What to look for in home security systems?

Reading Australia’s crime statistics and learning that the average number of theft offenders per year has reached 79,000+ is alarming. This is one reason a security system becomes an essential part of every home. Planning to install one now, but have no idea on what to look for in home security systems?

What to look for in home security systems?

Hardware and software features are the first things to look for in a home security system. This is a good assurance that it can cater to all the needs of your property, protection-wise. Other than that, it’s ideal to look for the home security system’s ease in installation, additional perks, and customer service ratings as well.

Hardware Features

For the home security system hardware, the features that are commonly included are the main control panel, sensors alarm, and camera (optional).

  • The main control panel is the brain of the security system. It is commonly designed with a touchpad that you can use to set the components that can communicate with other components.
  • The sensor of the home security system has a different function. But the most common is designed to be placed on all the entry points at home – door and window. It will trigger the alarm when an entry point is opened. Other sensors can work to detect heat, flood, freeze, glass break, motion, and carbon monoxide.
  • The alarm works the same for all brands. The only difference you can notice is the sound and light it produces. There are some security system alarms that produce both sound and light, but there are some that only produces high decibel sounds.
  • Though the camera is an important factor in a home security system, it’s still an optional feature. If you are considering including it, the features that you need to find on it are a good resolution, infrared LED for night vision, and flexibility in movement (pan, tilt, and zoom). It must also work via internet or ethernet cable, has built-in storage, and heavy-duty batteries for it to last long.

Software Features

For the home security system software, the features that are commonly included are the system for monitoring, remote control, motion detection, notification alerts, and image quality.

  • The conventional monitoring feature can only be viewed on a computer or television screen. But with today’s technology, a home security system can also be monitored on a smartphone by downloading its’ application. This is much more convenient because you can check your house even you are away.
  • Home security systems nowadays also offers a remote control. This remote can move the camera up, down, zoom in and out, and tilt.
  • The motion detection is an important feature of the home security system because it is the one that will detect unauthorised movements around the house. Motion sensors have 2 categories: 1) the passive sensor identifies changes in the environment’s temperature using infrared heat levels. If it detects temperature change, the scanner will sense it, and trigger the alarm. And 2) the active sensors. This sensor uses a radar that produces radio waves, once the wave has been disturbed by any type of movements, the motion detector will trigger the alarm.
  • Since the home security system is now available on smartphones, you can receive all the notification alerts on it via an SMS message or e-mail.
  • For image quality, clarity is the most important factor to consider. Make sure the camera in your home security system can produce a clear image quality during daytime and at night.
  • The cost of a home security system can be expensive. This is understandable as it provides reliable protection. But if you want to lessen the cost, the best thing to do is look deeper on what’s included on the cost. The important cost that you must avail is for maintenance and ongoing monitoring.

Note: The monitoring, remote control, and image quality feature are only applicable if the home security system you purchased includes a CCTV camera.

Ease in installation

The home security system can be installed in two ways: professional and DIY installation. The method to use will depend on your property’s type. The professional installation is advisable for those who live in remote areas or large-sized properties. The advantage of this method is the professional home security system specialist will thoroughly assess your property’s layout and place the sensors (and other devices) in the best part of the house. While for its disadvantage is the additional cost.

For DIY installation, this is advisable if the home security system you purchased is wireless because it has a simple process. The only advantage of this method, over the professional installation, is you are in full control of the installation with no additional cost. While for the disadvantages, if something gets out of hand you may end up stuck for hours.

Additional Perks

The common additional perks that home security systems provide is advanced technology such as home automation. This feature is advisable if you live in a smart home because it will give you the comfort to lock and unlock doors, adjust the temperature or activate the lights on with the use of smartphones or computer.

Customer service ratings

This is not on the technical side of the home security system, but it’s a must to look at. Since a home security system is a long-term investment, it’s just right to choose a company that has a friendly and accommodating customer service support. This is to ensure that you will get the proper treatment and solution for every problem or concern you will have regarding the home security system.

There are two ways to find out the customer service rating, research about the company or call them directly. Researching a company becomes easy because of the internet. But the advisable option is to call them yourself because experiencing firsthand the way the customer service representative treats you and see how they respond to your concern is much reliable than reading reviews. The characteristics that you must look at to the customer service representatives are long patience, confidence and provide accurate solutions to your problems.

Featured Photo Courtesy of Emiliano Vittoriosi via Unsplash 

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