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Home Security Guide

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Significance of Home Security in Modern Times

Definition of home security is no more a bunch of locks and grills; it has been advanced to much greater extent , with people using devices as simple as a burglar alarm to advanced home surveillance systems.

And, yes; there is reason why more and more people are investing into these kinds of systems. Safety and peace of mind, two words come into everyone’s mind.

With increase in the number of theft, and other serious crimes, it’s quite obvious that people are drawn into the idea of having to consider installing home security systems to protect their family and possessions.

Since now we know how critical the home security is, let’s try looking into few other areas of it.

Types of Home Security

Most of the people get overwhelmed when it comes to understanding or interpreting the types of home security devices or systems available. Reason for the confusion arises from the vast choices that are available to choose from. However, not all these choices are similar. They vary according to need, budget and long term vision of the home owner in terms of securing his/her home.

We have tried to cover most frequently adopted home security devices/products.

Security Alarms

While there are many variations of security alarms, most popular one being a wireless security alarm. Simply put, it’s a combo of an alarm, usually loud sound that rings outside the house and a chime that rings inside the house.

GE Personal Alarm Kit

GE Personal Alarm Kit

They are usually very affordable and installation is a breeze. You can set them up in minutes , start protecting your houses from intruders and keep yourself alert in case of an unforeseen event of burglary.

Personal Security Alarms Such as a GE Personal Alarm Kits are extremely popular in this segment.

Outdoor Fake Cameras

Fake Camera Outdoor

A Dummy Camera

Also called as dummy cameras, they are inexpensive ways to drive away miscreants. You can get one of such fake cameras and get it installed outside your house to create an impression of highly guarded surveillance system.

This can effectively scare intruders and save your house from a possible robbery or mishap. Outdoor fake cameras are usually very inexpensive and most of them are designed to be water/weatherproof.

Windows Alerts

Here is another affordable way to secure your home windows. As name implies, they are designed to safeguard your home and are placed at windows. When someone tries to open windows from outside, the sensor within the window alert gets activated and produces a loud sound so that the owners/neighbours are alerted.

Wireless Home Security Alarm Kits

In today’s smart world, the home security systems too have become smart. The alarms have become smarter with the wireless technology!  Forget those long hours of drilling and running wires through the walls. Also save on the cost of professional installation, because nowadays these wireless home security options come with the DIY tag and can be set up by a home owner in no time.

Honeywell Wireless Home Automation

Honeywell Wireless Home Automation Kit

Wireless home security alarm kits employ sophisticated, high tech sensors to detect unanticipated motion, broken locks, breaking glass and other intrusion events.  These units are designed to send out an alert, audible or inaudible to the home owner (can be configured to send alerts to multiple people) and also signal the authorities of a possible intrusion.

The efficiency of these system lies not only in averting a potential intrusion, but also identifying the defaulters with the help of video surveillance cameras equipped with night vision and zoom.

With high competition and demand for higher security, there are new featured being bundled in. By paying a nominal fee one can avail the service of the company for remote monitoring of their homes by safety professionals.

>> Learn More about a Best Rated Wireless Home Security Alarm Kit on Amazon <<

So next time you get out of the house- may be for 10 minutes or for a month, be at peace knowing that your home, family and valuables are safe. With these smart systems you can keep a watch on your kids arriving and leaving the house, right there at your office desk. What’s more you can enjoy your vacation on the other side of the world while keeping an eye on the entire house.

Cameras and DVRs

While alarms notify you when there is an intrusion, such alarms could be useless if you can’t stop the intrusion then and there. Also if there is a need to monitor the location continuously even while you are not physically present there, the alarms do not serve the purpose. So the next option is capturing the video footage. For this a video surveillance system is the best option.

DVR CamerasWhen choosing a surveillance system, the digital video recorder (DVR) will prove to be the most important component. DVR security systems (digital video recorders) along with security cameras, enable you to record the video clips, and play it back at a later point of time.

Today’s surveillance systems let you monitor the security footages from a collection of cameras. Multiple cameras can be installed in different parts of the location thus getting different views of the property/location. The monitoring can be done either at the physical location where the cameras are deployed or any remote place using internet through your PC, tablet or even on a smart phone.

The technology is so advanced that you can connect the DVR to up to 16 cameras at a time. There are DVRs which can record at night, outdoors and in HD quality. The DVR comes with either a built in HDD or can depend on a host PC for storage.

The DVRs can store close to 2TB of video footage and you can even extend the memory with an external memory card. Some DVRs are capable of powering the cameras, thus eliminating the need of a wired power source where the camera is deployed. The system can be configured to record the footage in various resolutions.

With all these advanced features, DVRs provide you with a sophisticated live monitoring system. It gives you the flexibility to configure the number of cameras and the quality of footage as per your need.

Wireless Day/Night Surveillance Cameras

The moment you think about surveillance cameras, the image that comes to your mind would be multiple cameras installed in those shopping malls and a security professional monitoring those footages on multiple monitors. No it is not that complex these days.

Especially for home use, there are simple but powerful surveillance cameras available. So if your purpose is to keep a watch on your home for any possible intrusions or you just want see what your baby is doing when you are away; these cameras are a boon.

Dlink CameraAs the name suggests most of these cameras are wireless, thus eliminating the need for painful drilling and wiring. You can literally place them anywhere in the house (or outside).  The cameras offer day night service!

They are equipped with IR night vision feature that can capture images at night also. This feature is pretty useful when the camera needs to monitor a poorly lit room or when it is cloudy outside. Many of the cameras with come with motion sensors as well. They can alert you depending on the sensitivity level you have set. This setting will reduce the false alarms.  Apart from this, a few cameras are equipped with a microphone and a speaker.

So next time you are out and a burglar tries to break in, you can have chat with him!!!!. Just kidding! But yes you can surely communicate with your kids and remind them of their TV time/study time when you are away.

But where can you watch those images and video footages captured by your cam? There are multiple options.  You generally don’t want the images to be stored into a PC or laptop. Because you would want to view it remotely as well.

>> Checkout a Best-Rated Wireless Day/Night Surveillance Camera on Amazon <<

Generally these cams use a Web portal, which can be accessed, monitored and controlled from any part of the world. Some vendors even let you watch multiple camera stream simultaneously on a single screen. Some vendors offer you the cloud storage feature, where in you can store images and monitor from the cloud.  These storage options on the web portal and in the cloud might incur a monthly subscription fee. A few cams come with a built in storage device like a microSD card, which lets you store the footage and images locally.

Apps are available on your smart phone to control and monitor these cameras. You can literally tilt the camera to multiple angles to get different views of the room. There are options to zoom in and also highlight a specific area for monitoring.

These cameras can be integrated to your existing home security systems easily. This lets you get an alert and also intimates the authorities in an emergency. With the advancing technology, a multitude of cameras are available in the market. You can choose the one suited to your home and its needs.

Drive-way Patrols

Driveway PatrolDid you always want to be notified when there is a car approaching your drive-way? Drive-way patrols are here to help you. In fact a drive-way patrol can be used  to monitor the driveway, garage, mailbox and countless other places.

These alarms consist of 3 main units- A transmitter, a receiver and a sensor.  The sensor is a powerful, weather proof outdoor unit which detects motion. The transmitter in turn send a signal to the indoor receiver. The receiver will chime to alert you of a probable visitor at your drive way. These alarms could be wired or wireless.

Before we discuss more about the drive way patrols we need to know what is the requirement- why do we need the alarm: Do we need to sense only vehicles? Or do we need to detect people and animals as well? Based on these features, there are different types of sensors

Motion: These are most popular type of sensors. The motion sensor uses passive infrared (PIR) beams to detect the movement in its range. This will sense the movement of both people (including animals) and vehicles.

Probe: Some alarms use electromagnetic vehicle detection to sense the moving vehicles. This will not sense the movement of people or animals thus reducing the chances of false alarms. These sensors are buried into the ground and so will be invisible.

Rubber Hose Driveway Sensors: These are simple, soft rubber hoses. They are laid on the ground. When a heavy object like a car travels over it, an alarm is triggered. They are pretty inexpensive, but not very effective during heavy snowfalls.

Photo Beam (Break Beam) Sensors: These are very effective and efficient detectors. They basically have two units kept on either side of the doorway and have multiple beams passing between them. When a vehicle passes, all the beams get cut simultaneously and an alarm is triggered. This also works when a human being passes the drive way. But will not work when some small animals, birds etc. pass as all the beams might not get cut simultaneously and thus reduce false alarms.

Drive way patrols can be used as standalone systems or can be integrated to work with your home security system by invoking a live video feed when an alarm is triggered. With all these features, a drive way patrol surely adds to your convenience and security.

Solar Powered Motion Sensing Lights

Solar Powered Motion Sensor Light

Solar Powered motion sensing lights are the best solution to your outdoor lighting needs. Since they have the motion sensors, they actually work as and when needed instead of lighting up continuously. So next time you go out at night, be sure of an illuminated pathway which lights up exactly when you arrive and switch off when you have passed.

It also adds to you security by lighting up when an intruder approaches the premises where the light is installed.
Since its solar powered, you can forget about the wires and installation pains. This unit is wireless and portable. You can simply mount it on the bracket provided and even carry it around like an emergency lamp.

The lights can be used in not so sunny areas also; by exposing them once in a while to the bright sun, to get them recharged. Since the power is free and can be recharged easily, it is the perfect choice for your porch, garage or walkway.

It generally has a very impressive range and can light up a large area. In addition to that, the sensors are quite powerful; with almost 100 degree range you might not need to wave your hands continuously against the light, so as to make it detect your presence. It will easily detect you and illuminate your path for a while and then switch off automatically. This will give you enough time to find your keys and open the door.

They are designed for the outdoors. Hence they are quite sturdy and weatherproof. Wait no more! Get yourself those small wonders and light up the outdoors just with your presence!

Integrated Home Security Systems (Advanced)

We have already discussed about the Home security systems. Most of the security systems available in the market provide HD video monitoring, motion sensing and high quality two way audio interaction. But today home security has gone beyond the limits of burglars and intrusions.

Apart from monitoring intruders, modern home security systems provide monitoring for gas leakage, floods, fire detection and even tracking the activities of your babysitter.

With the advanced gadgets and cutting edge technology, these system have taken a plunge into home automation as well.  You can now control the events in your home using your security system. Interactivity is the key in this era of automation.

The security system lets you control your lights, appliances and even control the temperature inside the house- all through a single interface (generally a smart phone).  With the wireless and cellular technology, you get the power to perform these task anywhere in your home; you can do it even when you are miles away.

Some system let you schedule the automation as well. In this way you can probably make the system switch on the porch light in the evening. Some vendors provide electronic door locks which can communicate with the security systems.  So the door can be locked and unlocked through your phone rather than going to the door personally.

If you are at office when your kids come home; you can see that in your monitor and instruct the door to open! Simply tap the phone to switch on the lights and fan when they are in.  Well that’s MAGIC!

While choosing a home security system, be informed of the wide options available. This will make you take a better decision. We believe that an informed customer is more powerful and safe!

>> Wired or Wireless? Confused ? Checkout our Guide on Choosing the Right One <<

Leading Brands/Makers/Suppliers

Following is the list of few popular brands in the field of Home security systems

How to Choose the Right Home Security Product/Service?

There is a plethora of options when it comes to security systems. This can easily confuse a consumer. So the first thing one should do is determine the needs of your house and the family. Once you determine what you need, you can check out what is available in the market and match it according to your needs.

Best Security system will provide you effective means to protect your valuables and family by providing you different alerting and monitoring options, a huge collection of security equipment and a good customer service. It’s not that difficult. We provide you a few guidelines that help you choose the right product for your home.

>> See Our Recommendations for 5 Best Personal Security Alarms <<

Cost

This seems to be one of the most important factors. While deciding the cost, you need to consider the different types of cost involved.

  • Installation cost
  • Equipment cost
  • Subscription cost

Of course look out for any discounts that you can grab!

Did you Know That You Can Secure Your Home Without Having to Spend a Fortune? Checkout these 5 Inexpensive Ways to Acquire that Peace of Mind

Terms and conditions

Pay attention to the terms and conditions, including the fine prints. Compare the tenure of the contract offered by various companies. Also consider the options to cancel the contract (could be first few weeks of signing the contract), in case you are not satisfied with the service. Also, check if they provide support during relocation in term of installation and portability.

Alerts

The security systems today can alert you about different types of emergencies. The alert could be for anything from an intrusion, fire or  broken glass. These are some of the basic alerts almost all the systems provide. In addition to these, the companies may provide you with some more alerts that deal with floods, medical emergencies etc.  The response time for the alerts is also an important factor. The security system with the shortest response time will be the most effective one.

Hardware and Equipment

The Security system comes with a variety of devices and sensors. Choose the ones that suit the needs of your home. For example: a small courtyard might not require a sensor with huge working range. So you can concentrate on low range sensors which will save you time and money. Similarly, it’s always advisable to go for a wireless kit as they provide you more flexibility, easier installation and more reliability (in case of power failures).

Make sure you have all the necessary equipment like motion detectors, cameras, sirens.  A good security system is the one which secures all the exit/entry points in your house with sensors and allows remote monitoring through multiple cameras.  This is needed to secure your home in the true sense.

Monitoring Service

The company can charge you a monthly fee and provide you with monitoring services. This could include 24 hour monitoring, wherein your house will be under surveillance round the clock, 365 days. But you can also choose to turn on the 24 hour monitoring only when you are away (may be a vacation or trip).

The company could provide you internet based monitoring which enables you to access your system via the company website. It could also provide cellular monitoring which lets you control and monitor the system using the mobile apps. They can charge you a monthly fee for these services as well.

Help and customer service

It is important to be able to able to contact your customer care/ security professional, especially during an emergency. Some systems come with a panic button that let you intimate the security professional silently, who in turn intimates the authority and helps prevent any security breach.

The system comes with installation guides and FAQ documents to help the customers learn the system better. Generally the company will provide support via phone, email or online chat.

Home automation

Apart from offering security solutions, most of the security systems today provide home automation solutions as well.  This might incur extra cost though. The system lets you control the appliances and lightings thus helping you save energy and money. You can even lock and unlock the door for your kids from a remote location with this feature.

Service upgrades and downgrades

Your requirements can change over time- the size and need of family/home can vary. In such cases there should be a provision to change the plans and to add/remove services with ease.