FAQs

Van Security & Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Vanolarm be set off with vibrations from Buses/Lorries/Shaking/Weather?

Both the Vanolarm Audible and Smart units come with up to 7 variable vibration control settings for added van security. We recognise that not everyone will be able to park their vans on a drive or in a yard etc when working or leaving the vehicle overnight. In the latter locations Vanolarm vibration alarm can be set to at ultra sensitive settings.

For those parking on the street etc, we recognise that such ultra sensitivity can, on occasion result in false alarms due to high vibrations from passing traffic, pesky kids etc. With this in mind there are 7 variable vibration settings to suit your personal circumstances, ensuring your neighbours won’t be disturbed by false alarms or you won’t be pestered by constant misreporting from the App/text/phone calls.

Further more if a vibration is detected the audible alarms will initially give of a load pre-warning ‘ Dit Dit’ to say the alarm has been disturbed, if the same level of vibration occurs (i.e Van locks or door handles being tampered with) again in the following 10 seconds then the full audible alarm will be activated. Our van security pre-warning system is specifically designed to eliminate false alarms and reporting. These control methods ultimately mean that as a business we never receive customer complaints about false alarms and have never had a products returned because of it .

2. What is 'Key Hacking' and why doesn't this effect Vanolarm?

‘Key Hacking’ (some times called key cloning) is the modern way professional thieves will target and steal your vehicle. In fact a recent report by Fleetnews showed a worrying 93% of all vehicle thefts now occur in this manner. 

Simply put, the modern Van/Campervan/Motorhome etc will generally now come with a smart key that controls entry to the vehicle, the immoliser and/or the alarm. The vast majority of these keys constantly give out a signal . These signals can now be intercepted by computers.

With the right technology a thief can simply sit outside your house/place of business/ camper van whilst you sleep etc with their computer, pick up the signal broadcasted by your smart key and capture the signal.

From here the thief can either ‘clone’ a replacement key of their own or use their computer to clone the signal. In this way the thief can then easy enter your vehicle, turn off the immobiliser, turn off the alarm and consequently steal your vehicle or contents. 

The goods news is that Vanolarm can’t be cloned in this manner due to the way the key fobs operate and the added utility of the control management system via the App. 

Some may ask, how does Vanolarm do this where leading vehicle manufacturers have not? Ultimately vehicle producers main emphasis is in making vehicle look good, drive well and have easy functionality where ours is all about protecting and securing them. Needless to say though we’re not going to tell people how we achieve this for obvious reasons. 

3. What's Geo fencing and how large an area does it cover?

So what happens if the thieves choose not to break into the rear of my van and steal my van instead? This is where we’ve added yet another level of van security. With Vanolarm GSM/GPS monitoring you are able set alarm settings should your vehicle move outside a specific geographical location, this is called Geo fencing. So for example, if someone manages to gain access to your vehicle and manages to drive it away (we don’t know how by the way unless you have not set the vibration alarms or listening alarm) more than 100m from where the Geo fencing was set, then an alarm report shall be sent to you immediately via Call, text or in App notifications. You can then track the vehicles location via the real-time location tracking within the App. If you can locate your Smart alarm unit near a glazed area of the vehicle then you can also use the GPS tracker within the unit, this will result in more accurate live tracking and Geofence reporting. If the Geofencing additional protection is important to you we recommend the latter as best practice (opposed to locating the Smart alarm to rear of the vehicle)*

4. Are there additional costs other than the purchase cost of Vanolarm?

Unlike many smart alarm systems that require you to subscribe to their monitoring and App utility these are 100% FREE with Vanolarm. After all the van security system has been developed to automatically report directly to your phone if an alarm is activated, no need for intervention or 3rd party delays or additional costs. Our aim is to make Vanolarm the best value van alarm system on the market as well as offering the highest level of security possible. As GSM reporting and App reporting uses mobile data there is a small cost implication with regards to the data, text and voice calls. If you chose to purchase a sim card with your Vanolarm unit then you receive an 1p Mobile EE sim card pre-loaded with £10 of data, text and voice calls, which needs updating every 120 days. However any sim card can be inserted into the smart GSM unit allowing you, should you have EE connection problems in your area etc, to choose a more cost effective method to suit your needs.

Before purchasing we would recommend ensuring good/strong connectivity to the EE network by using an only tool such as this one https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/en-gb/mobile-coverage#pc=hu151nj&uprn=100052017050 (best practice for ensuring a strong stable signal in your area is to view indoor connectivity if vehicle is mainly left at home address).

Please note if using an alternative sim provider some modern sim now use VOIP protocols only and these sims will not work with Vanolarm so please check with your provider 1st (Sim MUST be Call (GSM), Text and Data enabled). Also Vanolarm is also only automatically set up to recognise the large network providers such as EE, O2, Vodfone, 3 etc and consequently there may be a need to set the APN on the system if alternate sims used (to which we provide instructions).

5. Can I change the volume of the audible alarm?

The Vanolarm audible alarm units have been designed to both disquade theft through a, ear piercing, sound whilst ensuring others in the local vacinity can here the alarm once activated. To this degree the alarm rings at a volume of 113db/115db, enough to ensure the alarm is raised and also disturb a thief once outside/inside the vehicle (should the vans locks / door handles be tampered with etc ). To this aim the volume of the alarm itself should not be changed. This said, there are 3 volume settings available which can easily be changed using the key fob should user wish to reduce sound (as not to disturb the neighbours etc) .  What’s more should you lose your vehicle in a car park or be under attack, one click on the key fob for the audible alarm will hear the alarm give off a load alarm call. Please note many modern vehicle now come with high levels of insulation that can, on occasion, suppress the overall volume output of the internal siren alarms when listening from outside the vehicle. Since we know that 94% of people now ignore a siren alarm only unit , the main function of the siren within Vanolarm is to activate the smart alarm features and alert the user accordingly. Furthermore the noise listening sensor is set within a certain decibel range, changing alarm volumes can disable this feature and therefore we recommend all systems remain at the default high setting.

6. How long do the batteries last?

The rechargeable Vanolarm Smart alarm battery can last up to 60 days on standby, when using the text instruction. only system.

If utilising the App setup then average battery life for the Smart Alarm unit is 30 days (dependant on settings).  The App however advises you when power is low (below 10%) and in addition you can easy see the live battery level to the top of your screen when in the APP.

The unit can simply be recharged using the USB cable provided (most user simply recharge when necessary when driving via a USB/cigarette socket in the cab . 

With normal usage the audible alarm unit lasts 60-90 days and on standby up to 6 months ( 3 x AAA battery).

The key fob for the audible alarm unit, with normal usage 5 times a day, lasts more than one year (12V/27A alkaline battery). When the batteries are running low on the audible alarm units then a weak ‘Du Du’ sound will be generated when you arm or disarm the units to advise the batteries should be replaced.

The best way to consider battery life, when referring to any of the Vanolarm products, it to think of them being very much like using your mobile phone device. If using your phone constantly throughout the day, using phone calls, text, being on social media for hours then the normal standby times can reduce dramatically. The same applies with Vanolarm, if you set Geofencing for constant reporting, use live tracking, constantly turn sensors on and off, have alerts set to phone calls, text and in App messages etc, set the alarm then arm the van locks constantly setting off the sirens etc then average use battery life expectancy can be reduced. This said most users find they experience the average battery life as stated above (once they’ve stopped playing with all the features in the early days).

Finally we have known the odd client (less than 1%), experiencing heavy usage, purchase a power bank that can easily be plugged into the smart alarm should they feel they need to extend the overall battery life between charges. The latter ensuring ultimate Van security should the user desire. 

7. Can Vanolarm be 'hard wired' to prevent me from having to recharge batteries

Vanolarm was extensively designed not to be ‘hard wired’ into the vehicles main electrical & Van locks system. One of the principle reasons behind this was a 2nd layer of Van security, preventing the system being turned off etc via ‘Key hacking’.

For those with vehicle electrical know how it is possible to establish a hard wiring system that can run independently from the vehicles main electrical system and subsequently also help prevent key hacking yet . 

This said however it is still not recommended to hard wire the main Vanolarm smart GPS unit to your vehicle unless managed by a ‘charge timer/max capacity’ system that can ensure the battery is not overcharged and is inline with the battery charging detail advised within written instructions provided with your purchase.  

If hard wiring the Vanolarm GPD/Smart alarm unit, this need to be done using the mini USB port, ensuring input of no more than DC 5V = 2amp. NB The units battery capacity is 4500mA.

 The Vanolarm App reports current battery charge status/life as well as messaging you when the battery life is down to 10%. Most users also simply charge the unit as and when necessary during travelling via a USB (cigarette) socket and cable in the cab area.

Please be mindful that placing rechargeable batteries on constant charge can reduce the overall life expectancy of the battery. In all cases, avoid excessive charging voltages and overcharging. This can lead directly to critical situations and the system should therefor only ever be charged in line with the written instructions provided. 

The Audible alarm units run off 3 x AAA batteries (supplied with unit), the key fob gives off an audible warning when these batteries are ready for replacement. Many users choose to replace with rechargeable batteries to save costs over time however standard AAA are more than adequate. Yet please be aware of the overcharging issues which can come with such batteries. 

 

8. Is Vanolarm easy to install?

Vanolarm works independently from your vehicles electronics and is battery operated. This means no hard wiring. Vanolarm can simply be installed into position using self adhesive or Velcro pads provided. The smart alarm holder or the magnetic door sensor can also be screwed into position should you desire and more secure fix.

We recommend the Audible siren alarms are fitted to as close to the van locks / door handle positions as possible, whilst the Smart GPS unit is located in a position for best GPS signal receipt. These methods will ensure the highest degree of Van security the Vanolarm product can offer

9. Do I need a sim card to operate a Vanolarm system?

The answer ‘NO’ would be the simple answer to this question. If you chose to protect your vehicle simply using Vanolarms Audible alarm units, there is no need for a sim card. However Vanolarm has ultimately been designed to be one of the comprehensive smart van security systems in the market. As such the GSM/GPS tracking and alarm reporting utility of Vanolarm requires the need for a sim card in order to protect your vehicle to the highest degree possible. If you chose to purchase a sim card with your Vanolarm unit then you receive an 1p Mobile EE sim card pre-loaded with £10 of data, text and voice calls, which needs updating every 120 days. With average use the 1p mobile sim card lasts the user the 120 days prior to the next £10 top up requirement (1p per min call, 1p per SMS/Test, 1p per MB data). However any sim card can be inserted into the smart GSM unit allowing you, should you have EE connection problems in your area etc, to choose a more cost effective method to suit your van security needs.

10. How does the Voice/Sound/Noise sensor work?

With Vanolarms smart alarm unit, your vehicle can be secured in various ways. One of these security measures is the unit is cable of listening out for abnormal voice and sound. So if you are not confident that the audible alarm units are protecting your vehicle comfortably using the vibration settings then you can add a further level of security/reporting should one of those alarms be activated. If you forget to set the audible alarms (we know it happens from time to time) and someone has managed to gain entry to the vehicle the voice sensor can also pick up on abnormal loud sounds, if it does the smart App will notify you (via Call, text or in App notifications) immediately of unusual activity in your vehicle. Another unique feature is the ability to listen in to the device, such that by calling the sim card number within the smart alarm unit from your phone you can hear whats going on in the background (think sound cam rather than video cam)

11. Does the Smart App work on IOS and Android devices?

Yes the Smart App necessary for operating the tracker, alarm set up and alarm reporting (Phone, Text, In App) is available for both IOS and Android devices. You will need to scan the QR code included within the instructions manual in order to download the App accordingly.

Please note our software is constantly evolving to work in conjunction with the latest updates by Android and IOS yet as we are not in control of release dates and changes of functionality we cannot accept liability for such matters. Naturally however we will implement changes to our own operational/App software to work in line with updates to Android and IOS update changes, yet ask the users to recognise that such changes naturally need to come after the release dates of the new Android or IOS operating systems. 

12. Does Vanolarm use GPS tacking and if so why does it say GSM tracking?

Vanolarm uses GPS and GSM tracking technology for both its live tracking and Geofencing features.

Ultimately the tracking systems within Vanolarm are seen as a last resort van security measure. We recognise that most clients, first and foremost, want to prevent entry into their vehicles, prevent damage to their vehicle, prevent theft of tools etc and of course be instantly notified when attempted break ins take place. 

To the above end although we see GPS/GSM as a great add on to the Vanolarm product, the product has in the long run failed in its main duty if the live tracking and Geofencing security is needed to be employed. This said these features are a great additional security measure and can easily by utilised within the Vanolarm product. 

Why two systems? This is mainly due to the huge variant of vehicles on the market. Some vehicle will have no bulk head between the cab and rear, some vehicles will have windows to the side door and rear doors, some will have sky lights etc. In these environment GPS tracking works well as the vehicles allow ‘clear line of sight’ through the glazing/plastic surfaces to the satellites. GPS is a highly accurate tracking technology when in these environment.

We recognise that a large proportion of vehicles effectively has no clear lines of site when the Smart alarm system is fitted within the rear of the vehicle which is extensively a metal box. GPS does not work well in these environments and in these instances the GSM technology is employed.

GSM uses phone signal triangulation to identify a location and does therefore not need the ‘clear lines of sight GPS needs. (Please be mindful however that GSM  can, in some instances, be less accurate than GPS especially when there is only one phone mast in view, or you are within built up city centres etc.).

With a 98% customer satisfaction rating we are comfortable that our tracking features works well in the very vast majority of cases, yet would ask clients to also consider their own environments to which the smart alarm is to be installed within. On the rare occasion we have found that when installed to the rear of vehicles, that may have higher grade steel paneling, steal racking, lots of electrical devices etc, then a ‘faraday’s cage’ type situation can occur that ultimately blocks both GSM and GPS signals. 

13. How does the Smart Alarm feature work?

The main Vanolarm smart unit was extensively designed to be operated via our online App, however for those without a smart phone it can also be uniquely operated via text messaging.

Both Van security systems allow you to choose which lines of van security you wish to use in relation to the Smart alarm product, be it vibration sensors, noise sensors, magnetic door sensors, Geofencing or live tracking. Each option can be easily turned on/off* to suit the users requirement.

In addition the smart settings also allow the user to choose which method of notification they require, should a sensor be activated via an attempted break in. The user can choose from a direct telephone call, a text/SMS message or an in App message. There is also no need just to pick one, the user can use as many option as they like, giving them ultimate piece of mind.

*NB The Keyfob does not operate the Smart alarm unit and only operates the Audible alarm units (see question What happens if my key and key fob/remote is stolen, cloned or ‘Key hacked’?)

14. Which Sim do Vanolarm provide and how do I top up?

There is no need to purchase a unique Sim to work with the Vanolarm units, users are welcome to use their own sims yet they will need to ensure the Sim is at least 3G capable, and is calls, SMS and mobile data enabled.

If the users has purchased a Sim card from Vanolarm then currently we supply possibly the best value ‘Pay as you go’ sim available in the UK market place today. It’s important to us that as well as supply one of the most comprehensive, value for money Van alarms available in the market that we also ensure any on going sim costs are as low as possible for our consumers.

In this manner we have teamed up with 1p mobile. 1p mobile sims operate on the EE mobile network (EE have one of the most widespread mobile networks within the UK yet please ensure it will work well within your area prior to purchase). With your Sim you’ll also receive £10 of credit, which with average use will last 4 months. Costs are 1p per min call, 1p per text, 1p per MB data. Cards need topping up every 120 days. When you receive your card you will be asked to register with 1p mobile from there you can see your usage, receive ‘nearly out of credit’ warnings and top up easily over the web.

15. Whats happens if my keys and key fob/remote is stolen, cloned or 'Key hacked'?

Vanolarm obviously can not prevent Keys/Fob theft, cloning or ‘Key hacking’ yet the system has taken this into consideration and employed additional van security measures to secure your vehicle should this happen. 

If the thieves obtain functionality of the key fob/remote then they can easily turn off the audible alarm units securing the door areas, yet they can’t turn off the Smart alarm unit. This is controlled (turned on/off) independently via the App or text messaging (visa versa, the App doesn’t control the Audible alarm units).  In this way, if the audible alarm have been turned off then the standalone listening, vibration, magnetic door sensors and tracking facilities within the Smart alarm unit are still active.

For added van security each Smart Alarm unit has it own unique ID code and the user has full autonomy with regards to password access/changing. In this manner, other with their own Smart Vanolarm devices, can not access the users own unit to turn it off etc.

16. Can I install Vanolarm myself?

Yes it’s simple to install within 10 minutes and no drilling is required. This also allows for easy change over from one vehicle to another in future. In addition when installing the App and setting up the Smart functions, we have a comprehensive ‘users only’ help page and video advise page to make operating the unit as smooth as possible.

17. How do I work out what I need, the cost of a Vanolarm and what do I get within the package?

If you found Vanolarm via our social media pages etc then it’s likely you haven’t yet come across our product/purchasing page?

To find how much a Vanolarm unit will cost to protect your vehicle simply fill in the Alarm/Sim choices etc in the boxes (complete ALL boxes) and from there you will see a drop down showing all the items included in the package and the package price.

As an example when ‘Choosing an alarm package’ , a ‘Rear door and one side door’ package would include 1 x Smart alarm unit, 2 x Audible alarm units, plus ancillaries (please note the Audible alarm units work as the door sensor units as well as the sirens)

The page link is here https://vanolarm.co.uk/product/van-o-larm/ 

We look forward to your order 😉

18. Do I need Extra Audible alarms for the Cab area of my vehicle?

Many Vehicles in the market place will not have a bulk head between the Cab area and the rear of the vehicle. In these instances we recommend additional Audible alarm units (which act as door sensors also) be purchased to ensure the full vehicle is protected.

Vanolarm ultimately was designed to protect the rear of a vehicle and the tools and possessions within. In this manner all the units are hidden away in a secure place. This security is compromised when there is no bulk head in place and this is why we recommend the additional protection to the Cab area. 

This said should the user feel they want the added protection to their cabs area even though they have a bulk head, then the Extra Audible alarms can still obviously be purchased (please note however if the bulkhead if well insulated this can prevent the Smart alarm units in the rear of the vehicle communicating with the Audible Alarms in the Cab. In this instance the Audible alarms only retain the siren capabilities)

19. How long do the sirens ring for?

Noise pollution and nuisance is a growing concern in our ever growing urban populations (and even rural for that matter). 

Vanolarm recognise that only 94% of the public now actually respond to a siren alarms ringing and as such utilise their siren units as dissuasion devices and alert activation devices. Consequently to prevent noise pollution and nuisance the sirens are limited to ring for only 30 seconds. This also is inline with recent EU/UK legislation proposal that propose such alarms to only ring for 30-60 secs. 

We also find that many clients can be a distance away from where their vehicles reside and consequently worry that they will not be able to attend site to turn off the sirens. For this reason, once the Vanolarm sirens have rang for 30 secs then they automatically stop ringing, the system then automatically resets for normal functionality again thereafter. Meaning no need to attend the vehicle or reset the siren sensors.  

20. Can I use Vanolarm in Europe

Yes Vanolarm will work in nearly all countries around the world. This said however it may not be automatically registered to the local network provider. If this is the case then we have simple instruction for setting up the APN so the smart device can communicate with local network provider.