For most people, it takes a security incident before they seriously think about getting a home alarm system. And when that happens, it begs the question, “How Do I Find the Right Alarm System for My Home?” Well, it starts with understanding what alarm systems are available. Then you can shop around for the system that fits your home and needs.
Types of Home Alarm Systems
Starting with the most basic system, you have choices in the features you want in a home alarm system. Some people just fake it, putting out a home security sign that says the home has an alarm system. But should a criminal call the bluff, there’s no protection at all. The next level up would be a home alarm system that sounds a piercing alarm until you come and shut it off. The noise alerts anyone around and can send a thief packing quickly.
Another type of home security alarm alerts you via your cellphone or other chosen communication method. You can then call the police to check on the break in, even if you’re miles away.
The more advanced home security systems are monitored, which costs a monthly fee, usually under $50. These systems send a signal to the monitoring station. The staff there will try to contact you. If the monitoring company cannot reach you, or if the person who answers the phone doesn’t have the prearranged password, the company calls the authorities to investigate.
Alarm System Features
With a simple alarm system, the piercing siren should scare the thief away and alert anyone nearby to call the police. But if you prefer more discretion, you may instead decide on a system with a silent alarm that only notifies you that there is a problem. You can then call the police yourself to take care of the problem.
Monitored home alarm systems can give more complete protection. They consist of a control unit, battery backup, a control keypad and a siren if you choose one. A silent alarm is also available.
Other security options include:
- Motion detectors (some are designed to ignore movement of household pets)
- Magnetic door and window sensors
- Broken glass detectors
- Panic buttons
- Pressure mats
- Closed-circuit TV monitor and/or recorder
Options for common home hazards are also available:
- Smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors
- Water detectors
- Temperature gauges
What You Need to Get Started
No matter how simple or complex the security system you decided upon, you’ll need to know how many windows and doors need to be secured, and what the dimensions of your home are. Each opening or detection device added to the system is a “zone,” and wireless systems need enough power to send the signal the full-length of the home.
Select the Right Alarm System for Your Home
Knowing your home’s specifications, you can shop for a system with enough zones to fit your needs and strong enough signal to cover the entire home. You can then decide if you need a monitored system or if a simpler alarm suits your needs just fine. Don’t forget to check with your homeowner’s insurance company about getting a discount for having a home security system and check for discounts on the alarm hardware and installation through special promotions and club memberships like AAA.