The main objective of this home security components web page is to provide some practical assistance to anyone who has a limited knowledge & understanding of home alarm systems.
The information outlined below will provide you with a clear understanding of the various components & detection devices that make up a home security system.
Having a basic understanding on how each of these devices work will enable you to make an informed decision on the type of system that will work best for you.
This information will also help you access the level of electronic security that will work best for your home & family.
Having a clear understanding of home alarm systems & how they work is also essential for anyone needing to compare various systems in order to discover the most suitable & appropriate system for their needs.
In hardwired & in most hybrid alarm systems the three main home security components (the control panel, keypad & sounding device) are all housed in separate units. If you are not familiar with the hybrid system it is basically an alarm system that uses both wired & wireless home security components & detection devices.
Just about all wireless alarm systems will have the keypad housed in the same unit as the systems control panel.
There are low end wireless systems that also have the sounding device in the same unit.
This will have the three main home security components of an alarm system housed together in the one unit.
Having the three main home security components housed in the one unit is the type of system various monitoring alarm companies use in their basic alarm package.
It is also the same type unit that some monitoring companies offer for free in exchange for the customer entering into a 3 year monitoring agreement.
With having the three main home security components all housed in the one unit, it makes these all in one alarm systems inexpensive to buy.
The monitoring companies also seem to like the fact that their alarm installers are able to set up one of these systems in a customer’s home in record time.
Of course the installers also benefit from these all in one system’s as they get paid based on their performance. The more of these units they install in a day the more they get paid.
Many alarm system manufactures will design various systems that will benefit the biggest buyer of wireless alarm systems which is the alarm monitoring companies.
Unfortunately these all in one system’s in my opinion were not designed with the end user in mind as the only thing they provide the end user with is a false sense of security.
To obtain a comprehensive understanding of why these all in one wireless systems should not be used to safeguard & protect your home & family please visit my wireless security system web page.
The Control Panel is the main home security component in any residential security system. It is the brains of the alarm system & it fundamentally functions as a central computer.
Through its electronic & computerized alarm circuitry it supervises & reacts on any & all information it receives from the various home security components & detection devices.
It will communicate with the end user by sending various types of messages that will be displayed on your alarm system’s keypad(s).
The type of messages that are sent & displayed will vary greatly.
For Example: As it supervises the system's detection devices (sensors), it will inform you of low battery life in a specific wireless device, or it will inform you it cannot fully arm due to a door or window in a particular zone being open.
Due to the importance of this home security component, it is imperative that your alarm system's control panel is located in an obscure out of the way area to prevent an intruder from gaining quick & easy access to it.
One of the most important things you need to know when it comes to control panels is each different one supports a specific number of security zones. Since a hybrid alarm system will allow you to install hardwired & wireless components & detection devices, its control panel will support both hardwired & wireless security zones.
Various home security components & detection devices cannot be added to your alarm system unless they can be placed in or occupy a certain zone. For Example: With a hardwired alarm system you can place several home security components & detection devices into one security zone.
With a hardwired system many people will take the number of detection sensors in a room & place them all in the one zone. This way each room or area in the home represents a different zone.
A zone(s) can be shut down while the rest of your alarm system remains fully armed. Having so many different zones allows you to get the security coverage you need in the places you want when you need it.
The reason I stated it is very important for you to have an understanding of security zones is because it is absolutely critical for you to obtain a security system that is capable of supporting the number of zones you will need.
If you will be obtaining a wireless alarm system for your home, all home security components & detection sensors will require a separate zone.
Unlike a hardwired system you cannot place more than one component or device in the one zone.
With several wireless detection sensors in one room you will need an equal number of security zones, one for each detection device you will be installing.
Most alarm systems that have been built in recent years should last the end user for the next 15 to 20 years.
With a system that has the potential of lasting for the next two decades, you will want to obtain a system that will provide you with several additional zones for any upgrades that may be needed in the future.
You could quite easily see a spike in the crime rate in your area or it could increase over time to the point where it dictates a higher level of electronic security coverage is needed.
You don’t want to purchase a new alarm system several years from now because your present system is not capable of accepting any security upgrades due to not having any additional zones.
Checking to see if a control panel supports an adequate number of security zones is one of the very first things most people will look at when trying to find a suitable system for their needs.
The best way to find the most appropriate & suitable system for you & your family is to gather together a group of systems that closely meets your needs so you can then compare them to one another.
Once you have reviewed this web page & have a clearer understanding of alarm systems & how they work you really should review my comparing home security systems web page.
The Alarm Keypad is another main home security component as it allows you to interact directly with the systems control panel in a number of different ways. You will want to locate a keypad just inside the entrance of your home that is most frequently used.
If you are using a wireless alarm system you will need to acquire at least one additional keypad as the one that is housed in the same unit as the systems control panel will have to be located with it in an obscure area.
Many manufacturers produce a few different model keypads that are designed to work with one or more of their alarm systems. With a few different keypads you will usually have a basic type keypad & more of a high end style of keypad that is more advanced as it supports additional features & functions for the end user.
Having a more technically advanced style of keypad maybe more appealing to you with its additional features & functions, but it may not be the best choice for others in the home that may need to interact with it.
It is very important that anyone in your home that needs to interact with your home alarm system can do so without any problems or difficulties.
One of the biggest causes for false alarms is due to an end user of the security alarm having certain difficulties in using one or more of the system's functions.
It is also important to keep in mind that security measures which cause problems & difficulties for those who have to interact with them have a way of becoming relaxed & disused over time. The best home alarm system in the world would become absolutely useless if it is not used.
There are other premium style keypads that some companies produce for one or more of their alarm systems which may actually be better for less experienced users as it displays various hints & tips to help guide the end user.
If any family member who needs to interact with the system experiences problems with their vision, you will find a number of alarm systems that have keypads with oversized or large key displays.
It was just a few years ago that a friend of mine ended up acquiring a slightly different alarm system than the one he wanted to get for his father-in-law, because the one he wanted did not offer a keypad with a large key display.
It is important to remember that a home alarm system is only effective if the end users of the system find the home security components that they need to interact with easy to use.
The Sounding Device(s) needs to perform an extremely important security function. This home security component needs to be loud & strident enough to instil fear or panic into an intruder so he/she quickly moves on.
Unfortunately many sounding devices that are part of an alarm system kit along with certain other ones you can purchase separately are not loud enough for the important function they need to perform.
Depending on where a sounding device is located, this home security component in my opinion needs to be rated between 105db & 120db.
(UL) Underwriters Laboratories have thoroughly tested how loud an interior sounding device for a home alarm system has to be for it to be effective.
Their test results showed that interior sounding devices for home alarm systems should not be lower than 105db.
Even if you only want to secure the contents of your home when it is left unoccupied, an exterior sounding device can be very beneficial. Although if you want to safeguard & protect family members inside the home from sexual predators & home invasion criminals, an exterior alarm is imperative for this type & level of home security.
For the type of security problems that poses a potential security threat to all of us in today’s society, the safety, security & wellbeing of those living in the home should be the most important security objective. This level of security will have both physical & electronic security measures working together.
This will help ensure an intruder(s) presence is detected while they are still on the outside of the home. Even the most determined intruders will quickly & immediately move on with a loud & strident alarm sounding both inside & outside your home.
For a more comprehensive understanding on how to keep criminals from entering your home please visit my home invasion protection web page.
Another important thing you need to know about exterior sounding devices is most communities have a bylaw that stipulates how loud they can be & how long they can sound before your alarm system has to reset. If you need one of these home security components you will want to obtain the loudest one possible without been in violation of the bylaw for your area.
Magnetic Switch Sensors: are sometimes referred to as “window & door sensors”. Magnetic sensors are the most popular, widely used, highly effective & reliable perimeter detection devices in the security industry.
These wired or wireless sensors can be surface mounted or recessed. The surface mounted & the recessed model sensors work exactly the same.
The surface mounted sensor is housed in two small rectangular plastic casings. One plastic casing holds a magnetically activated switch & the other casing just holds a magnet.
When installing a surfaced mounted sensor the magnet part is always attached to the door or window & the switch part is attached directly adjacent to it on the door or window frame.
When the door or window are opened the magnet part of the switch moves away automatically breaking the magnetic field.
Without the magnetic field the electrical circuit will automatically open (cause a break in the circuit) triggering the alarm system.
The recessed model sensors are cylindrical in shape with the switch part recessed in the door jamb & the magnet section recessed on the side or edge of the door. The recessed sensors are a little more difficult to install but once they are recessed they are hardly visible.
Most people take pride in the finished rooms in their home & many of these people feel that alarm sensors that can be seen around the room on the various windows & doors downgrade a room’s finished appearance.
To prevent this from happening they will use miniature size surface mounted magnetic sensors on their windows as they can easily become absent from view by any type of window coverings or drapes they are using. For any doors in the room that leads directly outdoors or to a garage on the side of their home they will in most cases use the recessed model sensors.
Usually the only homes where recessed magnetic sensors are used on both windows & doors throughout are homes that are been newly built or renovated.
PIR) Passive Infrared Motion Detectors: are the most widely used motion detection devices used in the home security market. This is basically due to the passive infrared technology being much more reliable than previous motion detectors that used ultrasonic & microwave technologies.
PIR motion sensors are passive in the sense they do not send out any type of signal or emit any type of energy. These sensors detect infrared energy (heat) that emanates from our bodies.
In addition to being the most reliable type of motion detector that is available in today’s market, individual PIR sensors can cost-effectively protect many different size areas.
Most motion sensors are available with a few different lenses.
Each lens has a different pattern of detection so it is important to ensure the area that is being protected is done so with the most appropriate lens.
This home security component like many others will come with setup instructions which are certainly what you want if you plan to install your own system.
To ensure the lens you are using is the right one for the area you want covered, you will want to look at the setup instructions as it will show you how to perform what is called a "walk test" in the protected area. The walk test will show you exactly what is covered as well as where any blind spots may exist.
One of the most important things you need to understand about these home security components` is that they Are Not perimeter detection sensors, they are an interior backup sensor only! Monitoring alarm companies have & still are using PIR motion sensors as a perimeter detection device.
They do this to cut down on the overall cost of the alarm system they provide their customers. The more home security components they provide you with, the higher the cost will be both upfront & for the monthly monitoring fee.
Whatever they provide you with they need to cover the cost of it over the length of the agreement you enter into with them.
Even these so called free systems have to be paid for over the term of the agreement.
When you have your own system the larger companies charge you about $20 each month to monitor your alarm but the so called free system will cost you around $45 per month for the exact same monitoring service. The extra $25 per month multiplied by 36 months in a 3 year agreement covers the cost of the free system & then some.
The more that gets added on to an alarm package, the higher the monthly monitoring fee will be, so instead of using & installing a dozen or so magnetic sensors they use a couple of motion sensors to keep the cost down.
With the unprecedented number of individuals & families alike that have been violently victimized, raped & even murdered in their own homes over the past decade or so, many people are looking at home security much differently.
At the very least many people have been turning their home alarm systems on in the evenings when they are home. They are also ensuring their home's electronic security remains activated throughout the night for a better feeling of security & wellbeing.
The two biggest problems with using motion sensors to protect your home's perimeter is first the intruder will have to actually get inside your home before he/she can trigger your alarm system.
The second problem is the electronic security coverage in your home is almost nonexistent when you or other family members are at home.
The motion sensors protecting your home's perimeter will have to be shut down so no family activity inside your home causes any false alarms.
As I mentioned above if you are looking for the type of home security that will prevent sexual predators or these violent criminals that carry out home invasions from entering your home please visit my home invasion protection web page.
To obtain a complete understanding of why it is so important for you to have your own system along with what you need to look for in a monitoring company please visit my home security alarm monitoring web page.
Glass Break Sensors: Shock Sensors & Audio Discriminators are two of the most common glass break detectors that are used & sold in today’s market.
Shock sensors are used mostly as a perimeter detection device as they are applied directly to the window they are protecting.
Audio discriminators are an interior backup sensor as a signal sensor can protect several windows in the sensor's range.
Shock sensors are triggered by vibrations which occur when the window is tampered with or if it is struck.
These home security components are mounted right on the glass they are protecting by an adhesive backing or a small suction device.
Audio discriminators are triggered by detecting the acoustical sound wave of breaking glass.
There are a few different models of this home security component.
Some of these sensors if properly positioned are rated to detect glass breaking up to 50 feet or 15 meters away.
One particular model of an audio discriminator has a 360 degree pickup pattern.
It would depend greatly on the layout of a home to get the maximum coverage possible from this type of detector as they are specifically designed to be mounted on one’s ceiling.
Audio discriminators are an interior backup sensor but unlike motion sensors when an intruder breaks a window & triggers the alarm he/she is still on the outside of your home.
Where A Shock Sensor Will Work Best
When protecting the perimeter of your home one of the first things you need to identify is which windows in your home will most likely be targeted by an intruder? Windows that are likely to be targeted are ones you cannot see from a neighbors home or from a public area.
If any of these windows also turn out to be basement windows you really should consider using a shock sensor to protect these windows.
Basement windows are prime targets for intruders especially if they can work away without been seen.
Intruders are known to defeat glass break sensors that detect the sound of breaking glass by quickly placing several wide strips of duct tape over the small basement window before breaking it.
They will then take their time removing the shards of broken glass as they peel away the tape that is holding it in place.
As mentioned above a shock sensor gets applied directly to the glass which an intruder will easily see from outside your home & knowing there is an alarm inside will be enough in most cases to have him/her quickly move on.
Even if an intruder was determined to find a way in without tripping an alarm it would certainly not be through a basement window being protected by a shock sensor.
The slightest vibration made would be enough to trigger the alarm system.
I sincerely hope the above information provided you with a much clearer understanding of home alarm systems & how the various alarm components work.
I also hope it’s provided you with the insight you need to map out what components & detection sensors will work best for your home & family.
If you have any questions on this or any other web page please send me an email through this sites contact us web page.
You may also want to consider bookmarking this website as updated content & new web pages are uploaded weekly.
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