There are so many kinds of alarm systems that choosing the right one for your home can seem a little overwhelming. Home security is obviously important, and no one wants to be burgled, so just how do you go about choosing the perfect alarm system for your property? That's where we come in. We've got a handy step by step guide to help you choose between the many home security systems available to you!
Step One: Monitored vs. Unmonitored Alarm Systems
Your first decision is whether you want your alarm system to be monitored or unmonitored. An unmonitored system simply sets off a loud siren when your home security is breached. A monitored system, on the other hand, sets off a siren and directly contacts your alarm system provider or a local police station to let them know that a burglary is in progress.
Obviously, if you're looking at burglar proofing a monitored system provides better security. However, in most cases you will have to pay a monthly monitoring fee to your alarm company.
Step Two: What Kind of Monitoring Alarm Systems exist?
If you opt for a monitored alarm system, then you have three further options. Your home security system must be able to contact the outside world, and there are three ways that it can do this:
- By using a landline telephone, which most homes are equipped with, however if your telephone lines are cut then your alarm system will not be able to contact your alarm provider;
- By using a broadband internet connection (with or without WiFi), though you must have broadband access in your home and should power go out then your alarm system may not work;
- By using a mobile phone network, you will be provided with a SIM card to insert in your alarm, and many experts consider this the most secure form of monitored alarm system.
The choice is yours, though your options will depend on which forms of communication are available in your area. A mobile monitored alarm system will not work if there is no mobile phone reception where you live, for example.
Step Three: Where is Home Security Necessary?
Next you will want to think about where you actually want to protect. Inside your home you'll need to identify how many windows and doors need to be connected to your alarm system. But you may also want to think about other areas of your property. Do you have outbuildings or garages that you wish secured? What about a perimeter fence? Do you need cameras on your property? List the areas that need to be secured, and inform the alarm system company that you finally decide upon.
Step Four: Which Extras Do You Want?
These days, alarm systems come with tons of added extras that you may or may not want. It's up to you to decide which of these extras are necessary for your home. Some of the things that you might want to consider are:
- Motion detectors, which will sound the alarm if someone moves inside a given area (useful outside, and also inside where there's a possibility that someone may enter the house when doors are open and lie in wait for an opportunity to rob your home);
- A voice connection, which will allow you to directly communicate with your alarm system provider (great if you set off the alarm by mistake, but you will also be given a safe word to alert the company in case you are being held hostage and forced to switch off the alarm);
- Additional functions such as the ability to turn lights on and off in your home or control heating and cooling systems (useful when it comes to protecting your home while away on holiday);
- Additional sensors such as smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Choosing Your Alarm System Company
Once you've made all these decisions, you'll be in a position to choose a company that can fulfill your needs. However, you may want to be careful. When it comes to home security tips, choosing the right alarm company is high on the list. Why? Because it's a common scam for burglars to pose as alarm system reps so that they can check out your home, and know where the security is. Choose a reputable local or national company and you should be fine. But be on the look out for freelance alarm fitters or companies that have no reputation in your area.
Home security is important to all of us, we all want to protect what's ours, after all. A great alarm system can give you peace of mind every time you leave your home. You might want to check out your household insurance policy too, since improving your home security can mean that you get lower monthly premiums!
Main subject: Alarm systems