You regularly ensure your doors are locked, and windows are closed. You may also rely on your dog. But do you think this is enough to secure your belongings and protect your family? And what about avoiding fire or flooding?
Home security systems bring your safety to a new level. Be it a burglar or an environmental hazard like fire or CO leak, advanced alarm technology can help a homeowner avoid threats and consequences.
What is a home security system, and why do you need one?
A home security system is a method of securing your property through a network of electronic devices. A basic set of the system consists of a control panel, different types of sensors, cameras, a loud siren, and signs and stickers. Each of the objects plays its part in protecting your property, with the control panel being the system’s core.
Installing an alarm system is beneficial in several ways. It deters crime and protects your valuables. It notifies you of fire or gas problems. You can monitor the home remotely. And the sense of security and comfort you achieve makes an alarm system worth every dollar you pay for it.
How does it work?
The technology behind home security systems has changed greatly over the last decade. Now, they are much easier to use thanks to smartphones and other touch-screen devices. Modern smart devices allow you to control, automate, and monitor your house on your own.
When someone sneaks into a home where an alarm is enabled, they won’t go unnoticed. One or more sensors will be triggered. They will send a signal to a control panel which turns on the alarm. A homeowner will be notified via a phone call, text message, or e-mail. They will be able to check live feeds from a computer or an app on their phone and decide on further actions.
If the system is professionally monitored, the signal is sent to a monitoring center that assesses the situation and alerts the appropriate authorities.
What to look for in a home security system?
Choosing a home security system can be complicated. Clarify your needs before doing your search. You don’t need every device offered on the market. At first, assess the protection level of your house. Find out the most vulnerable areas and understand how to strengthen them with the help of this checklist.
Now when you know what type of protection you need, start customizing a set of equipment. A typical range of devices includes:
1. A control panel
It’s like the brain of a home security system. It helps other elements work. Control panels look like tablet touchpads or calculators. You can use it to arm and disarm your entire system, control your smart devices, and more.
2. Video Doorbell
A video doorbell is not just another smart device that is “nice to have”. It’s “a must-have” security component that lets you see and communicate with everyone who’s on your front porch through your phone, tablet, or another device.
3. Security Cameras
Police solve only 13 percent of burglary offenses, mainly due to a lack of witnesses or physical evidence. A camera is an additional pair of eyes that ensure security even when you are away.
Outdoor cams are usually placed on the front entrance or near the garage to have a good view of the yard and driveway. Indoor cams help to keep a close eye on the kids and their caretakers, aging parents, or pets when you are away. Depending on the model, cameras can have different features. They can include:
- Live streaming
- Motion and audio detection
- Cloud or SD Card video storage
- Immediate alerts and notifications
- Clear night vision.
4. Security Sensors
About 58% of burglaries involve forcible entry. So, door and window sensors are your first defense against any potential robbers. They are triggered when a protected area has been breached.
Motion sensors send alarms if any undesired guest appears in your home. The sensors are quite sensitive. If you have a pet, you’d better install a camera. Otherwise, you’ll have to cope with a lot of fake signals.
5. A High-Decibel Siren
Sirens often go off when some sensor is triggered and are intended to scare an intruder out of your house or alert your neighbors.
6. Yard Signs & Stickers
According to one criminological study, about 60 percent of convicted burglars revealed they intentionally avoided the targets with alarm systems. Signs in the yard and stickers on the windows or by the front door will let people know that your house is equipped with a security system.
7. Environmental Sensors
Smoke, flood, and CO sensors are literally lifesavers. They will alert you of a possible fire, flooding, or CO leak and give you time to take measures.
The cost of equipment varies widely from company to company and from package to package. Note that the cheapest package is not always the best option. Try to balance your budget with your priorities and find the best fit.
Can I install a home alarm system on my own?
There are two ways of security system installation: DIY and professional. So, the answer is “yes, you can set up the equipment on your own”. But do it only if you:
- are tech-savvy;
- decided to get wireless security devices;
- need a basic set of sensors and one or two security cameras.
Though DIY security systems involve various smart home technologies & have exploded over the past couple of years, many customers still opt for professional installation. It’s the right choice if you:
- decided to buy a hard-wired or hybrid home security system (its installation requires drilling holes, running cables, and other technical work that an expert should better do;
- have a large house and need many detectors for all doors and windows and several cameras.
Following security tech development and knowing how to apply them in your home will put you ahead of the game in terms of protecting your home against potential dangers, whether it is burglary or an environmental hazard.