Knowing what your needs are and how best to approach them are the first steps in planning a home security system. A security system professional is helpful when you have questions, but his job is to sell you equipment and not necessarily to look out for your best interests. Consulting with a professional is useful, but write down a plan first that addresses what your concerns are and lists the essentials you need for your specific home.
What is the best way to start planning a home security system?
You always need door and window sensors, an alarm and a central control panel. Beyond that, you have options. Go through the house and count the number of doors and windows. Include the door leading to the garage and windows high off the ground. This gives you the number of sensors you need. Systems typically come with a set number of sensors, and then you pay a fee for additional ones.
You also need smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if you don’t already have them. Some states require apartment complexes to provide them in each unit. You need one near the kitchen, at least one on each floor of your home, and one in or near every bedroom.
Is additional lighting useful in a home security system?
Consider security lighting when planning your system. The lights are motion or light-activated. Place them near the main entrances to the house to keep those areas lit at night, especially when someone is approaching the house. The motion sensors are useful as a means of keeping thieves or vandals away, but set the sensitivity of the light carefully to make sure they don’t respond to wind or animal movement.
The lights also help prevent others from knowing if someone is home or not.
Should the surrounding neighborhood be considered when planning a security system?
Research the crime statistics in your city or town when planning your system by checking the website for your local police department. Talk to your neighbors as well. If car thefts are common in your area, pay more attention to your garage or where you park your vehicle. If vandalism is a problem in your neighborhood, consider security shutters on the windows. Research the rules of your neighborhood or your homeowner’s association to find out if a fence is allowed and a viable option for you.
Is a wireless system more effective than a wired one?
Older systems used to rely on the phone line when sending signals out to call centers. If the phone lines went down or were tampered with, the system was not effective. Modern wired systems are not as easily disabled, and they have the advantage of being plugged into the home’s main power. Wireless systems are battery-operated. The batteries need to be checked on each device regularly to make sure they are all working properly. Your control panel tells you when the power fails on a device as well. Both wired and wireless devices are effective if properly installed. Wireless installation tends to be simpler than rigging a new system into the existing wiring of the house, however.
What else should be considered when planning a security system?
If you have pets, verify that any motion sensors in the house won’t respond to pet movement. False alarms are a nuisance, and they are also expensive if they reoccur. Decide what the most important or valuable items in your house are. Consider placing additional security measures such as motion sensors or security cameras in those areas.
Write down your needs when planning your security system. This gives you something to share with professionals when you start shopping. This also assists you when budgeting because each company provides a pricing estimate based on the information you give them. Planning the system takes time, research and diligence, but the peace of mind is worth it once the system gets installed.