If you’re looking to secure your home and family with a home security system, you’ve probably noticed that there are many options on the market these days. It can be a little confusing sorting through all of these options, so WhiteFence has put together this guide that steps you through the different types of home security systems you’ll encounter.
Local Alarm System
Local alarms are the most basic form of home security. These traditional unmonitored systems have various sensors positioned around your house, and set off a loud alarm if they sense an intruder. You can hook up sensors to doors and windows and add more advanced options like motion detectors.
While a loud alarm can scare off potential thieves and alert neighbors, these systems offer less protection than a monitored system. Think of them like a smoke alarm system; they make a lot of noise, but don’t do much good if no one is around to hear them. The upside of these systems is that they are the most affordable option.
Monitored Alarm System
Monitored alarm systems are offered by home security companies like ADT and LifeShield. These systems are similar to local alarm systems, but in addition to the alarm have a connection to a monitoring service. This means that if your alarm is tripped, a professional is ready to help 24/7, 365 days a year. If an intrusion is detected, an agent will call your home asking for a password to determine if it is a real break-in, or just a false alarm.
If it they determine it is a real break-in, they will immediately alert the authorities on your behalf, so the police can be there in minutes. They can also monitor for fires and carbon dioxide to keep your family even safer. Many times these services are included for free with the security monitoring service.
You can also get apps for your mobile devices with some of these services, so you’re constantly in the loop about the status of your home while you are away. Another bonus is that your homeowner’s insurance premiums may be reduced by up to 20% when you have a monitored alarm system installed. Check with your insurance company today to see how much of a discount they offer.
These monitored alarm systems offer the most protection available for your home, but that coverage does come at a cost, as you have to pay a small monthly fee for monitoring (rather than a large one charge for non-monitored equipment). The upside, besides the peace of mind that comes with monitoring, is that while you pay for the monitoring service often times you will get the equipment and installation for free when you sign up for service.
While monitored vs. un-monitored is the main decision you will have to make when choosing a home alarm system, there are additional features you can add on:
Panic Buttons – Many times with monitored systems, you can order a panic button you can carry around your home that can trigger a call to monitoring company. These are ideal for homes with elderly residents.
Glass Break Sensors – While window sensors are common, these usually just detect whether the window is open or not. Glass break sensors can actually detect the window being broken, to add an additional layer of security.
Motion Detectors – The most common home security sensors are window and door sensors, but motion detectors add additional security, as even if someone manages to get inside, they can still trigger the alarm.
Stress Sensors – These can be placed under rugs or carpets to detect people after they’ve gotten inside, much like motion detectors.
Video Monitoring – Some security systems allow you to add video cameras, so you can actually see what’s going on inside your home while you’re away.
Wireless Systems – These are easier to install as there are no wires to drop, but you are dependent on batteries and these can be disabled more easily.
Start Comparing Your Home Security Options Now
Hopefully now you’re a bit of an expert on home security systems and are ready to start comparing your options. Head to the home security section on WhiteFence.com to get started with a FREE quote now!