‘Hope is Not a Strategy’ – it’s a saying we’ve heard time and time again but nowhere is it more applicable than in reference to home security. Crime can touch anyone in any neighbourhood, which is why it’s so important to invest in a home security system that fits your needs and budget. When it comes to brands, the choices are endless but there are only a few basic types of home security systems. If you do your homework before heading to the store, you’ll save both time AND money. Let’s browse…
Unmonitored Alarm Systems
When tripped, these systems activate loud interior and exterior sirens and (often) flashing lights. Not unlike car alarms, they provide a deterrent by drawing attention to the scene of the crime and alerting those in the vicinity when there’s been a security breach. Typically, unmonitored alarm systems run on an electric current and are installed as part of the home build, but they can be purchased post-facto. Ideal for homeowners who can’t afford the added cost of a monitoring system, unmonitored systems may be relatively unsophisticated but are (for the most part) effective.
Wireless Alarm Systems
A close relative of the electric alarm system, wireless systems are available at the local hardware store and are very easy to install. Most models come with multiple settings – cameras, sensors, beams detectors – whatever best suits your particular needs. On the downside, these systems typically have a limited range and require new batteries on a fairly regular basis.
Monitored Alarm Systems
We’ve all seen the TV commercials; the attempted break-in, the reassuring phone call moments later… Essentially, monitored alarm systems are enhanced local alarms that are connected to live 24-hour support monitoring centres that act as intermediaries between you and the authorities. In the event of a breach, the monitoring centre will alert the police on your behalf, expediting the process so you don’t have to. Most monitoring centres will keep an eye on fire threats and carbon monoxide levels in your home as well. Some of the more sophisticated models incorporates motion sensors in windows and doors that route to a central control panel for ease of use. Naturally, monitored alarm systems come at a higher price-point than their unmonitored cousins but for many home-owners, the added assurance is worth it.
Smoke Alarm Systems
House fires don’t discriminate between neighbourhoods! Wherever you live, a quality smoke alarm system should be a mandatory purchase. These systems come in wireless or hardwired versions and often include strobe lights as an option. Most are upgradable with heat detectors and sprinkler systems, too.
Medical Alarm Systems
Popular with seniors and with those suffering from ailments that may require immediate attention, medical alarm systems connect to your monitored home alarm system. In the event of a medical emergency, the homeowner simply has to press the button on the central keypad to send the monitoring centre an alert for urgent medical assistance. This is an excellent system for elderly parents whose children live out of town.
Invest in a home security system. Invest in peace of mind.