A vital part of securing your home is the installation of a home security system. Home security systems come in many different forms and levels of protection. Whether you like to do it yourself, or are hiring a professional security installation company, there are critical elements that must be considered that are covered here.
First you need to decide what level of coverage your budget allows. Most alarm monitoring companies offer a free or reduced installation of their basic package which usually includes 3 door contacts, 1 keypad, 1 passive infrared motion detector, 1 back-up battery, 1 siren, and yard sign if you agree to their monitoring agreement. For many homeowners, this is a very cost effective way to have a basic system installed. But if you wish to have more coverage on your home, it will cost you more.
Most Critical Area – The Back of the House
The most critical area to cover is the side and back of the house. Burglars do not want to be caught, so they will look for the point of entry that gives them the most cover. If a burglar is looking to break in the front, they will usually ring the doorbell to see if anyone is at home. If there is no answer, then they will kick the door in and close it behind them. From the street, it is hard to tell that there is anything going on. But if they were to break a window on the front of the house, your neighbors can easily tell that something is not quite right.
Most burglaries occur through the doors. The side and back doors are the most often targeted. Windows are also easy points of entry. If you are concerned about protecting your home and providing a warning of possible intrusion while you are at home, then you should consider contacting the windows. If however, you are primarily interested in protecting your property while you are away, then it may be more cost effective to consider using passive infrared motion detectors and glass break detectors. The reason is that even if the windows are contacted, it is possible on most windows to simply break the glass and climb in. If the window is never opened, the contact never goes off.
Supplement Your Perimeter Protection with an Interior Trap
An interior trap of some sort is a critical part of an effective home security system. A motion detector is commonly used in the living area as a means of catching an intruder that happened to get by the perimeter protection. Pet motions are available in different sizes that will detect intruders but filter out the animals. These pet motions are not recommended for homeowners with cats however. This is because a cat can jump so quick, as they are known to do, and fool the motion into thinking it is a person standing up. A good alternative in this case is to use an interior door contact on a closet or bedroom door that is kept shut. When the burglar opens that door, the alarm goes off. However, this contact is off when the alarm is armed in the stay mode so that you can go about your business without fear of setting the alarm off.
Many homeowners who have animals often ask about glass break detectors. Although glass break detectors are suggested by many alarm salespeople, you need to understand their limitations before spending your hard earned money on them. A glass break detector is a line of sight product. It is listening for the sound and vibration of a breaking glass, and it has to occur within milliseconds of each other. This dual technology is to cut down on false alarms. If you have faux wood blinds, heavy draperies, or shutters on the windows you are trying to protect, chances are that the glass break detector will not work. Places in most homes where they can be effective is the glass above the master bath tub, and the back door glass.
Another item for consideration if you are going to have your home security system monitored is to add a cellular back up to the system. The cell back-up is designed to send in the alarm signal if the burglar decides that they are going to cut the phone line. It is an additional cost due to the cost of the monthly airtime and cost of the unit, but it is the ultimate as far as alarm communications are concerned.
In summary, when you are looking at installing a home security system, at a minimum you should contact all of the exterior doors, and install an interior trap of some sort as discussed earlier. All of the keypads manufactured today are relatively easy to operate, so you should not be afraid of using your system. As we tell our customers all the time at my company, “It will not do you any good sitting on the wall”.