Security Systems 101 – The Basics Of What Every Home Owner Should Know

Home security systems are becoming commonplace for today's home owners. The desire to feel secure and know that your home is protected no matter where you happen to be is a big part of the reason more and more people are choosing to invest in these systems, and the technology available on the market is constantly improving. And with the rate of break-ins continuing to rise, home owners that once would have scoffed at the idea of needing to install a security system are reevaluating their stance on the subject.

Modern systems may a bit more sophisticated than their predecessors, but the basic concept of what a home security system is and what it does has stayed the same. The types of features available can vary from system to system and company to company, but a typical system is made up of the following components:

  • A central control panel that controls the entire home security system
  • A series of sensors installed on doors and windows
  • A series of motion sensors installed both inside and outside the home
  • Security cameras – either wired or wireless depending on the system
  • A high decibel alarm triggered by any of the various sensors or cameras
  • Window stickers and yard signs that advise would-be intruders of the presence of a security system

The setup and configuration of these different components can vary depending on the layout of your home and the types of components you choose to have installed.

The control panel is the core of your home security system. This is where you will activate and deactivate the system, check that your various components are armed and functioning, and depending on the system you choose it's also how you will contact your alarm company. Many control panels come with built in two-way communication, allowing you to speak to a representative with the push of a button. From there, you can provide information about what triggered the system, get updates on when emergency personnel will arrive, or even call for help during a medical emergency.

Each sensor is designed to be triggered by a particular action and can be deactivated or activated from the control panel, or in some cases using a mobile device app. Exterior motion sensors are occasionally paired with floodlights, and both interior and exterior sensors will trigger an alert when activated. Exterior sensors are typically placed near entry points, while interior sensors are used in areas of the home that contain valuables like home offices and living rooms.

Sensors on entry points such as the front door, a patio or side door, a garage door, or windows will be triggered when any one of these entry points is breached while the system is activated. These entry point sensors are the most common type of sensor tied to a home security system and work by having one half of the sensor attached to the window or door frame and the other half attached to the window or door itself. When the two halves lose contact with each other while the system is activated, an alert is triggered. This means that if someone were to force a window or door open, an alarm would sound.

Surveillance cameras are typically used in the same areas motion sensors would be placed. They can cover hard to see areas outside the home such as back or side yards, workshops, detached garages, or sheds. Inside the home, they are used to cover front or rear entryways (typical entry points for thieves) and rooms that contain valuables.

The high decibel alarm component is as much a scare tactic as it is a warning to the home owner. Ideally, the sound itself will be enough to spook an intruder and send them running before they make it too far inside your home – if they manage to get inside at all. In that same vein, the stickers and signs provided by the alarm company are less about free advertising for the company and more about putting up a visible deterrent for anyone potentially eyeing up your home. Quite often the knowledge that a security system is present is more than enough to convince a criminal to choose another, less complicated to access target.

The purpose of any home security system is to stop an intruder from gaining access to your home, or ideally convincing them to stay away from your property in the first place. Most criminals have no desire to work any harder than they have to in order to burgle a home, making the visible components of your system all the protection you need. And with more and more systems incorporating things like fire and flood detection sensors, a single solution can protect your entire home from any potential crisis.

Want to find out more about the industry-leading security system technology Powered Protection Inc. provides? Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (716) 822-7000.

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