What is home security systems and how do they work?
Home security and safety is a significant concern for most Americans, and that’s why it is no big surprise that home security systems are among the most commonly used methods of protecting homes. The most basic definition of any security system is in the name itself. It means a method by which the residence is safeguarded through a system of intertwining devices and components. Home security systems guard entry points into the home with the use of motion sensors or alarms that sound off in case of a break-in.
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Do you need a home security system?
If protecting your home and family from criminal intrusion are high on your list of priorities, then you need a home security system. One of the best deterrents for potential burglars are home security systems. In fact, a study done at Rutgers University found that home security systems actively reduce crime by making the residence appear far less attractive to thieves. When you advertise that your home security system is professionally monitored by displaying yard signs and window stickers, you’re sending a message to intruders that they are likely to be unsuccessful. Having peace of mind is also another major advantage, and the flexibility, variety and high-tech functions available in today’s security alarms make it possible to deal with many other concerns other than home invasions. Smart systems help you to manage your household remotely by notifying you each time someone enters and leaves your home, as well as provide you with warnings, for floods, fires and carbon monoxide exposure.
How much will a home security system cost?
When browsing through the market for a home security system, one of the most common concerns people have is the cost. The price of alarm systems varies and can cost anywhere from next to nothing, for basic features, to thousands of dollars for more advanced and complex security systems. Each residence has their own needs and requirements, and the cost of the security system is determined by the level of protection you select as well as the additional features that you would like to add on. Some of the additional features that can increase the price are wireless motion sensors, video surveillance, carbon monoxide detection and smart-phone based controls. If it is a monitored system, you also have to include a monthly monitoring contract estimated between $30.00 to $50.00. In addition, there may be a setup and activation fee, but some companies may waive it depending on the service contract terms and conditions.
Home security system installation: Professional versus Do it yourself (DIY)
DIY home security installation
If you are proficient with power tools and enjoy taking on home based projects, then a DIY installation may be right for you. Most DIY security systems feature computer monitoring and cameras that can be installed easily with some simple know how. All installations come with an instructional booklet and disc to setup the monitoring on a home computer. You can also reconfigure your system’s equipment or add more as you see fit, without having to bargain with an installer. The downside to trying to take on this project all by yourself is that there are no guarantees that your system will function properly, and you may even pay more to own the equipment.
Professional home security installation
The best option sometimes is to let the professionals handle the hard work. While it may seem cost effective to try to install your home security system yourself, there are instances when it is best if a professional does it for you. Configuring audible or silent alarms is one of those instances as it requires intricate wiring. Keypads will also need to be programmed with codes, and to ensure that all sequences are correct it is best if a programming specialist handles the automation process for you.
Setting up an appointment for an installation professional to come to your home is easy and can be done in one phone call. Depending on where you live, some companies can even come to your residence on the same day you call, so your waiting is minimal. The benefit of having your installation done by a professional is knowing that your system is connected properly. A professional will ensure that your equipment is correctly set up, walk you through all operations of your system, and make suggestions for the best way to protect your home.
What are the different types of home security systems?
Shopping for home security systems may seem overwhelming as there are a large selection of products from which to choose. While they all serve the same purpose, home security systems differ in the type of technology and sensors that are utilized to provide protection. The two types of home security models available are the unmonitored and monitored systems.
When an unmonitored system is installed and a home intrusion occurs, a high-decibel alarm will sound. This loud siren is intended to scare off the intruder before he enters the home. It is then up to those living in the household to contact the authorities, fire department and other emergency response personnel as this system does not alert them for you. Depending on the service provider of your system, a text message or email notification will be sent to inform you of a security breach.
When your security system is professionally monitored by an alert company and is active, a high-decibel alarm will sound off if an intruder is on the premises. If the system is not immediately disarmed by inputting the correct code into the keypad, the monitoring company is notified, and they in turn will inform the proper authorities and contact the homeowner. A trained security expert will also maintain communication with you until all emergency response teams arrive. These kinds of security systems communicate with the monitoring company in one of several ways including:
- Through pre-existing home phone lines, which continue to work during power outages when battery backup is in use.
- Wirelessly through cellular radio frequencies like cell phones use, which also continues to work during power outages when battery backup is in use.
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which typically doesn’t work in a power outage.
- Via the Internet, which also typically does not work in a power outage.
Both unmonitored and monitored systems can be set up with motion sensors, detectors, cameras, keypads, video displays, and, fire and carbon monoxide detectors. Both systems can also be either wireless or hardwired.
What to look for when buying a new home security system?
There are a number of options available when selecting the right security system for your home. As technology advances, more features have been added to security models making them even more appealing to customers. The best system for you will accommodate your lifestyle and all the valuables you intend to keep protected. Carefully consider what your security requirements are and your budget. Survey your home to determine how many windows and doors you want integrated into the system. Varying needs may prompt homeowners to search for an array of security system features including:
All homeowners have different monitoring needs, and security systems feature a variety of sensor types to accommodate these requirements. If your residence has numerous windows and doors on your first floor then you should look into supervised systems that will accommodate larger numbers of windows and doors. While those who have smaller residences may instead prefer the systems that come with outdoor cameras and motion detectors.
Wired or Wireless
Wired systems are a great option for those who are looking to permanently install these security system in their homes. These systems run wires through floors and walls in order to connect the sensors to the control panel, and requires the use of a telephone line. The biggest benefit of installing a wired system is that it does not require lots of maintenance and works optimally for many years. For those who do not like the idea of running wires through their homes a wireless system may be best option. These systems communicate wirelessly through the use of radio frequency technology. The biggest advantage of installing a wireless system is that it is easily moved from one location to the next and is easily installed.