Is your home a safe place to live in? If I ask you a question like this, you are bound to find it pretty irrelevant because the time you call it your home, you are sure that you are safe. Now, what if I were to ask you, is your home safe – especially when you are not at home?
Increasingly senior citizens, especially those living on their own, are becoming targets of crime. The number of house thefts has gone up; women staying alone for their careers in urban areas are also prime targets. Can you really feel secure in such an environment? Are your house, your family, your grandparents really safe when you are not at home?
While a double door and a watchman are a few measures, they cannot be entirely relied upon. Today’s criminals have found techniques to surpass all these. Today it is imperative to install a home security system for the following reasons:
Peace of mind: The variety, flexibility and high-tech features offered by today’s security systems make it possible to cover concerns beyond breaking and entering. One can be aware of instances taking place at home even when in office or on tours.
Emergency notification: These systems typically include an alarm that alerts you in case of any untoward incident, such as fires.
Safety of belongings: Installing a camera is really recommended if you keep valuables in your house.
SOME HOME SECURITY SYSTEMS YOU CAN INSTALL
Intrusion Alarm System:
These usually consist of a Main Panel, Magnetic Contact and Hooter. The magnetic door sensor can be attached to doors and glass break detectors on windows. These detectors sense break-in via doors / windows and sends a message to the main panel which in turn triggers the hooter, which acts as a deterrent to whoever attempts to break in. Systems such as Glass Break Detectors, Gas Leak and Fire Detectors are some examples. The IAS systems can also be connected to Central Monitoring Stations via telephone lines.
CCTV Video Cameras/ Video Surveillance System:
Depending upon how large and valuable your property is, one may want security cameras installed inside and outside. The images captured by security cameras can be recorded on Digital Video Recorders and played back. Technological enhancements have also enabled viewing of images over cell phones, tablets and desktops.
Fingerprint Door Locks:
These systems ensure that only those persons whose fingerprints are registered in the system can operate the locks.
Video Door Phones: – It is a device where a camera is installed outside the door and the display monitoring placed inside. It also has a speaker phone where a person standing inside the house can see the person standing outside and also converse with him. The major highlight of this system is that it comes with a night vision that enables the person inside the house to see what is happening outside the door even when it is dark. VDPs can also be connected to electronic door locks which can be used to open doors remotely.
SYSTEMS BACKED BY CENTRAL MONITORING SYSTEM
There are security packages backed by a Monitoring Facility as well. In this case, activities are monitored by a Central Monitoring Station (CMS) that keeps your home under 24X7 surveillance for a minimal monthly charge. The best feature in these packages is the “Panic Button”. In case of any emergency, the person inside the house can press a panic button and avail instant help from the response centre. The system is best suited if there is an elderly person or children at home.
What next? What are the things that you should consider while buying a Home Security system?
It is important to determine your exact needs after a thorough survey of the area. While installing Home Security systems you need to determine the exact number of doors and windows that would be protected with detectors. You should try to protect every entry / exit of the house that could be vulnerable. Efficient security companies will always undertake a site survey before recommending anything. If you are unsure about your exact requirements, you should ideally approach companies which offer a site survey before installation.
LOCATION OF THE CONTROL PANEL
Home alarms systems have a Control Panel and a Keypad that control the entire set-up. The control panel commands the entire security system and the keypad allows the owners to program the system, like when to automatically turn it on, for instance. Keypads can be used to turn the system off during false alarms and turn it on during emergency situations.
Determining the location of the keypad is an important factor. Some people like to place it near the main entrance close to the front door whereas some like to place it in the master bedroom for ease of operation during the night and other such times.
HARDWIRED OR WIRELESS HOME ALARMS
Another important thing to determine is whether you want Hardwired or Wireless Home alarms. The Hardwired alarms are advised to be installed when your house is under construction. Wireless alarms are easier to install as they do not require any wiring and communicate through sensors. However, in both cases, determining the distance of all the doors and windows to be integrated into the alarm system, from each other, as well as the control panel and keypad, is important. Hence expert advice from a home security solutions provider is necessary for a customised system to suit your home.
In security, the golden rule – “One size fits all” doesn’t work. Thorough research before buying is a must. One should have a complete understanding about the fine print instead of just going by many of the bargain-priced security packages. Things that look simple and basic to cover your security bases may actually involve several additions. The best way to determine what your home actually needs is to get an onsite assessment done by a home system representative. It is advised to avoid such purchases without an expert opinion.
While security systems are a way to ensure additional protection for your home, proactive measures cannot be ruled out completely. Informing your security company if you are going to be away for some time, keeping your neighbors informed, checking the battery of your alarm system, and keeping your valuables in a safe are advisable.
The author is CEO- Direct Sales and Sr. VP, Marketing, Eureka Forbes Limited