Home Security Systems
Safe & Sound
There are a variety of security systems for homes and the options must be carefully considered depending upon the home and the level of security required. They can range from standard house alarms and CCTV, to security gates and electric fences.Start of page
Intruder alarms are the most common means of home security, and there are two kinds — a bell–only alarm and a monitored alarm.
When a bell–only alarm is installed, a number of sensors are fitted around the inside of the house, at windows or doors, and in main rooms. Once the alarm is activated these sensors will set off the alarm bell or siren if anyone crosses their path. An alarm box is also fitted on the outside of the house with the intention of warning burglars that there is a home security system in place and the intruder alarm will be set off if they break in.
However, since these sensors can often be set off accidentally, even when the house is empty, bell–only alarms are often an annoyance to neighbours, and nowadays the police will not respond to one unless someone also reports seeing something or someone suspicious which would indicate criminal activity.
This is not helped by the fact that the infrared motion sensors of such systems can be easily set off by pets or children.
It is for this reason that monitored alarms can provide more effective security for homes. Monitored alarms also use sensors, but the system is connected by telephone to an Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), and if the alarm is set off the system automatically calls the ARC. If two or more separate sensors have been triggered the police are alerted. Additional security features of monitored alarms include personal attack buttons and a secret code that can be sent to the ARC if the householder is forced to turn off the alarm — this is called a duress signal.
Surveillance systems, CCTV and security cameras are increasingly common these days, and advancing technology has introduced wireless versions which can be conveniently and easily installed in any position required.
Black and white surveillance cameras are cheap and simple to install and can be sensor–activated, or set up to continually monitor areas inside or outside the home, and/or to take still photographs periodically. There are laws governing personal use though, including the fact that neighbours and the general public’s privacy must be respected and cameras must only be pointed at the householder’s own property.
CCTV is already a familiar sight on commercial premises and are now increasingly common on the domestic market, and can deter burglars simply by alerting them to the fact that a more sophisticated alarm system is in operation — and that they could be caught in action on film! CCTV kits and systems are widely available for anyone attempting a DIY installation.
Home security cameras also act as a preventative measure — they can light up dark areas to prevent crimes from being carried out in the security of darkness, and they are more and more commonly used to monitor the safety of children in the care of a sitter.Start of page
Locked wooden or metal gates can act as a deterrent simply by providing a physical obstacle to entry, however a higher level of security can be achieved with sliding or automatic security gates.
- Sliding security gates are ideal for drives which slope or where space is restricted for them to open, as they can slide sideways, swing in or out, or up and over. They can be key locked, or electricity or wireless operated by remote control.
- Automatic security gates can keep intruders out, and children and pets in, and, again, can be either electricity or wireless controlled by remote control. The installation or an intercom and/or video can be installed to monitor visitors, and sensors can be used to detect vehicles and allow, or prevent them from entering.
These can provide great peace of mind when operated by sensors, so that intruders would be deterred by the sudden light on approaching a house, and they are also a comforting means of lighting the way to the door at night. Some security lighting systems also incorporate CCTV, so that any events triggering the light to come on are recorded, or can be viewed on television.Start of page
Secure fencing can keep intruders out, especially those with spikes or barbwire attached to them. Electric fencing provides an even more effective barrier by giving the person or animal attempted to cross it an uncomfortable shock. It is vital that all electric fencing required complies with relevant standards, in Europe: European/British Standards BSEN 61011 220V/110V, BSEN 61011–2 Battery, BS 60335–2–76 and relevant EMC Standards.
Many of the above systems can be DIY installed but anyone lacking in experience would be strongly advised to consult a home security specialist.Start of page