Home security systems, burglar alarms, security alarms, there are many different names for systems that are basically designed to protect your home and your family. Although all burglar alarms serve the same basic function, there is a lot of variety out there, and it is a good idea to decide what sort of home security system is best for you before you go out with credit card in hand.
How Home Security Systems/Burglar Alarms Work
All alarm systems have triggers. The two main types of burglar alarms are ones that are tripped when someone breaks an electrical circuit, and alarms that are tripped when motion is detected.
Electric Circuit Burglar Alarms
Alarms that use electrical circuits are the simplest types of alarm systems. They are usually used to guard the perimeter of the house, possible entryways a burglar might use to enter your home. These kind of home security systems can be divided into two types: closed-circuit systems and open-circuit systems.
With closed-circuit systems, the electric circuit remains closed as long as the door is shut. If someone opens the door, the circuit is interrupted, and the alarm is triggered. An open-circuit system is just the opposite; when someone opens the door, the circuit is completed, electricity flows, and the alarm is triggered.
Motion detectors are the other main types of home security systems. They are useful for detecting burglars who are already in the house. Motion detectors work by sending out radio energy and monitoring the reflection pattern. If the reflection pattern is disturbed, for example by somebody walking into the room, the alarm is triggered and a signal is sent to the control box.
Motion detectors and open- or closed-circuit alarms can be combined to create a comprehensive home security system.
Categories of Home Security Alarm Systems
Single Premises Alarms
These cheap alarm systems have a single purpose: to warn your family about a specific type of danger. They can include CO detectors, smoke detectors, or battery-operated door wedge alarms.
Local Alarm Systems
When somebody triggers a local alarm system, a siren sounds, warning the house’s occupants (and neighbors) of intruders. These kind of alarm systems don’t do anything besides activate a siren, however, so if nobody is around to respond to the noise, they may not be that effective. However, the noise alone is often enough to scare away would-be burglars.
Telephone Dialer Systems
The next step up from local alarm systems are telephone dialer systems. These types of alarms dial preprogrammed numbers if the alarm is tripped. From there, the security service is contacted which in turn contacts local police or fire departments and the homeowners. This is all automated. Typically, telephone dialer systems will call up to four numbers and play a prerecorded request for assistance message.
Continually Monitored Security Systems
The most effective (and most expensive) type of burglar alarms are continually monitored security systems. With these types of alarms, tripping the alarm alerts your security monitoring company. Real people in turn call the police/fire department. Some companies will send a security officer to your home to check in on things.