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The Inside Story on Home Security Systems

The Inside Story on Home Security Systems By Jane Smallman
HIPhome Columnist
December 31, 1969

A home burglar alarm can play an important part in your overall home security system. In order for it to do its job properly however, it should be part of a range of other home security measures.

Most home burglar alarm systems consist of a control unit (to program, arm and disarm the system), sensors (which use various mechanisms to determine whether an intruder is present) and an annunciator (a bell, flashing light or siren which lets you know that someone has broken in).

There are two main types of sensors:

  • Perimeter sensors. Protect doors, windows and walls; they use foil tape, magnetic switches or audio discriminators to detect whether a window or door has been opened or broken down.
  • Space sensors. Use microwaves, high-frequency sound waves or passive infrared (PIR) to detect human presence within a prescribed space such as a particular room.

Consider the following...

You need to think about what will fit best into your home security system: a wireless or a hardwired home burglar alarm. With a hardwired alarm the control panel is wired up to each sensor and annunciator, while a wireless system achieves this using radio waves.

Another choice to be made is whether you want your home burglar alarm to be monitored. If you choose not to have it monitored, you will be relying on someone hearing or seeing the annunciator and calling the police; by linking your system up to an alarm monitoring service you can be sure that action will be taken as soon as the alarm goes off.

A properly installed and operated home burglar alarm will be an essential part of your home security system and should be an excellent way to improve the safety of you and your family.

About the Author
Jane Smallman runs a mountain guiding business with her husband. Her early training was in hotel management and she has worked in the hotel industry in France, Holland, the US and the UK. Following this she worked in an administrative capacity for a number of not-for-profit organizations in the UK, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Refugee Legal Centre. While doing this she earned a degree in Social Sciences through distance learning with the Open University. After graduation she progressed to the University of Sussex as a full-time student where she was awarded a Masters Degree in Social and Political Thought.



*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.
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