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The Ultimate Guide to Alarm Systems

The Ultimate Guide to Alarm Systems

As a homeowner, the protection of your home should be one of your most significant concerns. Home security comes in many forms, with one of the most common interpretations being a self-defense weapon. Whether it is a bat by the front door or a shotgun stored in a gun safe, homeowners have several options. While effective in the event of a break-in, storing a weapon in your home can be dangerous for your family and guests. In reality, keeping a gun in your home increases the chances of an “accidental injury, homicide, and suicide.”

If you think keeping a weapon hidden in your home is your best option, consider an alternative form of protection. One option is installing a home alarm system. Alarm systems protect you and your family by immediately notifying local law enforcement the moment a break-in occurs. Some systems even notify you when a stranger appears outside your home or on your property.

Let’s take a thorough look at the different types of alarm systems available—where they came from and how they work—to determine which one is right for your home. 

The History of Alarm Systems

While alarm systems have become more popular in the past few decades, they aren't a new development in technology. In reality, home security systems started appearing as far back as the early 1900s. 

In the early 1900s, the nation began to urbanize, and crime grew across America. To protect against this crime increase, homeowners started employing groups of night watchmen to protect their streets and, more importantly, check their doors at night to ensure they were locked. This paid protection was a simple way for homeowners to have extra insurance. Hiring people to monitor homes and protect homeowners against possible intruders is a service that's been available for over a hundred years.

home security hero

As time went on, new advancements came into use. Home alarm systems became available by connecting electromagnetic contacts to door and window fasteners. If these fasteners were separated, a nearby bell would ring, letting both the homeowner and their neighbors know there was a possible intrusion.

Since then, technology has advanced to improve home alarm systems. Simple electromagnetic systems no longer rely on battery power and landlines. Instead, alarms transmit triggers digitally. Furthermore, security cameras, first employed by large businesses, steadily became a feature of home security. Cameras allow homeowners to watch over their homes. As technology continued to advance into the modern age, cameras could trigger nearby alarm systems if an object entered its field of view. These types of cameras detect criminals before a break-in actually occurs.

How do alarm systems work?

Electronic home alarm systems aim to detect, determine and deter. Most digital alarm systems employ a few means of home security to achieve these goals, like: 

  • Engaged sensors on windows, doorways and entryways that trigger a warning when the flow of electricity is interrupted. A signal will often ring out audibly through the house, and a notification goes out to the alarm company, the local police or the homeowner. 
  • Motion-activated cameras that alert a homeowner and security company when a potential intruder approaches the property. New, intelligent camera systems can distinguish between animals and intruders to avoid false alarms. 

Monitored systems can contact the homeowner using a digital device and reach out to the manufacturer to notify the police. Traditional systems will sometimes trigger an alarm intended to cause an intruder to flee the scene.

home alarm access via mobile device

The Benefits of Having an Alarm System

Wiring an alarm system within your home is a smart idea. Whether you use a single smart-home device or pair your system with cameras, you can effectively promote your home's safety. Here are some of the primary ways an alarm system protects you. 

Deter or Catch Intruders

Noticeable alarm and security systems make it easy to send intruders running away from your home, especially with security cameras. Their presence lets an intruder know that they will be captured on camera if they come too close to your property. By leaving your cameras in a prominent location, you're telling criminals that you will have evidence of whatever they do.

Decrease Risk of Home Invasion

Visible security cameras are a simple way to decrease the risk of a home invasion. A noticeable security camera is sure to warn a possible intruder that they are not welcome or safe in your home. Moreover, installing a security sign is a great option, even when cameras are not visible. Signs should deter anyone from approaching your house for nefarious reasons. 

Protect Your Valuables

Being notified of a break-in is a quick way to keep track of whatever is happening in your home, especially if you have cameras. Pointing these cameras toward areas with valuable items is a good idea and will allow you to capture footage of anybody who steals from you.

Check in to Your Home Remotely While You're Away

Some security and alarm systems allow you to monitor activities from digital devices, like a tablet and smartphone, even when you are not at home. This remote option lets you check on a live feed of your home at any time. 

rooms on the internet viewing with home cameras

Monitor Your Children

An integrated digital camera system can also allow you to make sure your kids are safe. Whether they are home alone or with a babysitter, these systems give you extreme peace of mind when you are away from your kids. If you notice anything suspicious, you can immediately call the house to keep things under control. 

Be Notified of Gas or Fire Issues

Modern security systems come equipped with monitors for gas and fire issues, too. These systems tell you the moment that a gas leak or fire occurs. With these options, you can call emergency services or notify anyone in your house to get to safety.

The Different Types of Alarm Systems

While there are various types of alarm systems available on the market, not every system will work for your home. Let’s explore the options available to homeowners and how each can provide a different layer of protection. 

Wireless Alarm Systems 

Wireless alarm systems tend to be the first step in home security. When mixed with other home security components, you can ensure your home’s entryways, doors, windows, gates and driveways are protected at all times. 

wireless alarm system graphic

Window & Door Alarm Sensors 

Window alarms come in a few variations: vibration alarms will detect any movement felt by a window. Magnetic contact alarms will inform you when a window has been opened. Glass break alarms will tell you whenever a window has been shattered during a home break-in. 

Autodialer Alarms 

Autodialer devices immediately contact you when a disturbance is captured. You can program these devices to include your phone number, your spouse’s phone, the local police and your security manufacturer’s emergency response line. This feature comes at no added cost, as it is built directly into the system.  

Driveway Alarms 

Whether it’s a pair of headlights in the night or a car physically entering your driveway, driveway alarms alert you when someone approaches your home by vehicle. 

motion sensor and detector alarms graphic

Motion Sensor & Detector Alarms 

Motion detector alarms will keep you safe around the clock, keeping an eye on your property to detect unexpected movements. Numerous systems come pre-installed with autodialer systems, too, which will immediately contact emergency services when an intruder is seen. These devices help authorities get to your property as quickly as possible, potentially before a theft occurs. 

Glass Break Detectors 

Glass break detectors can protect every window of your house by informing you the second a criminal tries to gain access to your home. Most alarms are connected to an included audio-alarm device that releases a shrieking sound when a window is shattered. The hope is that the loud sound will cause intruders to flee without inflicting any other damage. 

Personal Safety Alarms 

Personal alarms are helpful for anybody that leaves the house. Whether running into a mugger on your evening jog or coming up on a burglar as they ransack your house, this handheld device emits a loud siren noise that can potentially scare off a criminal, leaving you and your property protected from harm. 

Visitor Chimes 

Visitor chimes are excellent for people who work in offices away from the front door or homeowners who keep their doors unlocked during the day. When your door opens, the chimes activate and release an audible sound. Thanks to a motion-detecting device, visitor chimes tell you when a person enters your residence or business. 

smoke alarm graphic

Smoke Alarms 

Your family needs immediate protection against fires. Smoke alarms are the only way to ensure your house is protected in the event of a fire. A few great options are:

  • Ionization alarms will detect fast-spreading fires quickly.
  • Photoelectric alarms can detect slow-smoldering fires, which sometimes take hours to burst into flames.
  • IoPhic® alarms can detect both fast-flaming and slow-smoldering fires quickly. 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors 

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, undetectable other than a few human symptoms. A carbon monoxide detector is critical for home safety, as it will trigger before the dangerous effects of CO2 can wreak havoc on you and your family. 

Wireless Door Chimes 

Similar to visitor chimes, wireless doorbell chimes alert you whenever someone is standing outside of your door. Perfect for any business owner looking to readily greet their customers or any homeowner looking to remain aware of any visitors. 

Flood Water Alarms 

Engaged by a sensor connected to an alarm system, flood alarms will emit a high-decibel alarm when floodwater is detected in your home. These alarms alert you into action before serious flood damage occurs. 

Car Alarms

Car alarms are necessary for anybody who wants to protect their vehicle. Whether your car is parked in a parking garage, a neighborhood street or your own driveway, you can remain aware of any potential break-ins. 

Why should you add security system signs to your property?

A security sign should be a must for any home, whether they have a security system in place or not. They can warn any potential intruder that you have a security system, and they can be a cautionary deterrent even if you have nothing installed. Hopefully, criminals will not want to test their luck.

security system signs graphic

Security System Signs 

Homeowners often place security system signs by the front door. They're most helpful when people can notice them from the street and understand that the cops are only an alarm away. 

Yard Security Signs 

Yard security signs offer a similar alternative to security system signs. Instead of stating that an alarm service is monitoring your home, yard security signs show that everything occurring on your property will be recorded.

If you're a homeowner looking to protect your property, there's no use in waiting any longer to install a home alarm system. Not sure what particular system is right for your home security needs? Explore the alarm systems we have available, and don't hesitate to reach out to a representative if you have any questions!  

woman looking outside from window



How Do Alarms Systems Work?

Alarm systems can detect suspicious activity through engaged sensors on windows and doorways and motion-activated cameras that alert a homeowner or security company of a potential intruder.

Do Alarm Systems Deter Crime?

Yes. Studies have shown that the majority of burglars casing a potential house to target would be deterred by an alarm system.

Why Use a Security System Sign?

Security system signs act as a cautionary deterrent to potential intruders, even if you don’t have a security system installed.

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