Anatomy of a Home Security System


Installing a home alarm system is an investment, and although it may be tempting to simply hire the alarm company that offers the lowest pricing, bear in mind that you’ll likely pay for it later if they botch the installation. The question is not whether to install one – or even how much it costs. The key question to ask is what kind of security system is right for your individual home, family and lifestyle?

Your home security system may be comprised of motion detectors, smoke detectors, transmitters and more. A reputable security systems provider will visit the home and custom-configure the various components of the system that best matches your specific requirements. The accompanying diagram is a breakdown of those components – what they do, where they can be placed.

An optimal home security system should be a custom set of components that meet your unique needs. An expert home security company will work with you to determine which features are most important to you, and design the system to suit your home and your lifestyle.

Yard Sign

The deterrence factor at work: burglars will usually bypass a house with yard signs and/or window decals. This is the first line of defense for home security. Even though some homeowners  who have invested in a security system will choose not to display the signs or decals – usually for aesthetic reasons – the alarm system will still do its job, however, once a burglar breaks a window or door (thinking there is no alarm system) they still can usually manage to take valuables before the police respond. We provide signs and decals for all of our customers and we always advise them to take full advantage of this proven deterrence method.

Security Camera

In recent years, new advances in technology along with lower costs has made video surveillance much more accessible for more end users. While many homeowners use analog closed circuit television cameras, enhanced-feature digital video cameras networked over the internet and accessed and controlled by the homeowner from desktop computers and mobile devices are rapidly gaining in popularity.

Garage Door Controller

Garage door remote transmitters are a fairly new and extremely popular  feature in home automation. The technology lets end users open and close their garage doors with the same key fob they used to operate their home security systems and will ping the homeowner with notifications if a garage door has been opened when it normally shouldn’t be and make sure that the garage door is closed at a specific time each day.

Wireless Communicator

Communicates with your central monitoring station to alert them of any incidents – using RF (Radio Frequency) wireless technology of the same type which enables mobile phones to communicate.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses and on average, about 170 people in the United States die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products. Every life safety setup needs devices that alert when deadly toxic CO gas is detected.

Exterior Windows

Whenever the sensor detects movement – such as when window is opened – a notification is transmitted to the control panel.

Smoke Detector

One-quarter (23%) of the deaths were caused by fires in properties in which smoke alarms were present but failed to operate, and nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms. An expert installer will place smoke detector properly so as to avoid nuisance activations.

Heat Detector

Different than a smoke detector, a heat detector senses temperature. A heat detector will function best in fires with high flames, intense heat and very little smoke. Heat detectors are good options for dusty and dirty environments that trigger false alarms on smoke detectors.

Water Sensors

When sensors detect flooding, they send a signal to notify the homeowner. The installer will advise where to place them. i.e. near appliances, water lines, toilets, etc.

Sliding Glass Doors

The classic “broom handle in the door track” won’t deter a skilled burglar, since they can lift the door off its tracks (or just break the glass). The solution is a sensor that detects all movements, as well as a glass break sensor.

Main Entrance

Door contacts are devices mounted in the door track or door jam that notify upon opening and closing of doors. Along with deadbolt locks, they ensure that doors are properly defended against break-ins.

Alarm System Keypad

Typically near your home’s entrance and controls the entire system, modern user-friendly keypads use graphics and menu-driven prompts to make it very easy for homeowners to take advantage of all the security system features.

Interior Garage Door

The door from the garage into your house should be every bit as as secure as the main entrance or front door. Install transmitters to notify the system when the door is opened, and deadbolt locks to help defend against break-ins.