HOME SECURITY SYSTEMS – THE WHAT, WHYs, AND HOWs
According to a report, a house without a home security system is more likely to be burglarized than the one that has these extensive systems installed as a crime-fighting tool. This raises a very important question, WHAT ARE HOME SECURITY SYSTEMS AND HOW DO THEY ENABLE HOME-OWNERS?
By definition, “home security systems ensure that a house is safe from any threat including burglaries, fire breakouts, and unwanted intrusions, etc.” The basic principle that has become widely popular in recent times, is the use of multiple security components deployed throughout a house at entrance points and interior spaces connecting valuables. These components are monitored through a control panel by a team of professionals or the homeowners themselves, depending on the choice of the system that has been installed.
A home security system can be as basic as door locks and as advanced as motion sensors, varying according to consumer needs. Since the time home security systems were invented and granted patent, back in 1969, they have become increasingly popular due to the rising security concerns and their easy command system that can be easily installed anywhere inside the home. Some security companies have even developed as far as devising an online portal or smartphone application that can be used remotely. This convenience and reliability have led to a staggering $47 Billion market that caters exclusively to home security concerns. With a market as huge as this, home security system companies have made advancements in the field and stand out through not only their fast, convenient installation services by experienced professionals but also through features like energy management.
This enables users to keep a check on resource usage even when they are not around. Another widely appreciated feature is video surveillance. With the growing number of professionals that often have to leave their homes with caretakers or otherwise, this is a life-saver. Through their laptops or smartphones, they keep an eye on their home security as well as having control on the thermostat, fire alarms, door locks, lights, and window/door sensors, making things more convenient and reliable.
The wireless connections, phone lines, internet, and VoIP modes of communication to the monitoring company, home security systems are efficient in their response to an intrusion or anything that the system deems a hazard to security. In case of a security breach, users are not only kept informed through text messages or emails, but immediate contact with appropriate emergency personals is also established stopping any potential harm.
With the advantages that home security systems offer, users from all backgrounds are bound to be interested in investing in a system like this. And some consumers, choose to DIY a customized system, that caters to their needs specifically while avoiding any professional commitment. Articles like the one published in the US news guided such users by giving them a rundown of each component in the system and its use. But such systems are then non-monitored by professionals and so any emergency contact with response personnel has to be made by the home-owner himself. In the case of a non-monitored system, the email notification is replaced by a high-decibel alarm sound to warn the owners of a potential threat and to initiate an emergency response.
Whether monitored on non-monitored, these systems work with very similar features, including all or some of the following :
The control panel is the heart of a security system and connects homeowners, monitoring centers, and the security sensors through radio signals, hence the name ‘hub’. It is where a system is armed, disarmed, or even controlled manually through a key-fob or a keypad.
Though the use of manual keypads has reduced greatly due to an increase in smartphone application usage, it is most often used to arm or disarm the system at the hub and can be bought additionally if it doesn’t come in-built with your choice of security system.
These slightly larger, plastic, battery-operated devices use a technology called ‘passive infrared’ smartly to detect movement by sensing body heat. Their placement at higher areas ensures that they monitor places through which people move and generate signals to the hub.
With the ability to generally generate a sound between 80-115 Db, the alarms are a great way to scare off any intruders or burglars immediately, creating an invisible zone that cannot be crossed without sounding off these sirens. They come installed within the system but any external siren or alarm can be added according to need.
These stickers may only look like advertisement tools, but their use as recommended by security companies is an effective way to convey the message that the area is being monitored. Thus, any potential burglars are discouraged from attempting any illegal activity at the site.
6.DOOR AND WINDOW SENSORS
Often termed as the ‘contact sensors’ in the industry, these are small, plastic, battery-powered devices consisting of a sensor and a magnet. The sensor is placed at one part of the door or window, while the magnet is placed at the other part. Every time the sensor and the magnet break contact, a signal is sent to the hub, indicating that someone has opened the door or window breaking this contact.
Available in both wireless and wired configurations, the cameras are typically used to monitor distant areas of the property, remote areas, exterior entry points, or interior spaces that have valuables in them.
These sensors don’t come with most security systems but are an effective way to detect CO, smoke, heat, water, and temperature irregularities in the environment.
Effective use of these components ensures a safer home environment and as Kuhns said in his research “It can’t hurt to have a security system installed, whether it’s DIY or not. It’s one measure of prevention that our research shows have some impact on some offenders. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to get burglarized ever, but if given a choice and you’re concerned about safety it can’t hurt to have a burglar alarm system.”