Fortress S02-B Home Security System
Wireless burglar alarm systems are a great option when you cannot installed a conventional fixed wired system. Maybe you are a renter and are not allowed to make alterations to the walls, or maybe you simply don’t want the hassle of installing a wired system. When I recently moved into a rented house without a pre-installed burglar alarm system, I had only one option -- go wireless!
There are many options available, ranging from the established names in the industry such as Yale to lesser known brands that you may have never heard of. However as I researched the various options available, I realised that with the more established brands configuring a system that can cover a mid-sized home or moderately large business property can quickly become very expensive.
When it comes to value for money, you get so much more with the lesser known brands but knowing which ones are worth your hard earned cash is not easy at all.
Today, we are reviewing the Fortress S02-B Home Security System which is a self-monitored system. This means that your alarm system is not monitored by a company remotely. However the auto-dial feature means that the system can notify you via a phone call or SMS/text in case of an alarm.
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Who is Fortress Security?
Fortress Security is a company started in 2005, and is based in Washington, USA. They have built their business model on a system approach to wireless home security. What do I mean by this? Imagine a single wireless solution that combines entry/access points monitoring (such as doors, windows, gates), motion, glass breakage, vibration, smoke, gas leak, water/flood detection and even a wireless door-bell plus auto dial and SMS text options. That’s the integrated approach to security that makes it easy to secure your property with minimum hassle – one single point of control to arm and disarm a variety of sensors.
- Fully wireless with a very good range.
- Top-class quick support via email, and phone.
- Supports up to 99 sensors and accessories.
- Auto-dial up to 6 numbers, VOIP available.
- Home and away modes that secure your home whether you are inside or away.
- Pet-compatible motion sensors.
- Play a recorded message or sound through the main panel when the alarm is set off.
- Call in to the system from anywhere to arm/disarm alarm, and listen to what’s happening in your house.
Fortress Security offers both the option of building your own security system or choosing from one of the kits they have put together.
- Build your kit option: There are a large number of components (required for the system to function) and accessories (optional) that you can choose from, and they will configure it to work together before shipping it out to you:
- Main alarm unit with landline autodial option and/or GSM option (Either unit required)
- Door / window contact based detectors (Min. 2 units included)
- Motion PIR detector (Min. 1 unit included)
- Internal siren
- Outdoor siren
- Key fobs (Min. 2 units included)
- Panic button fob
- RFID tags
- Wireless keypad with RFID
- Large outdoor siren unit with flashing strobe lights
- Small outdoor siren unit with flashing strobe lights
- Sphere siren with flashing strobe lights
- Small indoor plug-in siren
- Glass break sound detector
- Vibration sensor
- Smoke detector
- Gas leak detector
- Water sensor / detector
- Wireless signal repeater
- Wireless doorbell
- Pre-built kits – The pre-selected kits cover a wide range of components and accessories that should suit most homes and businesses. There are essentially two types -- non-GSM and GSM:
- the S02 landline autodial systems
- the GSM systems
- the S02 landline autodial systems
This review is for the Fortress S02-B system.
The Fortress S02-B kit is pre-configured so all you need to do is unpack the box, and install the various components. The system I reviewed was the S02-B kit.
The included manual is detailed and covers all aspects of the system, from installation to troubleshooting (not that I needed it!). The recommended way of getting to know the system and how to install it is by watching the useful videos that can be found on the company’s website. The manual is also available online.
Main Panel & Indoor siren
The main alarm panel of the Fortress S02-B can be installed anywhere in the house, but a central location is ideal. It needs a power supply (included) but has a battery back-up built-in. So in case intruders cut the power or if there is a power failure, the system will continue to function. A very loud indoor siren connects to the main panel and does not require additional power. There is an extendable antenna as well.
Remember the system can support up to 99 wireless sensors and accessories, so expansion is very easy.
Door and window sensors
The door and window sensors and magnetic contacts come with very strong double side adhesive tapes.
The PIR sensors are also easy to install with a good degree of rotation possible to cover the widest area possible.
External Siren (black)
This is louder than the internal siren and has its own power supply (included) so that you can position it at another location, say in an outdoor garage.
The key fobs are very convenient and can arm, disarm and set off the panic alarm. They are keychain size and have a very slick sliding cover so that it is not obvious that it is an alarm key.
A single press of the button will immediately set off the alarm. This is a great feature for those times when you may hear an unexpected sound and need to respond quickly.
We did not test the other accessories but have no reason to doubt they will perform to satisfaction.
So how does the Fortress Security S02 system fare on the most important performance characteristics of a wireless burglar alarm system?
The range of the system is rated at 250 feet for the sensors and the sirens at 80 feet. We tested these and found the ratings to be accurate. Not once did we face a signal drop-out. The system operates at the 433 Mhz frequency range which can be crowded as many other wireless systems use the same range. However, there was absolutely no interference and the Fortress system uses a clever anti-jamming system which secures it from hacking attempts.
The system was rock solid and never failed to detect an intrusion when a door or window was opened. The sensors are very sensitive and there is no circumventing it. The PIR motion sensors are also extremely sensitive and have a very good range of 20 feet and 110 degrees. The system was tested for over two months and it never stopped operating even once.
Where to buy
You can read other user-reviews and purchase the Fortress S02-B Alarm System here:
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