Types of Home Security Systems

Aug - 20 2015 | By

home alarmChoosing a home security system is not as complicated as it may seem at first. There are two basic types of systems, monitored and unmonitored, and there are some additional features that can be added on.

Local Alarm System

This is an unmonitored system that is less expensive that the monitored kind and is very popular. It will sound a loud siren when someone triggers it. Usually that will make the burglar run away. It is up to you or your neighbors to call the authorities since this system will not contact anyone.

These are popular because of the low cost and easy installation. Another choice is whether your system is wireless or hardwired. The wireless is easier to install but requires batteries. You do have the option of additional features, like cameras, motion detectors or sensors.

Monitored Alarm System

With these systems, a monitoring service will be contacted. Usually the company will call you to see if the alarm was triggered accidentally. The company will contact the police on your behalf. The company can also monitor for carbon monoxide and fire.

Of course, you have to pay a monthly fee for monitoring 24/7 every day of the year. However, most insurance companies will reduce your monthly premiums when you install a monitored system.

There are three ways the system can contact the monitoring company: landline, broadband or cellular.

  • Landline – The landline option would require a landline phone in the home.
  • Cellular – This works like your cell phone and would be more reliable if the phone lines were cut. It is faster than the landline connection.
  • Broadband – With this option, the signal is sent through your broadband internet connection. This method is faster than a landline connection but is not as reliable as cellular and costs less.

Add Ons

Both types of home security systems can have additional features added on. One is a panic button that you can keep with you when you are home to contact the monitoring company.

Sensor options include stress sensors and glass break sensors. Stress sensors are placed under the carpet or a rug to detect if someone has entered the home. Glass break sensors detect if the glass is broken whereas window sensors just detect an open window.

Detectors include fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and motion detectors. Motion detectors will sound the alarm if they detect someone moving around.