A Simple Guide to Residential Security Systems

What is an Electronic Alarm System?

In its simplest form, an electronic alarm system is a low-voltage electrical circuit with sensors on entry doors and windows. When a door or window is opened, its sensor detects the interruption in the flow of electricity and triggers a warning signal such as a siren or strobe light. These alarm systems are often used in residential, commercial, and industrial properties to prevent unwanted individuals from gaining access to the property without being noticed. Some alarm systems also trigger emergency responders, allowing for a faster response time in the case of an emergency. More complex systems can even be outfitted with custom video monitors and floodlights.
Residential Security Systems
Residential Security Systems

Do Residential Security Systems Really Work?

Not only do alarm systems help detect any unwanted attempts to gain access to your home, but they can also help deter burglars and vandals from targeting your home in the first place. According to a study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice, burglars are much less likely to target a home that has visible security system elements in place. In fact, more than 90% of the 30 burglars interviewed said they would not target a home with an alarm system, and 75% were deterred by something as simple as alarm signs and stickers. By making it obvious that your home is protected with some kind of alarm system, you could effectively deter criminals from targeting your property.

Main Components of a Residential Security System:

  • Control Panel: This is the brain of your security system. It includes a touchpad that allows you to arm and disarm your system with codes or voice features. The control panel is connected to your entire alarm system, as well as the alarm company.
  • Motion Sensors: Motion sensors are designed to detect movement on your property using vibrations, ultrasonic waves, infrared heat, or other visual detection techniques. If any unwanted movement occurs, such as an intruder in your back, your alarm system will be triggered.
  • Cameras: Security cameras can be connected to video monitors to allow you to view and record all areas of your property at once. Should an incident occur or an intruder be spotted on site, these cameras will record video evidence of the incident. The cameras can often move, tilt, and pan to view different areas of your property with ease.
  • Door and Window Sensors: These sensors are designed to alert you if a door or window is opened after your security alarms have been armed. The trigger is often magnetic and is connected to your control panel to sound the alarm if the door or window is opened.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector: A must-have for any home, these detectors can be connected to your control panel to trigger the alarm if carbon monoxide is detected. They are usually placed near sleeping areas for maximum effectiveness.
  • Cellular Backup Unit: A cell backup unit offers an alternative method for downloading and storing data from your security system in the event that the wires are cut or the system fails. This ensures you are constantly connected to your security system.
  • Electric Door Locks: Have you ever forgotten to lock your door when you left the house or before you went to bed? It happens to everyone. With electronic door locks, you will never have to wonder whether or not your doors are locked – they automatically lock whenever they are closed.
  • Yard Signs and Window Stickers: The simple act of broadcasting the fact that you have a security system will help deter burglars, vandals, and other criminals from targeting your property. Signs and stickers help show that your home has alarms and possibly other security monitoring, so they are more likely to move on to an easier target.
  • Key Fob: Rather than a numeric code and touchpad, a key fob acts like a remote for your locking system. You can set up a key fob for each member of your family, so your family can enter the home without the need to enter a code. Unfortunately, if the key is lost or stolen, the alarm signal must be changed.
  • Panic Pendant: For immediate access to a security expert or emergency personnel, a panic pendant is the most convenient choice. It can be worn around the user’s neck. The small button can be pushed in case of any security or medical emergency, instantly connecting the user to a monitoring center representative, who can speak with the user and send the appropriate help.
  • High-Decibel Alarm: Should an incident occur, a high-decibel alarm will sound in your home. Depending on the alarm, it can be extremely loud. This will help alert neighbours and passersby of the emergency and ensure your family is alerted to the crisis, even if they are asleep.

What Happens When the System is Triggered?

Once the alarm is triggered, the high-decibel alarm will sound, often accompanied by a strobe light of some kind. The monitoring station is notified immediately, and they will try to contact your home. Once the emergency is verified by you, or if they cannot get a hold of you, they will send emergency services. This can include police officers, medical personnel, and firefighters. An alarm system will increase the efficiency of the response team, reducing the response time for emergency services to get to your home.

Understanding how to operate your security system is crucial in ensuring its effectiveness in protecting your home and keeping your family safe. It is important to have your security company walk through the manual to ensure you understand how to operate each function. At Optimum Security, we have a wide variety of residential alarm systems available for your home. We will work with you to choose the security system that fits the unique needs of your home while also ensuring it is in your budget.

For more information about our Vancouver security services or to get a quote for a home security system, please call us or check out our website here.

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