July 28, 2014
Home Security 101: Wireless Home Alarm System Design Explained
After explaining all the various wireless sensors, and the way home alarm systems provide peace of mind, it’s now time to talk about designing the level of protection that is right for your home. We’re ready, and we’ve been looking to forward to this post for months! And of course, we are focusing on wireless alarm technology.
It’s All About You
The most important thing to remember is that your system should be designed with you in mind, and that means consideration of the following:
- Do you have pets? Where are they allowed to go in the home, and when?
- Do you have children? How old are they, and what issues will you face integrating a residential security system into their lives?
- Will you arm your system when you are at home? Many people do so (growing numbers, in fact), and that can impact your choice and placement of sensors.
- Are there areas of the home where you don’t go at night? A basement is a great example, and that can influence the sensors you use there.
There are other questions, of course, and a reputable alarm company can help you work through all of them. But the main point is that every system should be customized: not just for how your home is laid out, but also for your lifestyle. This is no time for a “one–size-fits-most” approach!
“Stay” vs. “Away” System Arming
One thing we want to address up front is that most alarm systems can be armed in either of two modes: “Stay” and “Away.”
In the “Stay” mode, often used when you are home at night, only the perimeter is armed, and you can move about freely in your home without triggering an alarm.
In the “Away” mode, used when you leave your home, there are interior sensors that are also armed – so that any movement within the home will also trigger an alarm.
Start with the Perimeter
Since doors are the most common place for an intruder to enter your home, we start there. You should have a wireless door sensor on every exterior door, including the door from the garage into the home. This is the foundation of your perimeter protection.
Next come the windows you want to protect – with the same unobtrusive wireless sensor. It’s best to focus on the windows on the sides and back of the house first, since they are less visible, and are therefore more attractive to a burglar. And as for those upstairs windows, you may decide to pass on those – unless a burglar can find an easy way to reach them.
For rooms with lots of windows, the wireless glass break sensor is a great solution. This device has a range of 20 feet in any direction (as long as there is line of sight), and that makes the glassbreak sensor an efficient and cost-effective component of your perimeter protection.
When you arm in the “Away” mode, then you bring into play your interior protection detection device – the wireless motion sensor. You’ll seldom see an alarm system without at least one of these, and they are designed for backing up your perimeter devices. This sensor is generally placed in high traffic areas, and detects movement.
Additional Intrusion Devices
There are a few more devices that you can add to your intrusion system:
- Wireless garage door sensor for overhead garage doors
- Wireless recessed door sensor for a more esthetic look
- Wireless touchpads and wireless keypads provide system control from anywhere in the house
Additional Peace of Mind
Once you get your arms around the intrusion component of your system, then you can consider the other devices that work in conjunction with your system s-o you can feel protected and connected.
- Wireless smoke & heat sensor – we recommend at least one with every system
- Carbon monoxide sensor
- Water/flood sensor
Get the Help You Need
Remember, you should never be on your own when it comes to designing the right level of protection for your home. The advice above is just a good starting point, so you’ll want to have an in-depth conversation with a trained security professional to make sure your solution is the right one for you.
Beware Kits, “Teasers,” and Pressure Tactics
In other words, don’t fall for the non-customized “kit” approach, or the seemingly affordable “teaser” system that does not provide what you need – and when you add the missing pieces, the price goes through the roof!
And just as bad, avoid the companies who use pressure tactics to sell: if they are not willing to give you time to do your research, then they don’t deserve your attention.
Lastly, read all the alarm company reviews you can get your hands on.
The End of the Series
This Monday series on wireless home alarm technology has been a lot of fun to write – and based on the feedback we’ve received, it’s been an interesting and educational experience for our readers.
You have plenty of choices when it comes to protecting your home and family, so make sure your decision is based on the things that really matter: the right type of system, customized for your home and the way you will use it, provided by a company you can trust.
And if you want to give FrontPoint a call, we’ll be more than happy to answer any and all your questions. Thanks for reading!