As far as I'm aware eircom phonewatch only monitor their own systems. I'm not 100% sure though, you'd be best advised to talk to them. They're on 1850 500 900 or www.phonewatch.ie
ADT also do monitoring. http://www.adt.ie/
and I think Chubb do it too, although I'm not sure if they do it for residential stuff. www.chubb.ie
There are a few other options too. Although, I'm not sure of the names off hand.
Check the Golden Pages, as I am pretty sure that there are other monitoring services out there.
Phonewatch use ITI (now part of GE Security) alarm systems.
Phonewatch was set up originally as a joint venture between eircom and Nynex (now gone) ... it subsequently became a wholely owned subsiduary of eircom when nynex disappeared.
However, just for any of the US readers. eircom's monitoried alarm system would be quite familiar to some of them.
The alarm system does have to comply with NSAI
Intruder alarms to I.S. EN 50131/1:1997
(Replaces IS 199:1987) http://www.nsai.ie/Certification_Services/Security_Systems/IS_EN_50131_1.html
You will need to comply with all of that to get a Garda (police) repsonse etc
Also, insurance companies will only recognise alarm systems installed to either IS 199 (pre 2004) or IS EN 50131/1:1997 (Post 2004)
There's a whole raft of standards around fire alarm installations which you'd need to be aware of.
Fire Alarms: http://www.nsai.ie/News_and_Events/Latest_News/I.S._3218.html
Would give you a basic idea of the outline of the kinds of things that are required.
In general though, I suspect that the monitored residental alarm systems are installed, maintained and monitored by the alarm company itself. I don't think they really would have any major interest in supporting other systems as they would have all sorts of complicated issues regarding standards of installation, technical support etc.
Just to give you an idea of the phonewatch system (we have it it)
Windows: 1) inertia (detects sudden jolts i.e. anyone forcing/breaking it) 2) Glass break detectors, look a bit like a smoke detector and pick up frequencies of breaking glass. 3) normal contact sensors that pick up the window / door being opened.
Doors: Contact sensors (pick up opening)
Motion : normal IR sensors inside the house.
Fire: Heat and smoke detectors.
Remote: remote control panels for controlling the system, an ability to dial into the system from any phone in the house i.e. you punch a combination of keys and the alarm will sieze the line and present you with a voice prompt menu and also dial-in access from outside (not explaining the technicalities of it on the board for security reasons)
X10 light controls - They install switches to replace normal light switches and give you plug-in lamp modules for controlling normal lamps. The alarm can control these either on a timed basis, or by using the remote control or the telephone (including dialling in from outside)
Also, if the alarm detects an intruder it will flash the lights on and off.. quite a scary "haunted house from hell" look to it
Monitoring is done by modem on the phoneline. You can also have GSM (cellular) monitoring.
This is either used as a backup to the phoneline or as an alternative and is paricularly useful in areas where there's a very exposed phoneline e.g. rural areas with long runs of overhead cabling or in some urban areas where lines still come in as an overhead drop that could be reached easily e.g. comes in over a balcony / near a halldoor etc.
They're quite sophisticated systems though and eircom support the installations on an on-going basis as part of your monitoring contract e.g. if batteries fail / are about to fail the system will put in a call to the monitoring centre automatically to have someone sent out .. so you'll get a call asking ot setup an apointment etc.
[This message has been edited by djk (edited 10-22-2006).]