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The Basics of Home Security

What is a Home Security system and How does it work?

All home security systems work on the same basic principle of securing entry points, like doors and windows, as well as interior space containing valuables like art, computers, guns, and coin collections. Regardless of the size of your home, or the number of doors and windows or interior rooms a homeowner decides to protect, the only real difference is in the number of security components deployed throughout the home and monitored by the control panel.

What is a security system?

The most basic definition of any security system is found in its name. It is literally a means or method by which something is secured through a system of interworking components and devices.

In this instance, we're talking about home security systems, which are networks of integrated electronic devices working together with a central control panel to protect against burglars and other potential home intruders.

A typical home security system includes:

  • A control panel, which is the primary controller of a home's security system
  • Door and window sensors
  • Motion sensors also called PIR, both interior and exterior
  • Wired or wireless security cameras
  • A high-decibel siren or alarm
  • A yard sign and window stickers

How does a security system work?

The sensors are typically placed in doors that lead to and from a house as well as easily accessible windows, particularly any that open, especially those at ground level. Open spaces inside of homes can be secured with motion sensors.

Control Panel: The control panel is the computer that arms and disarms the security systems, communicates with each installed component, sounds the alarm when a security zone is breached, and communicates with an alarm monitoring company or yourself if you use self monitoring systems.

They typically feature touch pad for easy programming and interaction. It is where pass codes are entered to arm and disarm the system. They can be programmed to work with wireless remote controls called key fobs.

Door and Window Sensors: Door and window sensors are comprised of two parts installed adjacent to each other. One part of the device is installed on the door or window and the other on the door frame or window sill. When a door or window is closed, the two parts of the sensor are joined together, creating a security circuit.

When the security system is armed at the control panel, these sensors communicate with it by reporting that the point of entry is secure. Should a monitored door or window suddenly be opened, the security circuit is broken and the control panel interprets this as a breach of a secured zone. A high-decibel alarm is sounded and in most instances you will be notified on your mobile or landline by an actual call or a text message.

Motion Sensors: These security components, when armed, protect a given space by creating an invisible zone that cannot be breached without sounding an alarm. These are typically used to protect rooms containing valuables, as well as areas less frequented in larger homes.

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