A home with a security system is like a repellant for burglars. Burglars often watch homes for a period of time before striking – sort of a way to stake out their target. They are watching for indications of security lighting, looking for signs of security cameras and generally assessing how difficult it would be to get in and out quickly with your possessions. Some estimates claim a burglary occurs every 15 seconds in the United States. Burglary numbers also include home invasions and they often include violence against one or more household members.
So doing everything possible to protect your home and family with a security system may be the most important thing you’ll ever do.
Home Security Products – The Basics
While the sheer number of home security products can be overwhelming, there are some basic options that come with many of the best systems. You can begin with the basic wired or wireless system and then add enhancements that expand system functions. The standard home security system will have the following components.
Control panel – this controls your system, receives incoming information about different monitored zones and calls the monitoring service, police or fire, etc. should the alarm be triggered
Power source – for the control panel
Keypad or touch pad – to arm or disarm the system
Window and door sensors – to monitor when doors or windows are opened
There are also lots of of add-on options beyond the basic system packages.
Motion detectors – Passive Infrared Detectors can detect heat and motion
Glass break sensors – in addition to window sensors that detect when a window is opened, these sensors trigger the alarm when the window is broken
Sirens – can be installed inside and outside the home
Two-way intercom – lets you talk to the monitoring company to verify if there’s a real emergency before notifying the police or fire departments (this lowers risk of false alarm call-ins)
Smoke detectors – also detect heat
Environmental detectors – detect carbon monoxide, propane or excess moisture
Latchkey paging – so you know when your children use their access codes
Remote control key fobs – to arm or disarm your system
Many people choose to get a security system with a monitoring service. Companies like ADT, GE and Brinks offer 24-hour monitoring of your home system. Systems with monitoring services require a contract and will cost you a monthly fee. The alarm system will notify the monitoring service when the alarm is triggered, and the monitoring service then calls the appropriate emergency personnel. You don’t absolutely need a monitoring service to install a home security system. Systems can be installed that simply flash lights and sound sirens locally, or auto dial emergency personnel directly.
More Benefits to Home Security Products
Many insurance companies will lower the house insurance premium when a house is equipped with an alarm system. Also home security systems have become much more functional. For example, nanny cams are now commonly used to transmit images outside the home to working parents while also serving as security cameras connected to the alarm system. The latchkey paging notifies a parent when a child enters an alarm code. Families caring for those with Alzheimer’s use surveillance cameras to keep track of movement within the house.
One Final Note
A good security system will be part of a larger plan to keep the home safe. For example, outdoor lighting at the front door, at the garage door, or on the driveway can discourage vandals and burglars. Other suggestions include keeping bushes and trees away from the house and never hiding the house key where others could easily find it.