The invention involves a programmable alarm system including a local communicator having one or more sensors responsive to problem situations such as illegal intrusion, fire, panic or the like, which can be installed in a residence, office or other premises to sense a problem situation, and after conversion to a digital format transmit the information through a telephone line to a central receiver for temporary and permanent display of the location of the residence or other premise and the particular problem encountered. The communicator operation and sensor characteristics can be programmed for each location by temporary attachment of a programmer unit, thus to provide flexibility. In addition, in the event that the integrity of the system is interrupted (e.g., line severance), a separate redundant system is rendered operative to indicate the problem situation.
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