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Alarm Installation-DIY Home Security or Hire a Pro

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In years past there would not be even a small consideration of installing your own security system. This was always left up to the professionals. Before the addition of wireless security systems this would have been a wise choice. Before wireless alarm systems it was a complicated and difficult job to install a security system. Even if you did decide to try and install a system yourself it was difficult to purchase the parts that you would need without being a licensed contractor. Ten or twenty years ago it was best to leave the installation up to a trained professional with years of training. Now you can even find security companies that are geared more to the do it yourself installer.

When a Home Alarm salesman comes into your home their first agenda is to sell you a security system. This is not to say that they do not ultimately care about your safety but they do not want walk away without a sale. Many times they are not that versed in designing an adequate security system. When it comes to your security system no one knows your home and lifestyle better than you. This is important when you are having a security system installed. These questions should be addressed before the purchase of an alarm system:

  • How many people will be using the home alarm?
  • Do you have pets?
  • How many and how large are the pets?
  • Do you have children and what age are they?
  • What doors do you enter and exit your home from?
  • Are there any areas that require special protection?
  • Does anyone in the home have a medical condition?
  • Are there areas that are susceptible to flooding?

Alarm system salesmen are usually paid by the basic sale of a system and they usually receive extra by adding home security devices to the sale. You have undoubtedly seen advertisements for the complete home security system for FREE! And they say that it is an $850.00 value. This is a severely over inflated amount. Especially when you take into account that the system will be a basic wired alarm system. This means that the control panel is less than $100.00. The keypad is roughly another hundred dollars. These systems usually advertise 3 doors and a motion detector. Since the doors are hardwired the magnetic contacts are a few dollars at most. The motion sensor is approximately seventy five dollars. My math skills add this up to around 300 dollars. Keep in mind that this is a basic system and is not adequate for complete home protection. This free system is just a way for the salesman to get their foot in the door. The upgrades for additional door contacts, window contacts, motion sensors and glass break detectors will undoubtedly come into the conversation.

First Steps in DIY Alarm Installation

  1. Make a zone list for your home. This is basically a list of every window and exterior door in your home.
  2. Add a motion sensor to your zone list for a minimum of the living room.
  3. Add a smoke detector for the sleeping area of each floor.

A zone list serves as more than a list of equipment. This is where you will refer to for installation and troubleshooting during the life of your system. If you can follow step by step instructions then you can install a wireless alarm system. A hard wired system requires more skills to install. You must go into your attic or crawl space to run  the wire. You must also drill holes in all of the doors and windows. There are specific techniques to accomplish this to make sure the magnetic contacts are installed correctly and also to make sure that you do not cause potential leaks in the windows during installation. It is the invention of wireless security systems that has allowed for more and more home owners to install their own systems.

First Steps in hiring a Pro

Whether you Do It Yourself or hire a pro the first step is the same. You should make a zone list. The zone list is much more than an equipment list but in the case of hiring a contractor this is what it will serve as. If you know exactly what you want then you can get an accurate quote. The same list can be used by the home alarm installer after you have selected a security installation company.

Monitoring your Security System

There are many companies that offer monitoring of your alarm system even if you are not a professional. Many of these require that you install specific equipment. You can install your own equipment and then call for estimates for a security company to monitor the system. Central Monitoring Stations will not usually work with individuals. You will need to be a licensed Security professional to have your system monitored. You should be able to contact a local alarm company to setup your system for monitoring after you have installed your system. It would be best to contact some alarm companies ahead of time to make sure of what requirements that they may have. Keep in mind that alarm companies stay in business from the monthly fees for monitoring. They should be happy to monitor your completely installed system. They will require testing of the entire system to ensure that everything is working properly.

Some of the best DIY Home Security Panels are:
2Gig Home Security Panel
GE Simon XT
Honeywell Lynx
DSC 9047 Security Panel

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