Fortress S02-B Review- Good Enough For Home Security?
The S02-B by Fortress represents a well liked wireless home security system. This is a bestseller for a reason. Like most of the wireless systems on the market it’s a cinch to install. You can do away with your monthly monitoring fees as the self monitored system will contact you if it is breached. It will dial through up to 6 pre-programmed numbers until it gets through to you.
You can also dial into the system from your phone and listen to what is going on via the intercom. You also have the ability to play a recorded message or a custom sound. Maybe the Liam Neeson spiel from Taken or the sound of a rabbit Alsatian dog would do.
The good thing about this system is you can install multiple sensors per zone. So you can install motion, magnetic and smoke alarm sensors for instance.
- 3 passive motion detectors – will detect any unwanted persons moving in the room
- 10 magnetic door & window contact sensors
- 2 sirens (140dB) – one for outdoor use (can be timed to last up to 30 minutes)
- Disarm/arm keyfobs x 3 – saves you punching in disarm code upon entering home.
- Panic button- press if you detect intruder at home (especially good during night if you hear movement downstairs)
- 4 alarm warning stickers
- Auto dial system will contact 6 numbers in sequence until it makes contact with you should the alarm be activated
- AC 110V Power Supply with Ni-Mh internal battery supplied (72 hour back up capability)
- Main control unit pre-programmed- but you can customize to suit
- If alarm is triggered LCD control panel displays zone
- Can arm/disarm system via phone
- Built in anti-cut land line technology
- 3 years parts warranty
Some moot points
The main control unit isn’t as indestructible as a SimpliSafe system. As the system costs so low, it has sacrificed build quality. Although the warranty lasts 3 years so if you have any problems there is a great guarantee.
You’ll have to do a little digging online to get a more in depth user manual if you want to start tinkering around with the delay and distance time of the sensors. Useful for setting activation times when you are going to bed/leaving the house.
You also have only 90 secs to disarm the system on re-entering the house. Ok if you are entering the front door, maybe not if you are coming in through the garage with shopping and a lot of screaming kids. Lets hope the keyfob works at a range! The lowest setting for alarm activation is 30 seconds. Fine for most people but if you leave the house in a hurry someone can nip in the back door or window at the same time.
On a plus though you can program individual delays on the sensors, so if you want to use up to a 90 second delay on the back door sensor you can do just that. The system already comes with one sensor programmed to a 90 sec delay for the front door.
The manuals are poorly translated from non-english text. They make for a hard read. If you search online (there is an address inside the packaging) you can find an updated manual.
If you like the sound of blips and bleeps to let you know your system is working or when someone is leaving or entering the house (kids/wandering grandparents) you can add audio bleeps to doors of your choice to let you know they have been opened.
Should you trust Fortress for your wireless home security needs? Well the S02-B is a great plug and play pre-programmed system if you don’t like wires or the hassle of customizing your alarm.
There are easy to follow set up videos on the Fortress website but the customer service is very good should you run into problems, with Mike especially receiving lots of praise from numerous customers. Many of such happy customers have given the product a 5* rating.
The ability to activate different zones is a useful feature in such a cheap system. If you hit the HOME button you can walk around without setting off the alarm as long as you don’t open the windows or doors in a certain zone. Just press the AWAY button once leaving the house and the system is fully armed.
A good cheap system, with the only limiting factor being the entry/exit delay timings. Lots of happy customers are buying this system on Amazon and giving it a 4.5 rating. If you have a few more quid and want that extra security it’s a good decision to consider the Fortress GSM-B which packs a few extra features for a little extra.