Why should I have a security alarm system?
Having a security alarm system may decreases the chances of a burglary. Even if the alarm system does not keep a burglar from breaking in, it may cause the burglar to stay a shorter amount of time.
What Should a Security Alarm System Include?
Most systems rely on a combination of contacts placed at doors and windows and motion sensors.
It is best that all exterior potential points of entry have contacts that sense when they are open. Glass break sensors are also available and recommended.
Motion sensors should not be used as the primary means of detection because they do not detect someone until they are already in the house.
The basic elements of a standard home security system include:
- Control panel: This is where the system wiring terminates, the backup battery is located and where it is connected to the phone lines if it is a monitored system.
- Keypad: This is where the system is armed and disarmed.
- Inside motion detector: These sense changes in a room caused by human presence. Special motion detectors are available for people who have pets.
- Door and window contacts: This sounds the alarm when the door or window is opened (and the system is on).
- A central monitoring station (Company): If the system is monitored, and the alarm is set off, the control panel sends a message to a central monitoring station, which is manned 24 hours a day.
- After attempting to contact the homeowner, the central monitoring station will contact the police, fire department, or medics.
- There is usually a monthly fee for this service.
Additional items that can be added to the basic system are:
- Smoke detectors
- Glass break detectors
- Panic buttons
- Pressure mats for under rugs
- Closed circuit TV to allow monitoring and/or recording inside or outside a home.
- Alarm screens for windows.
Things to Remember About Security Alarm Systems
Burglars realize most security systems sound inside the house and then the alarm is transferred to remote locations through the telephone lines.
Most phone lines are typically exposed on the outside of the house in an easily accessible location where the phone line can be cut. If the telephone line is cut, the security alarm system cannot notify the central monitoring station of the break-in.
If the phone line is run underground until it is inside the home (with the main telephone junction box inside the home), the thief cannot tamper with the telephone line until after he or she has broken in.
Having a protected phone line to your house is a good idea whether you have a security alarm system or not.
Remember: Security systems do not prevent thieves from breaking into homes.
A good security plan should include strong window, door and lock products and good security habits.
State Farm® believes the information contained in the Disaster Survival House is reliable and accurate. We cannot, however, guarantee the performance of all items demonstrated or described in all situations. Always consult an experienced contractor or other expert to determine the best application of these ideas or products in your home.