So, what should a basic security alarm Include, one you’ll be proud to own? These are the standard components of a security alarm:
1. Control panel – the brain of your whole alarm system, contains a back up battery, and if it is a monitored system, this is where it is connected to the telephone line.
2. Keypad – by entering a code this is where you activate and deactivate a security alarm.
3. Siren – no need for explaining here. Just make sure to install a 30 watt siren so it can be heard even if all the doors and windows are shut in the house. Because most alarm companies install a 15-20 watt siren.
4. Indoor motion sensor – as you already presumed, they sense motion inside a room. How? They send radio energy and then monitor the reflection pattern. If a burglar is entering a room, the reflection pattern will be disturbed and the security alarm will activate and send a signal to the control box. For those of you that have pets or any kind of animal inside the house, you do not have to worry. There are available special alarms today on the market that will fit your and your pets needs. And you will not have to get up in the middle of the night because your dog accidentally triggered the security alarm.
5. Window contacts/door contacts – they both use a magnetic contact which tells you if a door or a window is opened. The magnet is placed on the very door or window, and the sensor is placed on the frame door or window. When the contact between the magnet and sensor is being broken, the alarm is activated.
6. Central monitoring station – if you have installed a security alarm that is being monitored and the alarm is set off, the previously mentioned control panel will send a message to a central monitoring station which is alert 24 hours a day. Then the central station tries to contact the homeowner, and if they do not succeed, they contact the police, medics or fire department. There is usually a fee associated with this potentially life saving service.
7. Panic button – a remote emergency device that activates the alarm either silently or with the siren blaring.
The expenses vary from model to model, from company to company. Many of the companies will offer the whole security system for free to qualified homeowners in exchange for a monitoring contract. The monitoring station gets the message and checks the alarm by calling the homeowner. If the station does not get an answer or the right password, they call the police/fire department or the medics. But usually the police first, who then respond.
Most home invasions happen during day because houses are more vacant then. So make sure that your residence looks the same whether you are home or away. Never leave notes on your front door which can tip off a burglar. Reduce the sound of your answering machine and phone itself so that a burglar cannot hear them from outside. If you are away for a longer period, pay a kid next door to mow the lawn every now and then, or shovel the snow.
But rest assured, over 90% of home security system owners are happy with their monitoring service and security alarms.