Smart Security System Products
Even traditional security companies have now begun to adapt to newer competitors that are more technologically advanced such as Google Nest, Ring (Amazon-owned), SimpliSafe and Adobe. There are many DIY systems which function as Smart home hubs. All of this upheaval in the security system industry means you have a wider choice of manufacturers and more competitively priced products.
Today many homeowners are interested in getting smart security systems installed. As mentioned earlier, many of these systems are also DIY, and you can install them yourself. Since they offer remote monitoring functions, you can easily monitor your property from anywhere in the world.
The products are typically sold as a basic starter kit, and you have the option to add sensors, components and other accessories as necessary. It also means that comparison shopping isn’t an easy task. Here is some information that can help you determine which systems would work best and how you can install them to improve the security levels of your home.
Types of Home Security Systems
It is necessary to compare DIY home security systems to professionally installed ones to determine which ones fit your requirements. You should compare a DIY home security system to a professionally installed system to see whether it’s in line with your needs.
About DIY Security Systems
As stated, you can purchase a security system as a packaged kit which you install yourself. Most of them have self-monitoring functions by a Smartphone app, which is a free function. However, optional professional monitoring services are available with some of the systems, for which you would have to pay an extra charge. The professional monitoring services can also be started and cancelled as per your requirements. For example, if you are heading out on holiday you can opt for professional monitoring services. It gives you peace of mind that your property is being watched round-the-clock by skilled personnel.
Systems with optional professional monitoring function allow you more flexibility. Their monthly monitoring fees are lower than any professionally installed system, and you do not have to sign in for multi-year contracts. The downside to these systems is that you would have to handle the installation and that no trained professionals would monitor your property 24/7. The system could be moot if you miss an alert on your smartphone at a critical moment.
About Professionally Installed Residential Security Systems
These security systems are installed by technicians and also have 24/7 professional monitoring. It means that professionals at the alarm monitoring centre would verify any triggered alarms and quickly alert local law enforcement authorities. These systems also offer smartphone apps, which you can use for remote monitoring and control.
However, some providers would charge higher monthly fees for using this. There is typically an upfront cost for the installation of the equipment. There would also be a multi-year contract to which you have to add the recurring cost for monitoring.
The advantage of opting for this kind of system is that the technician would handle the installation for you and that it is always professionally monitored. The downside is that you get locked into a contract for several years.
Basic Security System Components & Sensors
Home security systems have multiple individual sensors. These battery-powered devices can be of various sizes, and there could also be alarm sirens and keypads. Most basic home security systems will have some of these components. The DIY devices have a base station, contact sensors, key fobs and a touchscreen control panel or keypad. Let’s take a look at these in more detail:
Base Station – The base station acts as the security system’s brain and is connected wirelessly to various components and sensors. It acts as a bridge between the internet and the system’s components. Typically these devices have backup battery backup, connectivity for the internet, power outages and a built-in siren.
Contact Sensors – These sensors are attached to do the windows and doors in your home. If you have a professional monitoring system, the dispatchers will alert the law enforcement authorities whenever the doors are opened and closed.
Motion Sensors – These are an excellent option for rooms that have multiple windows or doors, and the sensors detect any movement in that area. Some are also calibrated in such a way that pets will not set them off.
Touch Screen Control Panels – these are very similar to small tablets and can be used in place of the keypad. Through this panel, you can disarm and arm the security system control, smart home devices (if you have any) and enter access codes.
Keypads – In some systems, there is a ten-digit keypad which you use to enter the access codes while arming and disarming the alarm.
Tags and Key Fobs – These fobs are similar to the ones that you use for vehicles. They have buttons you can use for arming and disarming them. Some of them also have RF tags.
Range Extenders – In most systems, the base station range covers a few hundred feet. If you have a larger home, opt for a system with extended coverage, which can increase the range of the wireless connectivity of the base station. It also allows you to add more remote sensors. In specific systems, the wireless components and range extenders function as signal repeaters which extend the range of the base station.
Add-On Components & Sensors – Many security systems providers offer components and sensors at an added cost depending on the type of monitoring you want- personal safety, carbon monoxide, fire etc.
CCTV Cameras – While these are not always necessary, most systems have video doorbells and wireless CCTV cameras. A video doorbell allows you to see what is happening on your property at all times, and it will also record footage whenever the alarm is triggered.
Sirens – You have the option to place a standalone siren away from the unit’s base station. If you have a larger home, you can consider installing more than one siren.
Environmental Alarms & Sensors – Most modern systems also function in tandem with environmental alarms and sensors which can monitor your property for extreme temperatures, water leaks, fire and more. These devices also have alarm listeners, carbon monoxide and smoke alarms as well as a leak and freeze sensors.
Garage Door Tilt Sensors – These are typically placed on the inner side of the garage doors. The sensors detect when the door is closed or opened based on their vertical or horizontal orientation.
Glass Break Sensors – The sensors can detect sounds such as if an intruder smashes your window or glass patio door to get inside.
Pendants And Panic Buttons – A physical panic button is a straightforward way of alerting a monitoring service that you require help. A panic pendant also functions in the same manner except that the users can wear them. They are a good option for older or infirm individuals who are at risk of falls.
Professionally Installed System Contracts
Generally, a professionally installed security system requires that you sign a contract of two to five years. Why the contract locks you into the service provider, and you have to pay a recurring monthly fee, there are quite a few benefits to it. Depending on the provider, sometimes, a three-year contract might guarantee that there would be no increase on the monthly fees.
It is a good idea to opt for these contracts as it helps ensure the security system will be updated with the latest software and maintained well. Conduct some amount of basic research and groundwork before determining which system would work best for you. Working with professionals helps you get a better understanding of what’s available on the market and will suit your requirements best.