if you need assistance or have questions, before or after your purchase. Our customer service specialists are happy to help you choose the best solution for your property. We’re also here if you need support during installation, troubleshooting advice or information about accessories. Contact 1800Doorbell.com today.