Bureau of Justice Statistics, the US violent crime rate hovers around 23 victimizations per thousand people. The property crime rate is about 130 victimizations per thousand households. Depending upon where you live, your rate may be much higher or lower, but statistics don’t make a difference if a crime happens to you or your family. It’s always better to feel safe (and to be safe) in your home. That’s why alarm systems are big business and there are thousands of systems to choose from.
Choosing and Installing a Home Alarm System
With all the choices on the home alarm market, making a choice and getting your chosen home alarm system installed can be confusing. You should start by thinking about your home’s layout and size, along with what areas are most likely entry points for an intruder or burglar. Your budget must also factor into the solution.
Low-Tech and Low-Budget Home Alarms: The Simplest to Install
Signage: The simplest and most low-tech home alarm solution is also the easiest to install. We’re talking about a deterrent system. You might opt to purchase home alarm signage for your lawn or to post it on your fence or garage. Even if you go no further, you will cause any thief to think twice and hopefully move right along.
Dummy video cameras: A professional burglar or someone who is desperate to get into your home, however, would require additional home security measures beyond just home
security signage. Next in price and ease of installation is the dummy camera or dummy video surveillance. (Sometimes security cameras are referred to as CCTV or closed-circuit television systems.) Dummy security systems are very popular and many of the surveillance cameras you see on homes in your neighborhood may be non-functional and fake. This is an economical solution to help keep your family, home, and property safe.
Installing a Dummy Security System: A Simple Theft Deterrent
If you opt for the deterrent effect of a dummy video camera system, you only need a few tools to prepare: a ladder, screwdriver, lawn or wall signs, home security window labels, and fake video camera(s). You can choose fake security cameras that are appropriate for indoor or outdoor use.
To install your dummy video security system, just attach the camera(s) to areas outside your home where they are visible, but out of reach so that potential intruders cannot break or spray paint the camera lens. You might want to install dummy video cameras on your porch high above the entry door, at your front gate, at the back door, or anywhere on your property. Then you can also strategically place security signs and window stickers around the house and property.
Wireless Security Systems: Easy to Install and Economical
The next type of home burglar alarm you might want to consider to protect your home is a wireless system. Wireless systems offer several functions which you can add depending upon your home layout and needs. Many wireless home alarm systems come with window sensors and/or glass break sensors which set off alarms if windows are breached. You may also opt to include motion detection as part of your wireless security system. You can use wireless motion detectors for theft protection, but also to monitor whether kids or pets are entering or leaving a particular room of the house. Driveway alarms are also popular if you like to be warned whenever someone is approaching your home or driving up the driveway. These are excellent for homes that have a long driveway leading up to the house. It’s especially important to be notified of a car entering your driveway if you live in a rural area where it’s not common for people to drive in and out.
How to Install an Alarm System in Your Home: Installing Wireless Security Systems
For this installation project, you will need the components you have chosen for your home alarm system, which may include: door/window sensors (each sensor is in two parts — you need enough pairs to install on each window or door that you want to protect). Motion sensors for each room entrance and/or the front and back doors. You may also opt to include security cameras. You will also be installing a control panel or keypad to control everything. You may also use home security signs and window labels.
Door and Window Alarm Sensor Installation: Wireless
- Select the best location(s) for your wireless security sensors (also sometimes called motion sensors). Protect those areas that seem tempting to thieves, such as windows, front and back doors, large pet doors, and/or garage doors.
- Make sure the range from each sensor (the transmitter) to the sensor base (the receiver) is adequate. Transmitters have limited ranges and they may be less than stated on the box. Signals from the transmitters must go through walls, large furniture, etc. that may not have been included in the test the manufacturer used to determine the average range.
- Install both parts of each window sensor. The larger half is the transmitter and the small one is the magnetic component that completes a closed circuit. When the circuit is broken as the window or door opens, the alarm sounds or light flashes, and/or your video camera is automatically switched on (in some systems).
- Screw in the sensor to the doorjamb or window frame.
- Place the magnet on the windowsill or door frame so that it is even with the sensor.
- Drill pilot holes to screw the magnet into the door/window.
Installing a Home Alarm: Wireless Motion Detector Installation
An infrared motion detector works by sensing temperature changes. Because of this, be sure not to install them facing a window that gets direct sunlight. You may want to install motion sensors a few feet up from the floor. (Pets under 40 pounds don’t usually cause a false alarm because sensors aren’t sensitive enough to detect them, but just to avoid any chance of this problem, install sensors above their height.)
- Choose your installation point with a clear, unobstructed view of the whole room.
- Mount the sensor plates securely to minimize any vibrations and false alarms. Use screws where possible and use drywall anchors for hollow walls.
Installing the Wireless Control Panel for Your Home Alarm System
- Just plug the control panel into a wall outlet and connect it to a phone jack, if necessary. (Some systems use wireless signals to send alarms to a smartphone or laptop.)
- Program the control panel according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Once you have programmed the home alarm system, the panel will set off an audible alarm and/or a flashing light, or call you or email you if a window/door sensor is breached.
- Remember to activate your home’s window and door sensors before going to bed or leaving the house. If your system includes a smoke detector, CO detector, or flood detector, these always stay on.
Advantages of Installing a Home Alarm System
Any type of home security system mentioned here can help prevent:
- Theft, burglary, or property crimes
- Home invasions and violent crimes at your home
- Trespassing on your property
- Home insurance claims to your theft or property damage insurance–or liability claims if someone is injured on your property
- And more
Advanced Features for Home Security Systems
- Glass breakage sensors
- Flood sensors
- Video cameras for home security
- Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and smoke alarms
- Settings that allow different home and away modes for the security system
- Key chain remotes are available with some home alarm systems
- Battery backups keep the home alarm system activated, even if your electrical power is out
- Panic buttons allow you to set off the alarm yourself if you see someone breaking in
- Professional security monitoring (when a professional security company monitors the alarm–then alerts you and the police or fire department)
- Alert options such as sound, lighting, text messaging, phone calls, or email if your home security system goes off
You can even get doorbells that provide extra security for your home. Choose a doorbell with an intercom system, for example, that allows you to safely see or talk to the visitor at your door–providing an extra measure of safety before you open your door.
At 1800Doorbell.com we sell dummy video security cameras that are easy to install, and budget-friendly, acting as an effective deterrent to help keep your home or business safe. We also offer driveway alarms and motion sensors. Please contact us for more information. Order home alarm systems conveniently online or call 1-800-DOORBELL (366-7235).