Home Security Systems


Home security systems have come a long way from locks and barred windows that used to be the only types of home security available. Advances in technology have made home security systems highly sophisticated, while more and more affordable prices made them a very common feature of modern homes.

Home security systems can basically be divided into two types – the so-called “bells-only” and monitored security systems. The first type involves the use of loud alarm which goes off when the perceived threat is detected by the device, for example smoke or unauthorised entry. In the first case, the device only alerts everyone on a fire danger and does not have any effect on the hazard itself unless the fire alarm also includes a fire extinguishing system. In the second case, however, “bells-only” home security systems also work as an active security mean because a loud alarm typically scares off the burglars. Some “bells-only” home security systems may include transmission of the information to the fire department or police. This further increases home security by shortening the response time because the information about location and type of hazard are automatically transmitted to the fire department or police.


The second type of home security systems – monitored security systems or video surveillance involves the use of video cameras which are connected to a central monitoring system. They may serve as an identification and access-control system such as video door phone for instance but they are often also used as crime deterrence. A logo that the home is equipped with a video surveillance or the sight of a video camera scares off most potential burglars and other criminals. They are more likely to be identified if breaking into a home with a video surveillance, while the video material can be used as evidence against them in the court. The efficiency of this type of home security systems for deterring crime also reveals the popularity of dummy cameras which are used to create an appearance of a monitored security system. Some video surveillance systems may also include sound alarms and automatic transmission of the information to the police. Security systems which are used by apartment complexes typically include live monitoring and a trained security guard.

The available home security systems have dramatically improved home safety and decreased the risk of some of the most common hazards such as fire and burglary. They have proven to be highly effective and very easy to use but home owners are warned against relying on the security systems alone. Even if the home is equipped with the most technologically advanced security systems, it is crucial to follow the basic home safety guidelines which include following the usual fire safety measures, locking the doors and windows when leaving the home, cancelling the mail or ask a trustworthy neighbour to pick it up while being away, etc. as well as to use the home security systems responsibly. The devices should maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions and tested on a regular basis to make sure that they are working, while the code which deactivates the security system must not be revealed to anyone.