Home Security Systems

What is a Home Security System?

A security system is an electronic system primarily designed to keep unwanted intruders out of your home or business. The system is made up of the following types of devices:

  • Initiating Devices
  • Sounding Devices
  • Control Devices
  • Peripheral Devices

The initiating devices are all of the devices that can initiate an alarm manually or automatically. The typical devices are composed of:

  • Door Contacts
  • Window Contacts
  • Motion Detectors
  • Glass Break Sensors
  • Vibration Sensors

The Sounding devices are composed of:

  • Bells
  • Horns

The control devices are composed of:

  • Control Panel
  • Keypads
  • Key fobs

Your security system will have some or all of these devices depending on the level of security you are comfortable with. A basic security system will have a minimum of the front door, back door and the inside garage door along with a motion detector centrally located usually in a hallway by the bedrooms.

Since 50% of home burglaries are though the front or back door you are fairly well protected. The motion sensor acts as a backup device if the door contacts fail to detect an intruder.

Door and Window Contacts

These contacts can be wireless or hard wired. Most systems installed today are wireless. The time saved with the installation of wireless devices justifies the use of these over a hard wired contact. A wired contact must have a physical wire run from the control panel to the door or window. The installer must drill a hole through the door or window header to conceal the wire. This is very time consuming and can also cause leaks when not done properly.

Alarm System Door Contact

Motion Detectors

A motion detector can detect the movement of an intruder when they cross the field of view of the motion sensor. The motion detector can be used to monitor a wider area than other devices. You can use a motion aimed at several windows so that you can save on the total number of contacts that would be required if each were individually monitored. You must remember that in order for the motion sensor to work the intruder must already be inside your home. These devices can be pet immune so that your animals will not trip the sensor. Lager animals will still be detected.

Alam System Motion Detector

Glass Break Detectors

There are times when you may have a large pane of glass that you will want to have protected. Window contacts will not work because the window does not open. The glass break detector is tuned to listen for the sound of breaking glass so that when it hears this sound the alarm system will be triggered. If your window has heavy curtains then the sound of breaking glass will be muffled and it may not be able to hear the breaking glass. Make sure your installation technician does adequate testing.

Glass Break Detector

Vibration Sensors

These devices can detect vibration of a window or whatever device they are attached to. They can be overly sensitive so care must be taken when using these devices.

Sounding Devices

There is a variety of sounding devices available. There are only 2 that are typically used. These are a high decibel inside siren or an outside bell. Many states do not allow any outside devices that can be mistaken for an emergency vehicle. This is why a motorized bell is typically installed outside. Some installation companies will also add a strobe outside with the bell. This helps to draw attention at night.

Motorized Bll

Alarm Control Devices

So far all of the devices discussed are automatic sensing devices that are meant to initiate an alarm or sound an alarm. There must be a way to turn the alarm system on and off. The control panel serves this function. In a hard wired system all of the devices are connected to the control panel including the keypad. In a wireless system the keypad and the control panel are all in one. You can add additional sounding device by running a wire to the all in one panel. The control panel can perform all of the following functions:

  • Arm and Disarm the System
  • Manually Initiate a Medical Emergency, Panic Alarm or a Fire Alarm
  • Add or change user codes
  • Bypass Devices

2GIG GoControl Panel

There are also remote access devices available. A keyfob can be used to arm and disarm the panel and also generate a panic alarm. Alarm systems that communicate with central station using GSM can be accessed remotely by using a smart phone or any internet connection.

If you have questions about an existing alarm system or you need to have a new alarm system installed anywhere in the Sacramento, Ca you can contact Bill Robinson @ Security Masters. Bill can also help you with a DIY installation anywhere in California. Bill can also recommend a qualified alarm installation company by request.