Choosing a Wireless Home Security System
So you’ve decided to go with a wireless home security system. Now what?
The first thing you’ll notice when shopping for a wireless home security system is that there are dozens of vendors selling alarm systems.
The second thing you’ll learn is that each vendor offers a number of components, and you’ll need to decide which ones fit your needs the best.
You don’t want to spend more money than is necessary, but you also don’t want to skimp on your system and have it fail to protect your home.
There are three main questions to ask when shopping for a wireless security system:
#1 Who are the most qualified vendors?
#2 What options do I need as a minimum?
#3 Will it be necessary to expand the system in the future?
Who Are the Most Qualified Vendors?
Do internet searches and you’ll discover there are many different vendors, but some stand out in the crowd.
These are vendors that have been developing and selling home security systems for many years. Companies like ADT, Brinks and GE sell products that have been well tested and proven to work well in the marketplace.
They also have some of the longest histories in providing home security which is important since you don’t want some fly-by-night operation that’s not going to be around when you’re in trouble.
You also want to verify which radio frequencies the system uses. Most security systems today do not use the same frequencies as the cordless phones or other wireless computer devices. It’s important to verify that the wireless system radio frequencies do not interfere with each other.
The quality of wireless systems is also important. Alarms that send false reports to the police and fire stations can lead to hefty fines.
The major alarm companies sell UL certified products using the latest technology that reduces the chances of false alarms.
Another consideration is the monitoring contract terms (if you’ll be using a monitoring service). For example, does the contract require a 3-year commitment when you want a 2-year or less? Does the company make commitments as to speed of repairs in the event the system fails to work properly?
You can also choose to install a do-it-yourself wireless system. You do the actual installation but the vendor provides installation instructions and guidance. Some vendors even provide 24 hour monitoring as well.
What Options Do I Need?
You have a lot of options available for the wireless home security system. For example, do you only need burglar and fire monitoring or is carbon monoxide monitoring necessary too? Some companies offer monitoring of propane or moisture also.
You’ll need to determine where to pace door and window sensors and motion detectors. That information will determine the size of the wireless security system you need to purchase. (If you have the wireless system professionally installed, the installer can help you determine these things.)
Other options you may want to consider include glass-break sensors, latchkey paging, remote control capability, two-way intercom and one-touch keypads.
You’ll also need ask if you want camera or video surveillance. In-home surveillance can be used for many purposes.
Of course, it can record acts of burglary or vandalism. But the cameras are also used to monitor activities of people in the home such as elderly citizens or nannies.
The camera surveillance options include the traditional in-home camera, spy cameras that can be hidden inside objects and cameras that can transmit pictures over the internet. You can even choose whether you want black and white or color images.
Other system options include motion detectors that will not react to pet movements, and motion sensors that can be turned off while keeping window and door sensors on while home.
Most of the wireless home security systems sold today are modular. That means you can add sensors, cameras or other product enhancements over time as needs change.
For example, you might start with a basic wireless system with door and window sensors and add motion detectors later.
So you have a lot of options when choosing a wireless home security system. The important thing is to educate yourself on your options and choose the system that gives you enough protection for your home and family.