Tips & Advice
What are the most common home security devices?
- Motion sensors
- Smoke, CO2, and flood detectors
- Panic buttons
- Door and window stoppers
- Spot lights/floodlights
- Etched window glass
- Combination safe
- reinforced locks
- Placing signs and sticker for security systems outside home
- Personal safety items (firearms, stun guns, pepper spray, batons, etc.)
Is it necessary to have a home alarm system professionally installed?
No, it is possible to install a home alarm system yourself. Some systems are specifically designed to be installed by homeowners. These systems are often cheaper and more customizable. However some systems require the expertise of a professional and installation should be left up to them to avoid making any errors. Review the specifications of the system and/or contact the manufacturer if you are unsure about its installation requirements.
What are the advantages of a wireless security system?
- Easy and inexpensive to install and does not require any drilling or modification of the home.
- Does not require a landline.
- Can be taken from one home to another during change of residence.
- Can be combined with a hardwired system.
What are the advantages of a hardwired security system?
- No need to change any batteries, as with wireless systems
- No interference from other signals
- All hardwired systems run on essentially the same technology so products and services from different companies will be compatible with each other.
- If moving to a home with a hardwired system already installed, you can save money by bypassing installation costs.
- New security equipment for these systems is less expensive than for wireless systems.
- Can be combined with a wireless system
What are the different types of home security alarms?
- Hardwired: A system that uses cables to connect all sensors to a central control panel within your home. The cables are usually installed within the walls or floorboards of your home. The control panel then uses your home’s landline connection to call for assistance (police, fire, medic).
- Wireless: A system which uses wireless technology (wi-fi) to connect all sensors to your home’s central control panel. The panel uses the established network to communicate with the outside for assistance.
- A combination of hardwired and wireless: Custom systems can be configured to have a home totally hardwired and equipped with wireless outside communication (no landline), or have a totally wireless home and hardwired outside communication.
Will a home alarm system continue working in the event of a power outage?
The majority of modern alarms (both hardwired and wireless) have control panels with a rechargeable back-up battery that powers the alarm system in the event of a power outage. But the batteries will eventually die if the power outage is several hours long.
How much does a home alarm system cost?
There are many costs associated with getting an alarm system:
- System Type: Hardwired or wireless
- Number of Components: How many door sensors, window sensors, and cameras. are implemented
- Installation: DIY installation or professionally installed
- Monitoring Costs: If a system is linked to a monitoring service that will alert response personnel in the event of an emergency
Alarm systems themselves can cost $100- $1,200. Having a monitoring service requires paying monthly fees, usually of $25-$45 or more depending on the company.
Does having (or not having) an alarm system impact the cost of home insurance?
Yes, many home insurers will reduce rates for homeowners that purchase security systems. Some security system companies also have deals with insurers and can offer discounted prices on products and installation. Check with your home insurance company to find out what options are available to you.
Is a monitoring service required with all security systems?
No, there are many security systems available that do not require the implementation of a monitoring system.
Can the capabilities of a home security system be expanded over time?
Yes, but to avoid compatibility issues, it is best to use the same company that installed the original system to make any new modifications or enhancements. However, there are companies that make converters which integrate products or systems from two different security companies.