Home Alarm Systems – The Basics
In the area of home security systems a home alarm differs from a monitored home security service in that there is no 3rd party service monitoring your house for burglary, fire, etc. (However this is an add-on options to many alarm systems should you choose to use it.)
So a home alarm can make be a more cost-effective way to protect your home.
A home alarm basically is designed to alert people inside the home of an intruder break in or a hazard like fire or carbon monoxide. It monitors the perimeter of your home (doors, windows, etc.) for unauthorized access.
There are a lot of home alarm systems on the market today. The sheer number of choices can make it hard to choose the best one for you.
You can have a home alarm system installed professionally or you can try doing it yourself. One thing you must do however is make sure your home is fully protected – especially if you choose to install the alarm system yourself.
When you compare home alarm systems consider the major devices and components included:
Master Control Panel
The master control panel is the central element in any home alarm system. The heart of the system, the master control panel should be installed in an easily accessible area. Many homeowners install the master panel near the front door, basement or the master bedroom.
The master control panel serves several functions. It is a hub for all other components of the security system and receives data from digital cameras, smoke detectors, and other equipment.
The master control panel also transmits information to companies who monitor the security of homes if you decide to choose this option.
Keypads are where you enter your unique password number code to arm or disarm the system. The homeowner can give the password to anyone he or she wants to have access to the home.
In the typical situation the homeowner opens a door, setting off the home alarm. The homeowner then has a certain amount of time to enter the password before the full alarm sounds. Keypads can also be installed outside for remote access.
Cameras allow you to record action in and around your home. Security cameras are available in two different styles – hard wired and wireless. Wireless are the most popular with DIY homeowners since they require the least amount of work.
Hard wired security cameras operate via an extensive network of electrical cords and wires. In most cases, a home that is already constructed will require drilling to place the cameras in the right position.
On the other hand, wireless cameras can be placed anywhere easily and usually don’t involve drilling. Many of the new model wireless cameras come with an adhesive backing that the homeowner can peel off before attaching the camera to a hard surface.
Security cameras transmit data to a central monitor or control panel. This information can be recorded for later viewing or viewed live – as it happens.
One of the latest products, the DVR, lets homeowners watch recorded action while it continues to record live action.
Smoke detectors are one of the most important alarm components in the home. They can often be easily integrated into the home alarm system. These devices sound an alarm when smoke is detected and give people in the home a chance to escape to safety.
Smoke detectors can be hard wired or wireless. Wireless smoke detectors run on battery power while hard wired equipment is powered through the home’s electrical system.
Both have advantages and disadvantages, such as during a power failure the wireless models continue to operate. However, batteries must be replaced on wireless smoke detectors.
Smoke detectors, like security cameras, send information to a central control panel or monitor.
More Home Alarm Options
Talking devices, backup power supplies, monitoring and repair services, and other components can also be included when you compare home alarm systems.
Whatever you decide to do, remember to choose a system that gives you peace of mind and gives you enough home coverage to be safe.