Home Security Basics.

family

 By Johnny Base

Home security is not a one size fits all, but there are features which most home security systems share. The purpose of home security is to keep the bad guys out of your house, give yourself you peace of mind, real safety and security.

Door / Window Sensors

Door / Window Sensor

Doors

The first line of defence in any home security is securing your doors. About 90% of all home burglaries access point is through an exterior door. I recommend for home protection placing sensors on all exterior doors on the first floor of the home including any basement doors. The majority of criminals gain access to a home through the doors. Either by kicking them open or prying them open. Make sure you keep your doors locked whether you are at home or away. I’ve known many times when a homeowner’s door was kicked in, by an intruder only to have them flee, because the home had a home security system which was armed and worked properly. Recently a homeowner came home hearing the alarm going off as he approached his front door. We know the security system worked because there was still cash on the dresser in the master bedroom even after the front door had been kicked-in.The burglar must have fled as soon as the alarm went off. Put sensors on all your first floor exterior doors.

Windows

Windows on the ground floor, hidden from the street or neighbors are most vulnerable to a burglars. Sensors on windows are a personal choice. Most homes do not need a sensor on every window. I recommend only sensors on windows which are easily accessible from the ground, porch, or deck, and are hidden from neighbors or the street. You might have a young child whose windows face the street and whose room is on the second floor. If you can’t place your head on your pillow and sleep comfortably because you worry about your daughters second floor windows. Then get as many sensors as you wish for her room. You are paying for your home protection. A security system must make you feel secure for it to achieve it’s designed purpose, peace of mind and real safety.

motion-detector

Motion Detector

Motion detectors

90% of all burglars enter the master bedroom at some point during a burglary. A security system needs to cover the master bedroom in my opinion. Why? Because that is where most people keep their jewelry, cash, and guns. A motion detector creating a “zone of entrapment” leading to the master bedroom is a final defence home protection strategy. Place a motion detector in a location, which leads to the master bedroom. So no one can enter the master bedroom without triggering the alarm system. This can be done by placing a motion detector in a hallway leading to the master bedroom or in an area leading to the stairs if the master bedroom is on a second floor. Again you are purchasing the system. If you need multiple motion detectors to feel secure in your home get them. Home protection is different for each individual.  There is no one size fits all or magic bullet. Security systems vary as much as people in their depth and scope.

simon-xt keypad

Simon XT Keypad

Keypads

All Alarm Systems include a keypad for arming and disarming the system. Today Keypads offer 2-wave voice, chimes, as well as other options. There are all-in-one keypads like the Simon XT from GE security or the 5100 Lynx from Honeywell security. GE Security and Honeywell Security also make Alarm Systems with keypads plus a control panel. The configuration of is usually in hardwired systems such as a Honeywell Security 6150 keypad with a vista 15p control panel. Most security systems have a siren to send any intruder fleeing.

Monitoring

Security Companies such as Protect America, FrontPoint Security and ADT Security charge a monthly monitoring rate.  ADT home security, Frontpoint security, and Protect America have their security systems monitored by a central monitoring station. Only Protection One and ADT Security has a Five Diamond certified monitored station.

Do It Yourself security companies such as Frontpoint security offer monitoring. Frontpoint security only offers cellular monitoring which we feel is superior to landline telephone network monitoring. If you install a system on your own you can have the system call you directly, or it can be signed up for monthly monitoring through a monitoring company.

Home Security Protocol

When an alarm is triggered ADT home security, Frontpoint security, and Protect America’s central station is informed via telephone network or cellular monitoring. When the central station receives an alarm signal they call a list of phone numbers, in a specific order, which is established by the homeowner. If the central station can not contact the homeowner or other contact persons on the list. ADT home security, Frontpoint security, and Protect America’s monitoring station then calls the police, fire department, or ambulance ASAP.

You need a system which suits your needs. Every homeowner, renter, or business owner needs to determine what is most important for them; price, equipment, monitoring, service, reputation, contract, warranty, companies physical location, BBB reviews, Angies List ratings, etc.

After reviewing all the companies online we recommend Protect America, and FrontPoint Security

Updated 7/29/2013