Home security comprises both the physical security hardware installed in a property and people’s personal safety practices. Physical security hardware usually includes deadbolts, glass break detectors, doors, windows, and security cameras. Personal safety equipment may consist of stun guns, pepper spray, keychain or belt cuffs, or other personal protection products. Security systems monitor for possible intrusion and then alert the appropriate authorities. These days, alarms are available that include features like smoke detectors, glass break detectors (which can be triggered by glass breaking), and voice activation.
Installing a home security system requires the purchase and installation of a home security system software package. Some packages include components such as video surveillance equipment and telephone access. Components that are not included may be purchased and then added to a DIY kit.
The basic components of a home security system are the control panel, key pads, door and window sensors, smoke detectors, glass break detectors, motion sensors, and phone calls. In addition, some companies also offer additional services such as emergency dispatch, emergency center communications, and online remote control capability. Many companies offer free technical support for selected home security systems upon purchase. However, this support is usually only offered during the first year of system installation. As most home security systems are monitored by telecommunications companies, installation and teardown assistance may be required when a home security system is installed and initially installed.
Most DIY home security kits are comparable to those professionally installed, but some differences do exist. In most cases, a DIY kit contains the same components as a professionally installed system, but the level of technical expertise required is higher. Most DIY kits contain the basic components, but they do lack components such as smoke detectors and glass break detectors. Because of this, an alarm system can provide the same protection from intrusion as a professionally installed system, but at a significantly reduced upfront cost. Most of these kits also include optional components such as video monitoring, keychain remote access, or cellular tower communications capabilities. These options can increase the complexity of the system and add to the total cost, but the cost of these add-ons usually justifies the added cost.
For families living in high risk areas such as college campuses, apartments, or military bases, or with children who should be monitored, a wireless security system that includes a central monitoring station is ideal. A central monitoring station can be integrated with a number of different types of monitoring devices, including battery operated smoke alarms, wireless cameras, panic buttons, and door and window sensors. The installation of a smoke alarm’s system requires more work than that of a basic home security system, but the peace of mind provided by knowing the presence of a monitoring station is well worth the extra cost.
When shopping for a home security system, it is important to consider the number and type of sensors required. Some sensors are passive infrared (PIR), which is most often found in doors and windows and transmit a burst of heat when the sensor is contacted. Other types of sensors include magnetic sensors that can detect a moving object. Then there are flood sensors that respond to elevated water levels. Motion detectors can be integrated into your overall system and are often capable of distinguishing between pet movement and humans. In order to fully protect your family, you need to carefully evaluate your home security system options and choose the components that will provide the most protection and ease of use.