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How to Choose a Home Security Alarm System

Last Updated Oct 18, 2011 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

Your home is your castle and, as such, you want to feel safe.  One of the best ways of doing this is by installing a home security alarm system, and an additional benefit is that your home insurance premiums are likely to be lower!  Here are our hints and tips for choosing an alarm system.  If you need any additional help, or want to get started on installing an alarm in your home, simply speak to your local security specialist.

What Kind of Coverage Do You Want From Your Alarm System?

This question is used to determine if you want a basic alarm system or if you want all the bells and whistles so to speak. You’ll need to take a look at how many doors and windows that you’ll need the alarm system to cover.  For example, if you have a single storey home, you might want to cover all the doors and every window that is large enough for a person to crawl through.  If you have a two storey home, however, you might only want to cover doors and windows that are on the ground floor.

You’ll also need to decide what you actually want to include in your home security alarm system.  Simple alarm systems will sound when the home has been breached but you can also include internal and external motion sensors, CCTV recording and the like.  You also have a choice between wired and wireless alarm systems.  Wired systems are very reliable but they really need to be put in at the time of construction.  Wireless systems are very convenient but you do need to make sure that they are placed correctly and that there is no interference.  Your alarm can also be monitored by an alarm company at a central monitoring station.  If the alarm is triggered, they will send out security agents to check, call the police, and/or call you to let you know.  This is done for a monthly fee.  If this seems like too much, you can opt for an alarm system that will dial pre-programmed numbers (such as your mobile or the police) if there is a breach.

Consider the Household

It may seem like a simple thing but you also need to consider your household when you are choosing a home security alarm system.  For example, is it sufficient to have just the one main control pad at the front door of the home, or will you want to put additional control pads near bedrooms?  Also think about if people are likely to get up during the night or to otherwise wander around when the alarm is switched on.  If so, you’ll need to get to a keypad to disable the alarm.  If you have pets, choose motion sensors that can distinguish between them and an intruder in order to avoid constant false alarms.  Also make sure that the alarm system is easy for everyone in the family to operate, even if they are panicked.

Check Out the Alarm Company

It is important that you check out the alarm company as well, especially if you plan on using a monitoring service.  The alarm company should be fully licensed and registered and the employees should have passed both police and background checks.  You should also ask your friends, family, and neighbours for recommendations on who they are using for their alarm systems.  Asking your insurance company for recommendations can also be helpful!  Before choosing an alarm company, you should also have a chat with them and see if you feel comfortable with them and that they are trustworthy.  It may seem like a bit of overkill but when you realise that the alarm company will have access to all the details of your new alarm system, the concern is warranted!
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