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By: Jo Chew
Date: 7/2/2005

Home security is important for peace of mind. Nothing is worse than having to worry about your loved ones and possessions! When deciding on what kind of home security system would suit you best, there are alot of factors to consider:

- Budget
- Age of home (ie Heritage house, New house etc)
- Level of security required and type of security system (ie video surveillance or conventional alarm system)

Budget

The amount you budget for your home security is a very important factor. As this will ultimately determine what type of security system you can install. The most commonly used home security system would be one using Passive Infrared sensors (PIR's) and reed switches, which are wired back to a control panel. And more expensive systems being video surveillance systems, which comprise of cameras and a DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

Your home security system should not be taken lightly and it is important that you sit down and work out a budget, and the intended goal. This way you can get the best value for your money, and ultimately have a peace of mind.

One last, important point I should mention, is that its important not to set a budget too low. It is much easier and cheaper, to get everything right the first time, than to go back and add extra items later.

Age of home

Alot of different options exist for different homes:

New Homes
If a new home is being built, it is much easier to wire a home security system while the house while it is still a frame, than to do it later by climbing under the house or in the roof!

Existing Home
For an existing home, generally 2 options exist: wired, or wireless. Wired options are always better if possible, but it would depend on how easily you can get the wiring done. If there is limited roof access or limited access under the house, a wireless system may be a better option.

Heritage Home
Alot of heritage homes from the 1800's, as well as early 1900's were of course designed with no home security in mind. Often these houses are historical items in which putting holes in walls and wiring the house can devalue the house not to mention these houses tend to be more fragile.

In such houses, wireless options are always recommended.

Level of security required and type of security system


Everyone should be familiar with the most common home security system. In which a person comes home, and disarms the alarm by punching a pin code into a control panel. These alarms will generally detect an intruder and sound a loud siren if a pin code is not entered within a certain time frame.

Most people would probably also be familiar with CCTV security systems as well. CCTV stands for closed circuit television. These systems make use of cameras, which make it useful to identify the intruder, as well as see what they are doing.

Generally CCTV security systems in the past have not been used in the average home, they were often seen as expensive and not required. Due to advances in technology, they are not as expensive as they once were, and now more affordable for use in the home. They still are and probably always will be, more expensive than a control panel/PIR based security system. CCTV for home security can often be daunting, as the systems can be complicated: DVRs? color or black and white? infrared lighting? zoning? And so on. As a result alot of customers are often ripped off because they simply did not know enough about the subject.

Tips and Tricks


Appearances can be everything, often a good step when planning your home security system, is to think like a burglar:

-best method of entry and exit
-why this house instead of another house in the street

You can then cover the likely entry points. Also some cheap tricks include:

-Fixing a siren/strobe to the front of the house
-Affixing security stickers near the front door
-Making use of dummy cameras

With a few simple easily visible items, this alone should be enough to deter a possible vandal, as it appears your house has a security system, even though it may not! This itself should be enough for a vandal to choose an easier target!