If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time at home with your family. You come and go as needed (to work, to the grocery store), but for the most part, it’s just you and those who live with you under one roof. This can be a wonderful experience—the kind that brings happiness and fulfillment every day. But if something were to happen while you weren’t there—if an intruder broke in or there was a fire or some other emergency—you might not be able to protect your loved ones from harm.
So how do we keep them safe when we aren’t around? That answer is simple: by making sure they have the right kind of home security system. Because when you have one of these systems in place, you can be pretty much certain that your family is safe.
What kind of home security system will work best for you? You have many options—and not all are created equal. Here’s a little information about each option to help you decide which one is most appropriate for your family’s needs.
Home security systems are typically set up based on:
- Home location – Whether the home is a house, an apartment, or a mobile home.
- Home size – The number of rooms in the house, whether or not there are multiple levels, and how many people live there.
- Home level – Whether the home is a single-story structure vs. a multi-level building with stairs.
- Security priority – What do you consider most important in terms of security? Is it fire safety? Ease of access for emergency responders? The location of controls and sensors? Or something else entirely?
- Home layout – The placement of doors and windows, including sliding glass doors which can be a common entry point for burglars.
- Home design – This describes the building materials used to construct the home’s exterior and interior, as well as how long it will likely take for an intruder to break in.
- Home age – The age of your home, because older homes are often harder to secure than newer ones.
- Family members’ physical abilities – Whether the home is handicap accessible, or if there are elderly family members with limited mobility who will need special consideration.
- Family members’ daily activity routines – How many people in the home go out and come back at different times? Are there children who walk to school or wait for the school bus, teenage drivers who need access to the car, etc.?
- Home safety equipment – Equipment that can be used to prevent or mitigate injury in case of an emergency. These include fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide detectors, deadbolt locks, sliding door locks, an alarm system, sprinkler systems, fire extinguisher systems, and more.
- A crime map – This takes into account the crime rate in your neighborhood or city. You can find these maps on the internet—many of them are interactive so you can see the crime rate and density on a block-by-block basis.
- The best way to ensure your family is safe when you’re not around is to install a good home security system in your house.
- Home budget – The cost of different home security systems varies widely, particularly based on the amount of equipment and installation time required. A comprehensive security system can be expensive to install and maintain. But for many families, the peace of mind they get from knowing their loved ones are safe is priceless.
- The number of occupants living inside the house – The more people living under one roof, the greater the risk of someone being vulnerable to an intruder.
- Home protection plans – These are typically intended to help families protect their homes when they aren’t there. The plans cover all kinds of things like emergency access (a locked door when you trip your motion sensor), fire and smoke damage, and natural disasters.
If you find yourself asking questions like these, you’re not alone.
Each option has its own pros and cons. For instance, wireless security systems are easy to install yourself—but they don’t always work as well as you might like. Plus, if the alarms go off at night (when most intruders would break in), whoever is on duty knows about it right away (which means they can act immediately).
On the other hand, when you have an intrusion detection system in place, the home security company (that’s monitoring it) can contact you directly—no matter where you are. That’s because they will be alerted when your alarm is tripped, and they can try to reach you by phone or text. If they can’t reach you, they will then notify someone in law enforcement.
If your family wants a system that protects from events like fires and floods, you might consider opting for home protection plans instead of intrusive security systems. These types of plans are typically less expensive to maintain, but still offer many of the same benefits as a more comprehensive security system.
Keeping your family safe is of the utmost importance to you (and them). That’s why it’s so important to make sure they have the right kind of home security system in place, no matter what level of protection you deem necessary. You want something that will help keep everyone out of harm’s way—but you also want it to be as convenient as possible.
To start with, there are two main types of system—hardwired vs. wireless.
Most people choose to go with a wireless system simply because these models are less expensive than their hardwired counterparts. The hardwired system can provide a more secure connection and won’t be affected by interference from other appliances in the household, but wireless systems tend to be easier and less expensive to install.
The hardwired system is connected directly to the home’s electrical wiring, which reduces potential points of failure. This type of system also has fewer components (like sensors) that could malfunction. On the downside, most hardwired systems can only be installed by a professional with expertise in installing security equipment—meaning they will likely cost more to install than a wireless system.
If you choose to go with a hardwired system, you’ll need to connect the control panel and all of your sensors (like motion detectors) through an electrical junction box or transformer that feeds into the main electrical source in your home. This will provide power for the system as well as provide a direct connection to your home electrical system.
Hardwired systems offer the highest level of protection and work with your home’s electrical system to ensure that you will be alerted as soon as an intruder enters your home. There is no need to worry about breaking the connection because, if any tampering happens, you will be notified immediately. These systems also offer the widest range of connectivity, so you can ensure that every door and window is monitored.
Types of Hardwired Systems:
1) Panel-based Systems – The panel-based system is the least expensive, but also the least secure option. It’s a self-contained unit that contains all of your control options (like keypads and LCD screens) in one place. Although this system does allow you to monitor your home from anywhere, there are some limitations.
For instance, a panel-based system only provides “basic alarm” protection. That means that there is no fire or carbon monoxide monitoring, and you cannot control your home lighting from the panel.
Examples of Panel-based Systems are:
- GE Security: SimpliSafe and 2GIG
- DSC: Simon XT and SiX Series
2) Customized Systems – A customized system allows for more fine-tuned security options. The sensors are connected to a basic control panel, allowing you to monitor your home from anywhere. This system also offers fire and carbon monoxide monitoring. Since this is a customized system, installation costs are higher than the panel-based system.
Examples of Customized Systems are:
- GE Security: Quantum
- Honeywell: Lynx Touch L5210 and Lyric Controller
3) Standard – The standard wireless system offers the same control and protection as a hardwired system. Like a customized wired system, it requires installation by a professional but is still less expensive than a master system. This type of wireless system will provide you with fire and carbon monoxide monitoring and is still customizable.
Examples of Standard Systems are:
- GE Security: Lynx Touch L5210
- Honeywell: Lyric Controller
4) Master Systems – The master system is the most customizable option with 24/7 protection for all points of entry into the home. Because it is a self-contained system, it requires installation by a professional. The master system is the only option that offers cellular (instead of landline) communication and an autodialer.
Examples of Master Systems are:
- GE Security: Lynx Touch L7000 and Lyric Controller
- Honeywell: Lynx Touch L5210 and Lyric Controller
These three types of systems all require installation by a security technician but the price will vary depending on your home size and needs.
A wireless system is the easiest to install. The wireless system is connected through a transmitter and receiver that communicate with each other via low-power radio signals (similar to the way Wi-Fi works). Because this type of connection requires no wiring installation (some wireless models don’t require a home phone line or Internet access to function properly), it’s typically much easier to install than a hardwired security system.
The downside of a wireless system is that if the connection is disrupted (by someone tampering with it, for example), you won’t know about it right away—and that could leave your family vulnerable to an intrusion.
If you want more control over where sensors and detectors are placed in your home (or if there are parts of your house that are difficult to wire), you may want to consider this option.
Some wireless systems do offer the same type of security as hardwired systems but be prepared for potential limitations. For example, if your home is large or has thick walls, the signal may not reach every corner of the house—meaning you could be missing out on some potential security.
Types of Wireless Systems:
1) Basic – Basic wireless systems do not offer fire or carbon monoxide detection, and may not be able to communicate with your home’s electrical system. As a result, they will alert you to any activity through an alarm—but there is no guarantee that fire or carbon monoxide monitoring will happen.
Examples of Basic Wireless Systems are:
- GE Security: 2GIG Go!Control
- DSC: PowerSeries NEO
2) Advanced – This type of system is more customizable than the basic wireless system because it allows for installation in most homes without additional wiring, adding versatility to your home. However, these systems are typically more expensive since they offer advanced features and customization options (like cellular communication and auto-dialers).
3) Master – This type of system can be installed in virtually any home and offers the most complete alarm protection. It provides the same level of protection as a hardwired system but is also customizable. If you require 24/7 security monitoring for your entire home, this might be the best option for you.
Another consideration when choosing between these two types of home security systems is if it lowers the cost of your home insurance.
Some insurance companies will lower your insurance rate when you have a home security system installed. If this is an important consideration for you, be sure to include it in your research.
Familiarize yourself with the key terms for wireless systems so you are better prepared to explain to them when speaking with salespeople or looking at products online or in-store catalogs.
For example, some wireless systems will only connect with other Honeywell or GE systems while others like 2GIG and DSC’s PowerSeries NEO systems are open to more partnerships (and therefore compatible with more brands).
The installation also varies; some companies offer professional installation while others leave it to you to install the system on your own.
After reading everything above, do you still have questions?
Our team at SlimJim.Me Locksmiths are always standing by to help you out when it matters most – no matter what time or day of the week that may be.
Home security systems are important in securing your family’s safety. You can’t always be there to protect them, so having a home security system makes sure that intruders will be caught and dealt with.
Whether you’re looking for a wireless system or a hardwired system, your home security system will help in keeping your family safe when you’re not around.
As for which option is best, that will depend on your budget and what kinds of risks you’re most concerned about. But no matter which one you choose, it should offer some level of protection—and give your family members a sense of comfort and peace of mind when they’re at home.
For more information about which type of home security system might be right for your family, call us any time at (888) 889-0893. Thanks for reading!