Security Tip

Home security alarms will often reduce your homwowner's insurance by 15% or more.

Check with your agent to see if additional discounts are available with other alarm equipment such as cameras or special sensors.





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The Basics Of Home Security Alarms

A Bird's Eye View Of The Choices In Alarm Systems


Unless you choose the "surprise me" approach to purchasing decisions, you should first consider the general types of home security alarms. You can't choose the right one if you don't know what you're choosing.

And not only do they help protect your home, your family, and your valuable stuff, a good security system also can make a big difference in the value of your home.

All burglar alarms work in similar ways. First, they are triggered by some event. In the case of fire alarms, heat or smoke are the typical triggers. Most are tripped when motion is detected, when an electrical circuit is broken or closed, or even when pressure is applied to an object.

After their trigger is tripped, the intruder alarm responds with some form of action: It sounds a siren, telephones for help, turns on a set of sprinklers, flash lights, or a combination of these things.

Although home security alarms seem simple enough, once you begin evaluating and reviewing all the many choices on the market, you'll wonder where all the variety came from.

Choices In Home Security Alarms

Your first choice may be between a wired or wireless technologies. Wireless systems are usually very easy to install yourself, and require less physical alteration to your home.

You'll also find crime-fire-camera combinations. And you can choose between an alarm monitoring company, or an unmonitored system. A monitored system will trigger an audible alert and contact the programmed numbers whenever a problem is detected. And many systems also include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Home Security AlarmDespite their diversity, you can classify most house alarm systems into four categories:

1. Simple house or safety alarm: This is a single device that is designed to sound a warning to the home's occupants of a single type of danger. Examples include some door and window alarms, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors. Another example is the entryway or driveway motion detector that turns on lights when anyone approaches.

2. A security alarm system: Cconnects(wired or wireless) a central control unit with devices (sensors, cameras, etc) at windows, doors and other detection areas. When triggered, a loud sound is generated, or lights are turned on, warning occupants and those in the area that an intrusion has occurred. Some systems include video monitors and recording devices.

3. Call-out systems: Dials preprogrammed numbers when the alarm is tripped. Most can be programmed to call different numbers (for example, your office, a friend, the local police, or a neighbor), and then play a prerecorded message requesting help. Panic buttons also fit into this category.

4. Professionally monitored: The most effective security alarm systems, but also the most expensive. They either dial or send a signal to the security service, which then contacts the police or fire department and/or the home's owner. Some security companies even send a safety officer to check on your home.

Now that we've explained the general types of home security alarms, your security system evaluations will be easier once you are familiar with the basic components that most systems have in common. This basic home burglar alarm equipment will form the foundation of a complete protective net over your home and property.


For More Information

Take a look at the main compnents of a complete home burglar alarm.

You can also find more detailed info about alarm control panels, and security alarm keypads.