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Home Security Equipment Information

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Products and Devices
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Here you will find some basic home security equipment information. If you would like to see the actual equipment that you can buy online then please see our products and devices section. If you elect to go with a home security monitoring service then some or all of the equipment that is on this page will be included in your system package. This home security equipment information is mostly intended for DIY enthusiasts who would like to buy and setup their own home security system.

Basic Equipment

The basic equipment of a home security system consists of locks, gates, alarms, sensors, wireless video cameras, motion detectors, watch dogs, etc. The basic parts of an alarm system include the main control panel, security pad, panic buttons, motion sensors and magnetic door and window sensors. Optional equipment can include glass breaking detectors, CCTV recorders and other items.

The Components of a Wired or Wireless Home Security Alarm System

  • The master control panel
  • The keypad
  • Door sensors
  • Window sensors
  • motion sensors

An easy way to picture how a home security system works is to simplify. Above we have listed 5 major components but in reality, a home security system is made up of only three basic parts. They are the main control panel (the brains of the system), sirens (they alert you by making a noise when there is a problem) and sensors (magnetic transmitters that are attatched to doors and windows or motion detectors that are mounted in strategic locations).

The sensors send a signal to the control panel and the control panel sets off an alarm. If your equipment is monitored by a home security monitoring company then a signal will also be sent to their central control center so that they can call emergency services on your behalf.

Buying Security System Components

If you go with one of the home security monitoring companies then buying your components will be a very simple task. In this scenario, the company will usually send out a sales representative who will go through your home with you in order to survey your unique situation and then he or she will sit down with you and present your equipment options and recommend what would work best for your home and your particular needs.

If you decide to go the DIY route and install your home security system yourself, you will need to either pick and choose which components you would like to buy or just go with a preset package deal from a reputable company such as X10. You could also just visit your local hardware store in order to see what types of security devices they offer. Just keep in mind that you can save some money by shopping for your home security system components from an online retailer such as X10.

More Basic Equipment Information

Master Control Panel
A control panel is the central processing device and is sometimes referred to as the 'brains' of the home security system. You use the control panel in order to program your system and turn on, turn off or reset your security system. The control panel is 'controlled' by the keypad.

The Keypad
This is your user interface. You use the keypad in order to communicate with your home security system. You can program your system to turn on or off, set security codes and more.

Door Sensors
A magnetic strip is placed on the edge of the door and a transmitter is placed on the door frame, or vice verse. When the contact between these two pieces of hardware is broken, a signal is sent to the central processing device and, if the system is armed, an alarm will sound. Your system can usually be programmed so that if your system is not armed, a broken contact will result in a short chirping sound. This is a handy way to detect when people are coming and going from designated areas of your home and can work as a safety device for children.

Window Sensors
These work in the same fashion as the door sensors. When the window is opened, the contacts are 'broken' and a signal is sent to the 'brains' of the system. If you happen to have a monitored security system then a signal is also sent to the central monitoring station so that help can be summoned. Most monitoring companies will first call your home in order to prevent false alarms.

Motion Sensors
Used to detect intruders, motion detectors can play a crucial roll in a home security system. They can also be a pain in your side until you become completely familiar with their intricacies. False alarms can be a common occurance when motion detectors are first installed. You can buy motion sensors that only detect a person or animal that exceeds a certain weight. This can help to cut down the number of false alarms.

Vibration Sensors
The vibration detector is not normally a component of a basic home security system. However, they can come in handy if they are properly calibrated. They are used in order to detect unusual vibrations such as those that can be created when a window is broken. This is just more line of defense between you and the bad guys.

Wireless Video Cameras
Surveillance cameras can be strategically placed in and around your home. These cameras can send a video signal to a recording device. This can come in handy after a break-in as it will give the police a leg-up on catching the bad guys. Wireless video cameras that are activated by motion can run for a long time since they only go to work when something is actually happening.

Gates and Guard Dogs
Don't forget your first lines of defense! Having good locks and gates can help to keep the bad guys out before they even have a chance to set off your alarms. Of course, burglars don't like watch dogs either. Loud noises, bright lights, barking dogs and evidence of a home security system are all elements of an overall house protection plan. If the bad guys see evidence suggesting that you have any or all of these elements in place then they are more likely to just skip your residence.


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Home Security Subjects

Choosing an Alarm Company

D.I.Y. Do it Yourself Security System Questions and Answers

Monitoring Company Vs. DIY Home Security System Installation

Alarm System Definitions

Crime Prevention Tips

Various Burglary Statistics

About 'Free' Security Systems

Do I Need a Security System?

Home Security Common Sense

How Home Security Systems Affect your Homeowners Insurance

Information for Renters

Neighborhood Watch Systems

Fire Protection for your Home

More Security Info...

Security System Parts
and Alarm Definitions

 

 

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