Guide to Choosing the Right Security System
There are many types of security and burglar alarm systems from which to choose. Hopefully, this homeowners’ guide to security systems will help you figure out how to choose a home surveillance system.
Types of Security and Burglar Alarm Systems
One of the first things for you to consider is the type of security system you want in your home. You’ll want to choose the best burglar alarm system for your family. The following are different types of security systems to consider while selecting a home security system:
- A Monitored System
This kind of system is commonly implemented. A monitored system alerts a call center whenever the alarm goes off, and employees at the call center contact your local authorities. A downside with this kind of system is the connection it requires through a phone line that goes outdoors. An intruder can figure out where those lines are and cut them before breaking into your home. No notification would ever reach the call center. An alternative would be to use a cell phone or CB radio for this monitored alarm system. Another minus to using a monitored system is the time it takes for a call center to be notified, and then for them to call your local police. By the time the police arrive, the burglar has probably absconded with quite a few of your valuables. One of the biggest reasons to invest in a monitored system is for the insurance benefits.
- An Unmonitored System
This kind of system will set off a very loud alarm siren sound in and outside the house when the alarm is triggered. A big downside to this kind of system is that it relies on your neighbors to alert the authorities if you’re not at home. A plus is that this kind of system isn’t as expensive as a monitored system because you’re not paying monitoring fees for the call center, however you will receive a much smaller deduction off your home insurance than a monitored system. An unmonitored system can also be implemented with flashing lights so your neighbors can see where the alarm has been triggered. Usually, loud alarm noise will send burglars running because of all the attention paid to the loud, flashing house.
- A Wireless Alarm System
An advantage of a wireless alarm system is that it involves pretty simple installation. There are no fees to pay for a call center. Another advantage is that you can decide what sort of bells and whistles you’d like to add such as sensors, motion detectors, cameras or beams. The downside includes the distance limits regarding cameras and sensors. Many of these systems use batteries that need to be recharged periodically, so you have to pay close attention to the battery levels on each camera. If they require disposable batteries, you’ll have to keep replacing them, which can become pricey.
- An Electric Current Home Alarm
This type of system is typically for houses that are under construction. They’re built into the home. These systems monitor egress and ingress like doors, garages and windows — and will beep when these points are opened. This is a plus for households with young children or toddlers whom you don’t want opening specific doors or windows. A downside can be interference from other electrical currents which could affect whether or not the system works correctly. Lightning storms have also interfered with these kinds of alarm systems.
Types of Motion Sensors
If you are unsure of what to seek out when buying a home security system, keep in mind that the anchor of the system will be a motion sensor or motion detector. The motion sensor is the central device that knows when an intruder is present, be it outside your front door, through a window or inside your home. A motion detector uses one, two or several technologies to sense movement in a set space. If a sensor is triggered, a security control panel will receive a signal to let you or a monitoring call center know that there is a potential intruder in your house. Here are some of the different types of motion sensors:
- Passive Infrared (PIR) Sensors
These will detect body heat. PIR sensors are the most commonly used in security systems. When the sensor installed, it will detect movement and heat in surrounding areas. It forms a grid to protect the area. Sensors go off when a moving object interrupts too many grids and infrared levels fluctuate quickly.
- Microwave (MW) Sensors
These sensors give off microwave pulses. They evaluate the reflections that bounce off moving objects. They cover a more extended area than PIR sensors do. A downside is their vulnerability to electric interference. They also cost more than PIRs.
- Dual Technology Motion Sensor
These sensors use combined features to reduce the occurrences of false alarms. An example can be PIR and MW sensor combination. This can work if each sensor functions in different parts of the spectrum with one type being passive and the other being active. False alarms are usually avoided because both sensors have to be tripped for the alarms to go off. That said, dual sensors do not guarantee the complete elimination of false alarms.
- Area Reflective Sensor
This kind of sensor discharges infrared beams from an LED light. The detectors use those emitted beams to ascertain the distance to the detected intruder to determine if they are in the proper area.
This type emits ultrasonic wave pulses. It measures the reflection of pulses off of a moving object.
These sensors detect vibrations. Easily purchased and assembled at home, a vibration detector uses a lever and switch that activates an alarm whenever it senses vibrations. Homemade motion detectors can work, but they can be unreliable.
Types of Video Surveillance Camera Systems
Using video camera surveillance is a reliable, budget-friendly way to give you and your family peace of mind. Having video evidence assures you will have means of recourse if your home ever does end up burglarized. Providing the authorities with photos and video will give you a better chance of recovering your stolen items and possibly some justice. If you want to start looking for a security camera surveillance system, the following security camera system buying guide goes over the different types of security cameras on the market. It will explain what to look for when buying home security cameras:
- Smart Home
These are kind of new to the security scene, and they’re very popular. They record video and link the video stream to an app which will allow clients to watch the stream in real time. If the camera senses movement, the owner immediately receives an alert on their smartphone. These smart home security cameras are pricier than most types of cameras. They often require a monthly subscription plus the original cost for the cameras.
- Bullet Cameras
These cameras are cylinder-shaped and point in one direction. They’re usually affordable but have a limited range which means you’ll probably have to buy several of them to cover your home or property.