Designing an Effective Home Security System

Designing an Effective Home Security System

A vital part of securing your home is the installation of a home security system.  Alarm home security systems are available in many different forms and levels of protection.  Whether you are hiring a professional security installation company, or you are going to do it yourself, there are critical design elements that should be considered that are covered here.

First you need to decide what level of coverage your budget allows.  If you agree to a longer term monitoring agreement, most alarm companies will offer a free or reduced installation of their basic package which includes 1 control panel, 1 keypad, 3 door contact, 1 motion detector, 1 siren, and 1 yard sign.  For most homeowners, this is an affordable way of getting some form of security for the home.  However, if you are willing to spend a little additional, you can really beef up your security by adding devices and contact points.

The most important areas of the house to cover is the back and the sides.  A burglar will look for an easy point of entry with plenty of cover so they will not get caught breaking in.  Burglars will ring the doorbell to see if anyone answers before they break in the front door.  If they do not hear any activity inside, they will kick in the door and close it behind them.  From the street, it is hard to tell that there is anything going on.  But should they decide to break a window on the front side of the house, then your neighbors could easily determine that there is something going on at your home.

The majority of burglaries occur through doors.  The side and back doors are the most often targeted.  Windows can also be an easy entry point.  If your primary concern is protection for your family while you are at home, then it may be wise to consider contacting all of the accessible windows on the home.  It may, however, be more cost effective to consider using motion detectors and glass break detectors if you are primarily interested in protecting your property while you are away.  This is because on most windows it is possible to simply break the window and climb in.  If the window is never opened, the contact never goes off.

A critical element in the design of a home security system is an interior trap.  The most common interior trap is a motion detector placed in the living area as a way of catching an intruder that got by the perimeter contacts.  Pet motions are available in different sizes that will detect intruders but filter out the animals.  However, these pet motions are absolutely not recommended for homeowners with cats.  By jumping so quick, a cat fools the motion into thinking that 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.  Should the burglar open the interior contacted door, then the alarm will sound.  But if the system is armed in the stay mode, the interior contact is bypassed so that you may open the door if necessary.

Glass break detectors are often requested by homeowners with animals.  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 designed to cut down on false alarms.  Faux wood blinds, shutters, and heavy draperies will greatly reduce or render the glass break detector totally ineffective.  In most homes the areas where a glass break can do the most good is around the glass above the master tub and back door glass.

Something else to consider in your security system design is to add a cellular back up to the system.  A cell back-up unit is designed to transmit the alarm signal even if the burglar decides to cut the home phone line.  There is an additional cost involved due to the cost of the unit and the monthly airtime, but it is the ultimate as far as alarm communications are concerned.

In conclusion, the minimum home security system that you should consider would at least have an interior trap of some form and all of the exterior doors contacted.  Since all of the keypads on the market today are easy to operate, you should never be afraid of using your alarm system.  As I tell our customers all the time at my company, “It will not do you any good sitting on the wall”.

Lonnie Sallas is a 13 year veteran of the security industry and president of Texstar Alarm Systems in Houston Texas. Texstar Alarm Systems is a leading provider of Houston home security systems as well as surround sound, CCTV, and wireless web cameras. Feel free to browse our site for more security tips to protect you and your family as well as your business.

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