Home security has always been a big part of humanity ever since we began living in spaces with walls, doors, and windows. When building a house, people often wonder how to choose a security system for it.
It would be beneficial to look at how humans have secured their homes down the line. Our first form of security was to shut these openings to our home. There are bad people everywhere.
They are always looking for an opportunity to go into unguarded spaces and cart off other people’s property. Security in the past used to be very weak, but we invented complicated locking systems that further boost the security of our lives and property at home, and we’ve been improving on that ever since.
Humans have gone from the old ways of locking the doors and shutting the windows to other sophisticated home security forms. Home security systems are now advanced because the thieves and other types of criminals out there have gotten smarter about breaking into homes.
There was a whole timeline in human history when people had to deal with key forgery because burglars forged master keys to open several types of locks.
This development led to other sophisticated means of home security, some of which will be revealed to you in this article. Technology has been leveraged to protect the home.
If someone from the 1700s time-traveled to this era, the shock from seeing the unbelievable home security systems we now have would probably kill them. That shows how good technology has gotten in securing homes.
However, many people are not leveraging the availability of these devices. They are falling prey to attacks that could easily have been avoided, or at least the perpetrators caught if security systems were present in the home.
Read on to discover things you may not know about modern home security systems.
How to Choose a Home Security System
What components make a home security system?
The modern home security system is, as expected, a system of different components.
These components determine how robust it will be in protecting your life and property.
Your home security system is only as good as the devices that make it up.
Home security components include motion detectors, outdoor and indoor surveillance systems, glass break sensors, sensors on your doors and windows, smoke detectors, etc.
They are all usually connected to a central hub in the home that utilizes whatever information they provide to secure your home. This central interface also has some security features that shield it away from unauthorized access by intruders.
That seems the right thing to do if you think about it. A burglar can always just go-ahead to attack the central system controlling all devices to disable them.
To understand how they all come together, there needs to be a fundamental understanding of each home security system component. This information is also important to have in hand when you are having negotiations with a company that provides this service.
You will know the extent you want your home secured and what sensors you do not mind having in your home. Collectively, the parts of a home security system can be divided into three and are, Sensors, Alarms, and monitoring.
If you do not know what a sensor is but you sense its meaning has something to do with the ability to sense things, then you are right.
Sensors sense; that is the short description of what they do.
They listen for real-world interruptions and make an action with that interruption.
They listen for the interruption and the degree of interruption. Interruptions refer to real-world phenomena like a change in temperature, a change in wind velocity, motion, pressure, etc.
A sensor listens for a change or start of any of these phenomena, measures it in some cases, provides that data to some central system, or does something with it.
There are so many times in the home that these actions take place. People walk around the home all the time, cook in the kitchen, and there is a temperature difference there and so much more.
The sensor as an input device looks out for all of this to protect your home. But, how? That is a good question. It does this in several ways, and some examples are given below. For example, suppose apples keep going missing in your garden.
You have always suspected someone in your neighborhood goes to your garden to pluck your apples whenever you are not home. Still, you do not want to raise the alarm until you are sure it is not just some mysterious bird carting off your apples.
A sensor can help you confirm that not only is your apple getting stolen by a human, but it can also help you know when they do this heinous thing. How? There is a sensor that detects the body heat of human beings to tell when a human is around.
Different life forms give off different levels of heat, and a sensor can help tell the difference. A sensor coupled with a time recording device can help you know when they come into your garden, which creates a possibility of setting a trap to catch the apple thief.
Suppose you know when they come into your garden, and there is a pattern. In that case, you can take that information to a security agency. They can help you lie in wait for the apple thief.
There! Sensors have just helped you make your home a safer place.
Alarms alert you when something goes against the rules you’ve set it to go. Alarms work hand-in-hand with sensors to make home security systems more efficient.
If you’ve ever had to wake up on time, you know how useful alarms are in helping you achieve that aim. That is what alarms do in security systems.
They cause you or other people to notice an anomaly where there shouldn’t be one. An example will help put some spotlight on how they work.
Alarms in the home are useful when you are absent in some form from your home. Being absent may mean being physically away from your home or being present in your home without actively guarding it because you may be asleep or be indisposed in some other way.
Your home can be fitted with a motion sensor that observes when someone comes to the front of your door. There are certain periods of the day when you do not expect anyone to visit you in your home.
When you go to bed at night, it would be odd if someone came to your home at, say, 2 a.m without calling in first. It is safe to assume anyone who does that has malicious intent, and an alarm can stop them.
The sensor strategically concealed at your home entrance can detect when they arrive there, which can be configured to trigger an alarm in the house that wakes you up to the intrusion. This buys you time to arm yourself or call the police.
Apart from buying you time, the pricking sound of the alarm at that time of the night will also drive some fear into them, which could scare them off or cause them to pause, giving you some precious seconds to defend yourself.
Alarms can be used without sensors too. A common variation of the installation of this device in the home is when people couple it with their home’s doors so that when they go in, it goes off.
They then need to stop the sound by entering a secret passcode. Suppose an intruder can get in but cannot shut off the alarm.
In that case, some of these alarm systems are usually integrated with police protection systems that notify them so they can come to your aid. People also use silent alarms, which do not give off an audible sound when it is set off.
These silent alarms are used by people who are more concerned with catching the criminals in the act. The alarm goes off, but at a nearby police station. They get alerted to the crime going on, but the criminals do not know their presence has been announced.
They can quietly come over and place them under arrest.
Monitoring systems refers to surveillance systems that can provide you with the real-time state of affairs in your home no matter where you are in the world. Monitoring systems are majorly made up of cameras.
They are powerful devices because not only can you see what is going on in the house from anywhere, they also make recordings for posterity’s sake.
So if a crime is committed and the criminals successfully escape, the recordings can help the police identify and catch them. Monitoring systems are more than just a bunch of cameras these days.
Real-time systems can access sensor data to provide you with the level of smoke in your home, how hot your home is, how many times people go in and out of your home, the level of electricity you consume, etc.
Professional Install or DIY
Someone has to set up your home security system for you, or do they? In the end, the final choice depends on you. Still, it would help if you weighed out both options’ benefits and disadvantages before choosing either.
This refers to outsourcing the job of securing your home to an individual who is a professional or company that specializes in home security.
While this may seem like the right option, there are cons too. A professional, be it a company or an individual, will get the job done faster and have the tools needed to get the job done.
They also know the latest devices to use and the shortcomings of several popular devices.
On the other hand, it is expensive to hire a professional because no matter how simple the job looks, you are really paying for their years of experience, not that one job of securing your home.
Also, allowing a professional to handle your home’s security creates one loophole that could be exploited. They will know the weak spots of your home’s security.
DIY means Do-It-Yourself. You will basically be tasking yourself with the responsibility of securing the house.
It is the cheaper option, but it has some disadvantages.
Some of the instructions you may run into might be old, which could leave your home vulnerable to attacks.
If you’ve never had to secure a home before, you might get confused along the line and end up hiring a professional.
Professional monitoring systems usually cost a monthly fee by the company that sets it up for you.
Most do not expect you to pay for the entire system upfront.
They prefer to charge you monthly for it throughout the lifetime of your home.
There is no reason why you should not be investing in the security of your home. Many people view it as a luxury and associate home security systems with the wealthy, but that should not be the case.
The rich have important things to protect, and so do you. Your life is important, and you should not wait until an attempt is made on your life to get yourself secure.
If you have decided to invest in the security of your home, that is great. You have to be aware, though, of the shortcomings of some of these systems. You have to take extra care when hiring a company to help you secure your home.
They have to be a company with an impeccable track record. One reason for this is because you do not want to create a vulnerability for your home.
You do not want to make your house unsafe when you are spending money to do the opposite. One more shortcoming of security systems is that they need to be upgraded frequently.
Malicious actors hardly take a break from trying to figure out how to get into those devices. You do not want to install cameras in your home only to end up having them used to spy on you.
Here at Ram Research, we are big advocates for home security systems. They work great to deter intruders, especially when adequately installed. So, take extra care when getting one.