Home security guide for newbies: alarm systems.

The world today has a plethora of advanced technological means of protecting their valuables be it jewellery, an expensive electronic gadget, piece of art, or antique that you have paid a fortune to make yours!

However, with all good things, there is something bad and security systems are no exceptions! This means technology too can fail!

Looking at the brighter side, like I said all your hard-earned valuables could be protected today without your having to worry 24/7 whether your favourite diamond ring or antique Chinese vase is no more yours when you get back home after a hard day at work!

However, before you embark on a search for the best security system for your home, you need to do a reality check. Your best option is to ask your family and close friends- people you trust, about their security systems if they have one. Take a note of all the problems they may have had with their security systems since they installed them. This will help you to cross-question all the security firms that you visit and hence clear your doubts too!

The second consideration is that you need to verify if the security firm has the real knowledge in security matters, or if it has “only” knowledge in the electronical components. To provide you with an example, consider that choosing the best position and field of view of a camera is not that easy, and it could drastically change your ability to spot a possible intruder in time, or when its too late for your preparation or reaction! Same is for sensors etc.

Another important consideration is how much are you ready to shell out to secure your home, now I do not mean just buying the equipment required because the expenses do not end here. If you want a complete security system, you also have to consider paying the security firm that is going to monitor all the events while you are away, and they do not cost “nuts”! Furthermore, often, these firms do not really have experience people monitoring your alarm, and they probably limit their commitment to giving you a call to inform you that one of your alarms has been activated, or perhaps they can call the police.

Now to give you a lowdown on the options available to you:

One you can go in for a do it yourself kit, but again I suggest this option only if you are really confident of setting up the system and of course also if you want to save on costs. However, if you goof up, you are going to be spending a lot more then you thought of saving in the first place!

Second, you can visit a security firm who will give you a customized system according to your requirements and budget, they also monitor all the events 24/7, and you will be charged for these daily services. For the best firm in the market and of course one in your area you can search on the internet or again ask friends and family.

To understand the technical jargon in layman terms you can read on.

In terms of location, you have:

Perimeter alarms

As the name suggests such alarms are usually used to inform you that a possible intruder is at the boundaries of your property. They are fairly simple in design, why? The answer is simple; because while guarding a perimeter, you aim to discourage a possible invasion (remember that an alarm DOES NOT STOP ANYONE) or to inform by the sound of the siren, that an intruder has passed that particular passage.! Simple switch circuits are very effective for such purposes. Good examples of these are the open circuits and closed-circuit alarms explained later on in the article.

Building alarms

Now if the intruder has managed to bypass or deactivate your perimeter alarm then you need to protect your house too meaning the inside of the building! Again, there are various ways to do so such as use body heat to detect the presence of somebody inside the building and sound an alarm on detection or vice versa i.e. radiate energy from a source and monitor its reflection, if interrupted the reflection changes and you can sound an alarm. If you want an extensive and detailed alarm system, you can put up a surveillance system with hidden cameras, which of course will cost you much more (consider that systems of several cameras need a dedicated server, internet line etc.) but it is worth it if you have a "treasure" to protect!

In terms of circuits, you have:

Open circuit

When the intruder completes the circuit by his action of intrusion, he triggers the alarm. For example, a button embedded into the doorway or magnetic switch embedded into a window will trigger an alarm if the door or window is opened.


In such a system, the electric circuit is complete when the door or window is closed and hence if an intruder opens the door the current path is broken triggering an alarm. Now both these systems- the open and closed circuit is very naive in their designs and hence have to be controlled using a control box so that the intruder cannot deactivate the alarm easily!

In terms of energy:

Active Systems

This means you have a source that emits either radio waves or ultrasonic rays into the room and records the reflection of these rays when they travel back; now if somebody comes in the range of these rays their reflection pattern changes and this can be used to trigger an alarm.

Passive Systems

These systems use a detector/sensor to sense a rapid change in infrared energy in the room. What this means is, that when a human enters the field of the senor there is a rapid increase in the level of heat, which is sensed by the infrared sensor; this, in turn, sends a message to a controller, which in turn sounds a combination of alarms set by the user.

Therefore, if you are looking for an entire home and property security you can go to a professional who will do the installation as well as monitor your home or office for you. Otherwise, you can opt for a do it yourself kit advisable for those who are technologically inclined or at least those who can follow instructions!

Finally buying a safe to protect your valuables from fire or theft is an essential part of a sound home and business security. With a wide range of safes available there is something to suit everyone.

Click here If you want to know more about your home security and defence.

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