All home security alarm systems work on the same basic principle of securing the interior and perimeter of your home; doors and windows, as well as interior space containing valuables like art, computers, guns, and coin collections. Regardless of the size of your home, apartment or business, or the number of doors and windows or interior rooms a homeowner decides to protect, the only real difference is in the number of security components deployed throughout the home and monitored by the control panel, and the technology used.
The most basic definition of any security alarm system is found in its name; it is not any simpler than that. A security alarm system is a method by which a human being or an object is protected and/or secured through a system of integrated electronic components and devices. These zoned integrated electronic devices working together wirelessly or hardwired with a central control panel to protect against fire, medical emergencies, floods, smoke, carbon monoxide, burglars and other potential home intruders.
A typical home security alarm system includes:
- A control panel (Integrated keypad, or centrally located with a remote keypad), which is the primary controller of a home’s security system
- Wireless or Hardwired Door and window sensors
- Wireless or Hardwired Motion sensors, both interior and exterior
- Wired or wireless security cameras
- A high-decibel siren or alarm
- A yard sign and window stickers
Home security alarm systems work on the simple concept of on or off, and open or closed. When you arm (ON) your alarm system via a arming keypad, your are essentially securing all installed sensors (Door and Window Sensors, Motion Detectors, etc.) which communicate with a control panel or command center installed in a convenient location somewhere in the home.
Control Panel: The control panel is nothing more than a computer and the arming/disarming keypad is the Keyboard and Monitror; the control panel is the device that arms and disarms the security system, communicates with each installed component, sounds the alarm when a security zone is breached, and communicates with an alarm monitoring company.
Door and Window Sensors: Door and window sensors are comprised of two parts installed adjacent to each other (Magnet and Switch). One part of the device is installed on the door or window and the other on the door frame or window sill. When a door or window is closed, the two parts of the sensor are joined together, creating a security circuit.
When the security alarm system is armed at the control panel, these sensors communicate with it by reporting that the point of entry is secure. Should a monitored door or window suddenly be opened, the security circuit is broken (opened) and the control panel interprets this as a breach of a secured zone. A high-decibel alarm is sounded and in most instances the alarm monitoring company is automatically notified.
Motion Sensors: These security components, when armed, protect a given space by creating an invisible zone that cannot be breached without sounding an alarm. These are typically used to protect rooms containing valuables, as well as areas less frequented in larger homes.
Surveillance Cameras: Available in both wired and wireless configurations, surveillance cameras can be used in several different ways as part of an overall security system.
Typical uses include monitoring:
- Hard to see or distant areas of your property
- Remote buildings like garages, barns, and workshops
- Entry points, both exterior and interior, like garage doors and front doors
Surveillance cameras can be accessed remotely on computers, smartphones, and tablets. They are often used in this method when homeowners are out of town, to watch for deliveries and other service personnel like caregivers and landscapers, and to monitor the arrival of children after school. They can also be used to record any security breaches, which could result in having footage of a home invasion, including a good look at the burglars and perhaps even the vehicle they drove.
High-decibel Alarm: Loud enough for neighbors to hear, home security alarms serve a few different purposes. First, they alert the people inside the house that a problem occurred. They’re also shrill enough to send a burglar running while also notifying nearby neighbors to the situation.
Security alarm systems are designed to perform certain tasks when a secured zone is breached. What your security alarm system does in the event of an intrusion depends on the type of system you’re using.
Professionally Monitored Security Systems: If your security system is professionally monitored by an alarm company, they are alerted when a security sensor is triggered. Along with the high-decibel alarm that sounds, the monitoring company is alerted. A trained security expert might attempt to communicate with the homeowner via the control panel if it’s setup for 2-Way Voice communication, or will call the emergency contact number listed on the account.
These types of security systems communicate with the monitoring company in one of several ways, including:
- Over existing home phone lines, which continue to work during power outages when battery backup is in use.
- Wirelessly through cellular, wifi, or Ethernet.
- Via the Internet, which typically does not work in a power outage unless a battery backup solution is applied.
In the event of an actual emergency, the monitoring company will notify the appropriate emergency response agency in your area. This includes Police, Fire Department, and Medical. The monitoring company will also try to maintain communication with you until emergency response agencies arrive at your home.
Non-monitored Security Systems: There are plenty of security systems available today that don’t include professionally monitored services. In the event of a home intrusion when this type of security system is installed, a high-decibel alarm sounds (provided one is installed). Contacting police, fire, or other emergency response personnel must be initiated by the homeowner by dialing the appropriate number, typically 911.
These types of systems may or may not allow for text messages or email notifications to be sent to the homeowner in the event of a security breach, depending on the provider and the system you opted for.
In the United States there are about 18 million homes protected by home security alarm systems. If you are in the market from a home security alarm system to protect your family, you should be aware that the price of monthly monitoring varies depending on a few important key factors. The terms of your maintenance service contract,safety and security features you choose to have monitored are a few of the most important elements that determine how much monitoring will cost on a monthly basis. As a baseline, monthly monitoring with no features enabled, and about 10 zones monitored via a telephone line should NOT be more than $20.00.
- A maintenance/service agreement can add an additional $10.00 a month to your monthly monitoring contract.
- Interactive arming to your alarm system can add an additional $8.00 to your monthly contract.
- Each 4 zones added to your alarm system can add an additional $1.00 to your monthly contract.
- An additional $1.00 could be added to monitor Fire, Police, and Medical Panics
- Home Automation enabled on a system could add an additional $5.00
Expect to pay anywhere from $40.00 – $60.00 depending on the options and features that are enabled.
With Artelisys, your monthly monitoring via a telephone line and 10 zone protected alarm system, your monthly cost is $16.95.
When calculating the cost of alarm monitoring, you should be aware that the majority of insurance companies offer home owner insurance discounts of 5 to 20 percent or more when you take advantage of a monitored home security system. And of course, possibly thwarting a home invasion or burglary saves your family from an incalculable emotional toll. For most homeowners, the annual costs for a homeowners insurance policy can be estimated by dividing the value of the home by 1,000, then multiplying the result by $3.50. If your home was values at $400,000 dollars, your annual insurance cost would be about $1,400 dollars; taking a conservative discount savings from having an alarm system installed, 10% discount from $1,400, is $140.00 a year.
Your overall Artelisys monthly monitoring fee with the discount from your homeowners insurance policy could potentially cost you only $4.71.
In a 2013 FBI crime report, the average value of stolen property during a burglary was $2,300, Artelisys recommends alarm monitoring. Often costing less than your cable or phone service, An Artelisys security alarm system provides the safety and security at a great value.
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, apartments are actually 85% more likely to be burglarized than single-family homes? Most people normally do not think of burglaries and apartments. So Yes, you should consider a security alarm system for your apartment.
The importance of Apartment Security Systems
“Home security” doesn’t only refer to a house or family home (Single Dwelling House); it applies just as much to apartments. Renters of apartments have valuable possessions as much as homeowners do, so they are just as vulnerable, if not statistically more.
Burglars do not have different methods of burglarizing homes vs apartments, their tactics are the same: burglars will most often attack during the day, and, according to ApartmentSearch.com, they look for empty apartments with easy access, plenty of cover, and the best escape routes. Crime Doctor reports that more than 30 percent of all apartment burglars enter through an open door or window. For these reasons, it is important to consider and invest in apartment security measures that will keep you, your family, and your possessions safe.
What Options Are There For Apartment Security Systems
Some apartment security measures are easy and can be taken care of quickly; typically, a 3 – 6 zone security systems is all that is needed in most situations. Considering a basic apartment floor plan, the front door, patio door, 3 windows and a motion sensor is typically all that is needed. You can even include home automation in the package too; you are not limited as most would think. You should always request a security consultant to come out to your residence for a proper security design; elect a company that offers a free security consultation.
Should you go with wired or wireless?
Being in the industry for a very long time, a wired security package is likely not an option; in almost all apartment applications, wireless security alarm systems are well suited for an apartment. Plus, you can’t bring a wired system with you when you move, so you don’t want to waste that investment on a home you won’t be staying in for a long period of time.