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Read articles and insight about home alarm systems, wireless equipment, fire alarms as well as other topics related to home security. We reviews of alarm systems and security technology so your shopping can be easy.
Home alarm systems are difficult to compare because few people have the technical knowledge to understand the meaning of the different specifications of each system. With years of experience in the home alarm systems space, we love to share our knowledge and supply reviews, advice and tips regarding the alarm systems available on the market.
Fire Alarm and Detection Systems
Finding the right fire alarm and detection system does not have to be difficult, but there are a few things that you must take into consideration, and a few steps that you need to take.
Smoke alarms act as an early warning system to allow for quick evacuation. In homes smoke alarms are either battery powered or hard-wired into the house’s electrical system. All alarms issue a noise or visual signal when set off. Three basic alarm types are Optical Alarms, ionization Alarms and Combined.
Once you have decided on the right type of fire detection and alarm system for your home, you will need to figure out where the best places are in your home to put them. This will largely depend on the size and layout of your home, and where people are sleeping in your home since after all, the primary job of these detectors is to awaken sleeping persons in the home.
With so many options to choose from and building and fire regulations to abide by, it could be a good idea to hire a professional fire alarm system installer.
If you want to make sure that you and your family are all as safe as possible at all times, you need to remember to check the in each of your fire alarms on a regular basis. The battery in each alarm should be checked every three months by pushing the test button on the front of the unit, and the battery should be replaced every 12 months. If you need to, write down the dates to check the batteries on your wall calendar or leave yourself a message on your computer calendar which will notify you at the appropriate times, so you will be reminded and check and replace the batteries when necessary. After all, there is no point having fire alarms if the batteries are dead.
Fire alarms are crucial to have in the home, no matter where you live and what other type of security measures you may have in place. Fire alarms can save you and your family’s lives, so ensure that no matter where you move to or how long you live there that you have proper working fire alarms. With the proper fire detection and alarm system in your home, you will be able to sleep more soundly at night knowing that you and your family will be warned in the event of a fire in your home.
Video Surveillance Systems
Video surveillance systems have become a popular tool to allow homeowners to view the events on the exterior of their home. There are many safety benefits associated with this type of a security system. They are not hard to operate and have become quite inexpensive. Here is how the right video surveillance system can make your home safer.
The video security system can give you an account of what is happening on your property. At home, the video surveillance system serves as your eyes, allowing you to inspect your property and home. With this type of system, you don’t even need to be present to make sure everything is secure.
Typically, video surveillance systems have been used by businesses. They are installed to watch for shoplifters and thieves, and to provide evidence in the event something fraudulent happens on their premises. Video surveillance also serves as a way to monitor employees, to ensure they are abiding by company policies and procedures.
Installation of video security cameras is very convenient, especially during non-business hours. This will help the owners to set up an automatic alarm system in case a trespasser enters the business establishment. There are surveillance systems that can be tied to an alarm system which can be turned on automatically to alert law enforcers.
Today, video surveillance systems are proving equally beneficial to homeowners. The extra security these systems provide are making them a must-have tool for every homeowner. Not only can these help to discover intruders on the property but they can used to view happenings inside of the home as well. These systems even allow for viewing if you are not at home via an Internet connection. This works very well if you are not at home as often as you would like.
Although nannies, housekeepers and other domestic aides undergo standard background checks, most homeowners still feel the need to be certain that their children and personal possessions are safe. Nowadays, you can never be too trusting. The home video surveillance system allows you to keep watch on your kids while you are away. You can make sure that your children are treated the way that you expect your nannies to do so.
Having a home video system also discourages household helpers from trying to sneak property from your home. They will not be as inclined to consider these acts if they know that you can see them. Many criminal acts done inside the household have been attested to because of footage recorded by an in-home video surveillance system.
Intruders are also threatened by home surveillance systems. They are well aware that if they are caught on video, they can be identified by law enforcement.
There are many benefits that can be gained through the installation of a video surveillance system. You can also feel safer when traveling and leaving your home, knowing your video surveillance system will watch over your property for you.
Choosing a Fire Alarm
Fire and smoke alarms are key elements of any home or business security system. They can literally save your life and that of your family members or co-workers. The safety these alarms offer is so important that selection of the right equipment for your needs is vital. There are many good choices, and several different categories of detectors.
Optical fire alarms are one option. These systems employ a light, sensor and a chip within the device. Optical fire alarms are also known as photoelectric fire alarms. They use a light and light receptor to protect your property. Simply put, if there’s smoke and that smoke gets in the way of light passing between the electric light bulb and the receptor, a chip in the optical fire alarm triggers the alarm to sound.
Another option: physical fire alarms which utilize the type of sensor that detects smoke in the air. Physical fire alarms do not have a light sensor that determines the presence of smoke. Instead, they have a particle sensor. Air rather than light is the analysis technique. When smoke particles are detected in the make-up of the air around the alarm, the alarm is triggered to sound.
Naturally, no matter what alarm type you select, you’ll want an alarm that will successfully warn you if there is a fire in your home or business. The size of your home or business is one factor you should consider – smaller spaces can make good use of a single, separate fire alarm system with a stand-alone circuit; larger residences or businesses should select fire alarms with a loop circuit, to make sure all areas are properly monitored.
In many cases you’ll also want to chose an alarm system based on its installation. Some you can install yourself; other will need to be installed by a technician well versed in National Fire Protection Association regulations. Always be sure to install smoke alarms everywhere in your home or business, from basement to attic.
Consider these five styles of alarm systems:
- dual sensor ionization and photoelectric sensor smoke alarms provide great, comprehensive protection from both flaming and smoldering fire types. These alarms make use of both ionizing and photoelectric technology to detect smoke particles.
- Wired in smoke alarms connect directly to your home’s power supply at the source: a junction box.
- Battery operated alarms are the simplest to install, and make use of inexpensive ten year nine volt or double A batteries.
- Wireless smoke alarms are the newest fire prevention tool, and work in a similar, stand alone fashion to battery alarms or as interconnected devices.
- Interconnected alarms are the most thorough form of protection, as they allow you to hear an alarm from anywhere in your home or work place. Regardless of what area the fire began, all the alarms will sound the alert.
No matter what alarm system you chose, protecting your property, family, or co-workers from fire is one of the most important safety choices you can make.
Choosing a Wireless Security Camera
Wireless security camera systems provide a wide range of home and business security protection – and are a vital part of any security system. You’ll find many different security camera systems from which to choose. They vary in terms of camera frequencies, size, shapes, and motion detector and night vision performance.
Let’s start with a look at wireless camera frequencies. Three common types are available to consumers: 900MHz, 2.4 Ghz, and 5.8 Ghz. In general, the lower the frequency number, the more powerful the wireless camera. The increased power that accompanies a lower frequency means that your camera signal will be able to more effectively reach and pass through walls and other objects with the potential to block imaging. Higher frequency camera frequencies will be less likely to create a signal that reaches through walls and solid objects; and you may need to purchase additional high frequency wireless cameras to be sure your property is fully monitored.
Wireless cameras come in a variety of sizes as well as frequencies. The smallest cameras are ideal if you wish to conceal your wireless surveillance for security or aesthetic reasons. In many cases however, having a camera visible, particularly on the exterior of your property, serves as an excellent deterrent to intruders. Larger sized cameras may also afford greater imaging range.
You’ll find wireless cameras available in various shapes as well as sizes. There are bullet or football shaped styles, and more rounded, dome cameras. You should select the shape of your camera based on the field of vision you would like it to encompass, and the clarity and quality of the visual images you wish it to transmit. In general, dome cameras have both a wider range and more defined picture quality. The standard viewing range of a dome camera is about forty-five to sixty degrees. This is an excellent selection for placement near entrances to your home or business, as it can easily document any approach to the property.
Another area to consider in choosing a wireless camera is the sensitivity of its motion detectors and night vision capabilities. Consider both your power source and your available lighting when selecting a camera. Particularly if you are relying on batteries rather than electrical power, or if you are trying to limit the amount of recording the camera makes, you’ll want to choose one of the many security camera systems that utilize motion detectors, in order to record only when movement is detected. If you’re looking for accurate imaging in a setting with limited light, choosing a security camera with infrared night vision will allow you to record black and white images cleanly up to fifteen meters in range.
With so many camera options available, you’ll want to base your wireless camera selection on your home or business size, location, lighting, and power access. And whichever camera or cameras you choose, make sure to position them with good access to electrical power, or be prepared to rely on batteries and check battery function frequently.
Selecting the Right Security System for You
Selecting a security system to protect your home or business means selecting a system that’s right for you. Your choices will be predicated on the size and location of the property you want to protect, your finances, and the basic security you may already have in place.
A good place to start is by assessing your security risks. You’ll find that the makers of many home security products provide free risk assessment. This analysis allows you to compare and contrast different types of systems and to decide which type best suits your needs.
Another area to address before you chose a security package may seem like standard, common sense but can be easy to forget, simple things like the construction of your doors and windows. Make sure both have sturdy frames. Make sure your door itself is of sturdy construction.
Be sure all doors and windows can be bolted and locked. Depending on your location, you may want to put grills on your windows which prevent access to your home or business even if the window glass is broken. Be sure that you have adequate standard lighting around the house entrances and at other areas on your property, such as near a garage or porch.
Whatever overall security system you select, be sure that you advertise it. Signs, stickers or logos are great advertising – for safety. And once you have installed a system, make sure you keep it in good working order and updated as necessary. Now, let’s look at some of the choices you can make in security system selection.
- Do you want an indoor or an outdoor system, or both?
- Most indoor home security systems are installed near windows or doors to check for movement inside the house, or movement attempting to enter the house through doors or windows. Motion sensors and a security alarm serve these purposes. With a control located near your front door, you’ll enter a special code to activate or disarm your alarm system when you leave or enter your home or business.
- An outdoor home security system secures your external property and grounds. Most outdoor systems control flood lights that brightly illuminate your property whenever there is movement on your grounds. Most models cannot be falsely triggered by an errant cat or possum, as intruder weight and size is monitored, preventing false alarms. Infrared sensors can also protect your property and is triggered not by movement but by body heat. Note that outdoor alarms can protect your vehicles as well as your home and grounds.
- Electricity or batteries?
- Batteries allow for continuous operation even during a power outage; however you must make sure that the batteries are in working order. Combination systems that relay on batteries and electricity are another option.
You’ll also want to decide if you require the additional security of wireless video surveillance or close circuit television to add another dimension to your property monitoring. Whatever security choice you make, the bottom line is this: choose the system that works best for your circumstances and allows you and your family or co-workers the most peace of mind.
Home Security Components
With a wide variety of home and business security systems on the market today, many consumers want to be sure that the system they select provides the security they need. To make sure the system you purchase is exactly what you want, it’s essential to know and understand the basic elements of every home security system.
Every system available today include the alarm itself, a sensor that registers any intrusion, and a controlling device that triggers the alarm if an intrusion occurs. The security systems may be operated via electricity in the home or powered through a battery. While battery-powered systems may offer the simplest installation techniques, they may not offer as wide a range of security coverage as necessary for your security needs.
Some security systems are self-contained, meaning they have each component – the alarm, control, and sensor – in one unit. These systems are usually most useful in small homes, offices, or apartments with a limited amount of square footage and entry points. These alarms may be activated by a simple motion detector, a change in air pressure, or high frequency sound. Whatever sensor type these smaller self-contained systems utilize, they are usually both less expensive and easier to install than other systems.
Other alarm systems use separate elements, separating the sensor from the control as well as the alarm. These more sophisticated systems allow you to protect many rooms with one system. Individual sensors are positioned at windows and doors, concealed from any potential intruder. With several control stations located around the house, these security units allow you to activate all or just some of your sensors at any given time.
Some of these systems can alert you as to whether any windows are open or closed; they also contain panic buttons, which can be a great help in the event of an emergency, or if you detect a potential intruder outside your home. This type of system operates by activating a code. And these security units can sound an alarm at your home or office, with local law enforcement, a security monitoring service, or all of these.
Whether the security system you choose is a simple self-contained unit or a more elaborate one with separate elements, you can select a system that serves as either a home intrusion alarm or a broader range home area alarm.
An intrusion alarm may be set up to sound a loud alarm at the point of entry, to sound outside to alert neighbors and passer-bys, or it may be set up to connect directly to law enforcement or a security monitoring service. Some intrusion alarm systems have a perimeter alarm that is triggered by a point of entry intrusion; others operate using a motion sensor inside your home.
A home area alarm differs from an intrusion alarm in that it uses sound waves to detect motion, which triggers an alarm. Some use ultrasonic waves or microwaves. While this type of system offers broader coverage, when choosing it, take into consideration the potential for false alarms when positioning the sensors.
Remember, regardless of what type of security system you purchase, be sure you know and understand the basic elements of every home security system to assist you in making the right selection for your home or business.
How Home Security Cameras work
Many home security systems are not complete without the inclusion of security cameras. These systems give property owners the ability to view any potential intruders, and can also be employed to keep an eye on care givers in your home. Having the ability to view your surroundings and assess any risks to you or your home is an important component of home and business security. Security cameras are basically a second, ever vigilant set of eyes, keeping watch over your property and the area around it.
Adding a security camera to any security package is both simple and functional. All cameras are connected to a central security system on your property. The camera sends a recorded image via either digital or analog signals. These images are sent to your security system’s control center so they can be seen through a TV, cell phone, or computer. And you have the ability to save the video images on a VCR, DVR, or to a computer.
Many wireless security cameras designed for home use work by utilizing radio frequencies. Using video as a recording technique, wireless home security cameras store images on to a VCR. They can then be viewed on a closed circuit television monitor. Often the image quality of this type of system is slightly blurry. More importantly this type of system does not fully secure your image data however, as the signal is not encrypted. Thus, potentially, this type of system could be hacked and your personal data viewed by others.
However, a more secure and state of the art camera system is available to consumers. Today, more cameras are using WiFi to send visual image signals. These security cameras employ a wireless router to send the signal over the Internet directly to your computer. From your computer, you are able to see the images as well as recording them. You will also be able to send the images to your phone, television, or send them to other viewers off site using the Internet.
If you are away from home, you can still keep an eye on the premises through your lap top or video enabled phone. Wireless home security cameras are often more costly than radio frequency operated systems, but the images they provide are crisp and clear as well as offering more flexibility in viewing options. Most importantly, the wireless images are encrypted, making the visual transmissions virtually impossible to hack and fully secure.
An encrypted transmission scrambles data sent by your camera to the control center of your home security system, so that no unauthorized viewers trying to access the visual information can view it. There’s no information being translated to any one who is not authorized to see the images.
Regardless of which type of camera system you choose, including a visual monitoring device as a part of your home security system greatly enhances your ability to control your environment and increase the safety of your family members and property.