A number of researches studying the effectiveness of home alarm systems indicate that these devices significantly contribute to the prevention of burglaries and the arrest of suspected burglars.
These systems also provide peace of mind to homeowners who have installed reliable security systems. One study found that residences that are equipped with monitored home alarm systems reduce their risk from burglary by threefold compared with residential properties without protection.
Choosing the best home alarm system
In choosing the particular home alarm system to purchase and set up, residential owners should conduct a preliminary research on the structure of their homes, the frequency of burglaries in their area, and the efficiency of the local law enforcement units.
Some questions that need to be asked include the following:
- How easy is it for burglars to “case” and enter the house?
- Are the doors and windows easily opened? Are they regularly locked when no one is in the house?
- Is the place readily accessible to local law enforcement officers?
- Is it easy to see whether there people in the house from every possible vantage point?
- Are there outbuildings, trees, and other structures that might be good hiding places for burglars on the prowl?
- Are there similar structures that provide additional entryways into the house interior, such as trees with branches directly over an open balcony or window?
- In which locations in the residence should sensors be installed? In which location should the siren and the flashing light be set up?
- What is the minimum and the maximum amount that should be allocated for the home alarm system?
Once these questions have been addressed, homeowners can begin to engage professional security consultants to help them identify the best security system for their houses.
Types of home alarm systems
Home alarm systems vary greatly and range from basic, do-it-yourself models that can be purchased for just ten dollars at any hardware store of retail outlet to very advanced, sophisticated systems that can be installed only by trained security technicians.
Models can also be either monitored or unmonitored. Monitored systems usually provide a 24-hour monitoring service that is managed in the private security company’s monitoring centers.
Catering more to high-end consumers, monitored systems generally charge a monthly service fee. Understandably, monitored security systems might also reduce the level of privacy in the residence and homeowners should think out the minimum level of privacy they are most comfortable with.
Home alarm systems may also be wired or wireless. Wired systems use extensive cables to connect system components such as sensors and control boxes. On the other hand, wireless models generally use self-powered radio transmitters to connect the different system components.
Setting up home alarm systems
Unless the final model purchased by the homeowner belongs to the do-it-yourself variety with an easy-to-follow manual, homeowners should allow security technicians to do the alarm system installation.
This is to prevent malfunctions such as false negatives and false positives (also called false alarm). Responsible house members should also familiarize themselves with the control box in order to configure the security system or get it temporarily deactivated or reset if a malfunction occurs.