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- Some types use low-voltage wire, similar to stereo speaker wire, to connect magnetic window and door sensors to a control panel.
- Other types use radio transmitters at each door and window sensors to trigger an alarm at the control panel.
- Alarm sounds when the window or door opens.
- Alarm systems designed for d-i-y installation are frequently battery powered, so ease in testing the batteries can be an important feature. Some systems sound a warning when the batteries are low.
- Hard-wired systems may have a button on the control panel that checks the entire system.