January 20, 2012
Anatomy of a Burglar Alarm Security System Part II
One note: The importance of fire and environmental monitoring cannot be overstated, such as for smoke, carbon monoxide, temperature changes and for water detection. This certainly could/should have been included in the previous article about the "core" of a system.
We hope you had a chance to read part I of this article published earlier in the week about the core of a burglar alarm system. Today, we'll talk about some of the ancillary features that aren't always included, yet still hold importance regarding your safety.
Pictured above are security window screens tied into an alarm system.
One such complementary piece of equipment is a security screen, which will signal the alarm if it is cut because the wire circuit within the mesh will have been interrupted. It also has a magnet in place, similar to a window or door contact, that will signal if the screen is removed. This allows you to keep your windows open at night in the warm months and still feel secure.
Also, make sure to consult with a locksmith to ensure that your locks are secure and that you have the proper locks, such as deadbolts. Make sure that your sliders have adequate locks and that your garage doors have contacts on them.
You'll also want to make sure the door from your garage into your house is solid and that its lock is legitimate. Just because it is inside your garage doesn't mean you should neglect it--thieves could break through a garage window and enter your house through this door.
Cellar windows and bulkheads are often overlooked. Make sure to also have your security consultant examine these and provide recommendations.
Lighting is another important component of a security system. It is advised to have motion sensor lights on the exterior; this literally stops thieves in their tracks. For the inside, you can set timer lights to go on and off at various times throughout the day and night (on their own), simulating a situation where someone is home.
With both interior and exterior lights, it isn't effective to have them turned on all the time (such as overnight if you go away)--a thief will see right through this. You can also tie your lighting into your interior motion detectors so lights will turn on if a thief passes by.
Wireless transmitters that go on your key chain (key fobs) are another option. They allow you to arm and disarm your system from your driveway and to not have to worry about rushing to a keypad. Two-way transmitters will also notify you if the alarm is active or not, thereby indicating that it may have gone off while you were away and that you need to take caution when entering.
Voice annunciator systems help keep thieves away as well. A motion detector goes at the end of your driveway, or in other perimeter locations for instance. When it picks up motion, it prompts a pre-recorded announcement to play and warns thieves to stay away.
Remote video monitoring is another reasonably priced and easily installed option. ISee Video, manufactured by Napco Security, allows you to monitor your home while at work or on vacation. No software is required--just an internet connection.
You can view your family pet or nanny on your smart phone or computer. You can receive email video alerts if motion is detected as well, such as when your children come home from school. It's also a great way to keep tabs on elderly relatives' safety.
Please don't forget about using people as a security measure...including yourself! Have the neighbors make tracks in the walkway snow if you're away in the winter and ask them to remove restaurant flyers from your doorknobs, take in trash barrels and mail, etc.
And as for yourself, one thing you can do is to make sure to USE YOUR SYSTEM. Many people have them installed, get the decals for doors and windows and even a sign for the lawn, then rarely actually use the alarm.
Thanks for spending some time with us today.