What Is A Non-Passive Alarm System?

Last updated: March 24, 2024


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Passive systems offer constant protection but may be less convenient, while active systems offer more convenience but may provide less overall protection.[1]

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According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the car security systems market was valued at USD 9,494.10 million in the current year and is expected to reach USD 12,718.51 million in the coming five years, with a projected CAGR of 4.86% during the forecast period.[2]

Installing a car alarm system is crucial for every car owner. Not only does it help in preventing car theft, but it also offers potential discounts from car insurance companies. Generally, car owners have two main options for alarm systems: passive alarms and non-passive alarms, also known as active alarm systems.

It’s important to note that while passive systems offer constant protection, which is a significant advantage, they may be less convenient in certain scenarios. On the other hand, active systems provide more convenience due to their manual activation feature, but this might result in slightly less overall protection since they require the owner’s intervention to be activated.[1] As a car owner and a homeowner, read on to get a better idea of how non-passive alarm systems work.

Understanding Non-Passive (Active) Alarm Systems

Understanding Non-Passive (Active) Alarm Systems

A non-passive or active alarm system requires manual activation each time you exit your car. In the event of an unauthorized attempt to open your vehicle, the alarm triggers, disabling the vehicle’s starter, ignition system, and fuel circuit. Activation typically involves using a remote to set the alarm. This system shares some features with passive alarms, such as remote starting or keyless entry.

Reflecting the growing importance of vehicle security, a report by Mordor Intelligence highlights that the car security systems market, encompassing both passive and active systems, was valued at USD 9,494.10 million in the current year. It is projected to reach USD 12,718.51 million in the next five years, with a CAGR of 4.86% during the forecast period.[2] This trend underscores the increasing adoption and advancement of car security technologies, including non-passive alarm systems.

Advantages and Considerations

The primary advantage of a non-passive alarm system is the control it offers to the driver. You can activate it at your convenience, allowing you to manage other tasks without triggering the alarm. Many users appreciate this flexibility. However, the need to remember to activate the alarm each time can be seen as a drawback for some.

Impact on Auto Insurance

The discount on auto insurance for installing a non-passive alarm system is usually modest. Insurance companies often require professional installation of the alarm system before offering a premium discount. This discount is crucial in mitigating risks associated with car vandalism and theft, as alarm systems alone cannot fully prevent these incidents.

Fast Facts

Activation of non-passive alarms typically involves using a remote to set the alarm. This system shares some features with passive alarms, such as remote starting or keyless entry.

Practical Applications of Non-Passive Alarm Systems in Home Security

Non-passive alarm systems, commonly associated with vehicle security, also offer significant benefits when applied to home security. These systems require manual activation, providing homeowners with greater control and flexibility. Here are some practical scenarios and advantages of using non-passive alarm systems for home security:

Enhanced Control for Homeowners

  • Custom Activation: Homeowners can activate the alarm system when leaving the house or at night, ensuring security is on their terms.
  • Selective Arming: Allows for specific areas of the home to be armed while others remain accessible, ideal for large properties.

Scenarios Where Non-Passive Alarms Excel

  1. Vacation Security: When away on vacation, homeowners can activate the non-passive alarm system to ensure their property is fully protected during their absence.
  2. Nighttime Security: For added peace of mind, activating the alarm system at night protects the family while sleeping, especially in isolated areas.
  3. Protection of Valuables: In homes with valuable possessions or sensitive information, non-passive alarms can be activated in specific areas to safeguard these items.
  4. Child Safety: Homes with young children can benefit from non-passive alarms to alert parents if children access dangerous or off-limits areas.

Advantages for Every Homeowner

  • Deterrent to Intruders: The presence of an alarm system, especially one that the homeowner visibly controls, acts as a strong deterrent to potential burglars.
  • Customizable Features: Non-passive systems often come with customizable options like silent alarms, motion detectors, and integration with home automation systems.
  • Emergency Response: In case of a break-in, these systems can be connected to local law enforcement for immediate response.
  • Insurance Benefits: Many insurance companies offer discounts on home insurance premiums for houses equipped with reliable alarm systems.

Fast Facts

In case of break-ins, non-passive alarm systems can be connected to local law enforcement for immediate response.

Identifying a Non-Passive Alarm System in Your Car

Understanding whether your car is equipped with a non-passive alarm system is crucial for effective security management. Here’s how you can identify it:

Manual Activation Check

  • Remote Control: Non-passive systems typically require a remote to activate. If your car alarm only arms when you press a button on a key fob, it’s likely a non-passive system.

Response to Car Entry

  • Alarm Trigger: Try unlocking and opening your car door without using the remote. If the alarm doesn’t sound, it suggests a non-passive system that wasn’t manually activated.

Consulting Vehicle Documentation

  • Owner’s Manual: The most reliable source is your car’s manual. It usually specifies the type of alarm system installed.

Professional Confirmation

  • Seek Expert Advice: If in doubt, a professional mechanic or car security expert can confirm the type of system installed.

Advanced Features and Emerging Trends in Non-Passive Alarm Systems

Non-passive alarm systems are evolving rapidly, incorporating cutting-edge technology to enhance vehicle security. Here are some advanced features and trends:

Smart Integration

  • App Control: Modern non-passive systems integrate with smartphone apps, allowing remote control and real-time alerts about your vehicle’s security status.

Advanced Detection Capabilities

  • Proximity Sensors: These alarms now include proximity sensors that detect movement near your vehicle, offering an additional layer of protection.

Biometric Recognition

  • Fingerprint and Voice Recognition: Emerging trends include biometric features like fingerprint and voice recognition for personalized and secure alarm activation.

GPS Tracking

  • Real-Time Location: Advanced systems come with GPS tracking, enabling vehicle location tracking in case of theft.

These advancements in non-passive alarm systems not only provide enhanced security but also offer convenience and peace of mind, making them an essential investment for modern vehicle owners.

Fast Facts

Non-passive alarm systems are evolving rapidly, incorporating cutting-edge technology to enhance vehicle security.

Integration of Non-Passive Alarms with Other Anti-Theft Devices

Non-passive alarm systems seamlessly integrate with a variety of anti-theft devices, enhancing overall vehicle security. Here’s how:

Collaborative Security Network

  • Connection with Immobilizers: Non-passive alarms often work in tandem with engine immobilizers, preventing the car from starting without proper authorization.
  • Sync with GPS Trackers: They can be linked to GPS trackers, providing real-time location tracking in case of theft.
  • Dashboard Camera Activation: Integration with dashboard cameras can trigger recording upon any alarm activation, capturing potential theft or vandalism.

This synergy between non-passive alarms and other security devices creates a robust, multi-layered defense against vehicle theft.

Impact of Non-Passive Alarms on Insurance Premiums in the US

Non-passive alarms significantly influence insurance premiums for both home and vehicle owners. Here’s how:

Reduced Premiums for Enhanced Security

  • Vehicle Insurance: Installing a non-passive alarm system in your car can lead to lower insurance premiums, as insurers view these systems as effective theft deterrents, reducing the risk of claims.
  • Homeowner’s Insurance: Similarly, integrating non-passive alarms in home security systems can also lower home insurance costs, as they add an extra layer of protection against break-ins and property damage.

In essence, non-passive alarms are a wise investment, offering not only security but also financial benefits through reduced insurance premiums.

Disabling the Alarm System

While the security benefits of alarm systems are undeniable, there are instances where disabling them becomes necessary. Some individuals may find the sound of the alarm too intrusive or disruptive, leading them to opt out of installing one.

More importantly, understanding how to disable your car alarm system is crucial, especially in cases of malfunctions or false alarms. This knowledge is not only about silencing unwanted noise but also about efficiently managing and troubleshooting your vehicle’s security system. Quick and effective methods to disable the alarm can be a relief in urgent situations, ensuring peace of mind for car owners.


Incorporating a non-passive alarm system into your home security strategy offers a blend of flexibility, control, and robust protection. It empowers homeowners to actively manage their security needs while providing peace of mind through enhanced safety measures.

Read more about the cost of alarm systems per month from our blogs at Security Forward today.

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