How to Automate Your Home Security System

Sometimes having to check in with your smartphone all the time to see what your home security system is doing can be a real pain. Having your home security and alarm systems automated you will receive alerts on your smartphone if there’s any activity taking place with your home security surveillance cameras.

To set up a home security system to work automatically you will need security cameras, sensors on your doors and windows, lighting, motion detectors, and a smart screen to control your system. Follow the detailed steps below to set up the security of your home. Then you will be alerted if there’s an issue.

4 Steps to Automate Your Home Security System

2. Components

You will need to put together the components that will make up your home security and alarm systems. The devices you will need are a surveillance camera [one or more], and an assortment of sensors for the windows and doors you want to protect. Motion sensors and motion sensor lights as well as a device to control the system.

  • Security Cameras – Having security cameras placed in the key areas where entry can be gained is the core of the system. Just having cameras located out of reach, but in plain view will be a good deterrent to send burglars onto another home. The cameras can record whenever there is motion detected and the system can send an alert to your smartphone or the monitoring company if you’re using one. If you live in an apartment or your renting you can still have the protection of a home security system.
  • Sensors… Using door and window sensors will detect if a window or door is being opened and can respond with an audio alarm from your security system and send you an alert to your smartphone.
  •  Lighting… This is another vital component to the security of your home; you can program the lights in your home using smart devices to come on when the sensors detect movement. You can also program which lights to come on and go off to give your home the impression that someone is home if you’re not there.
  • Motion Detectors… These motion detectors really add to the security of your home and when their triggered lights will turn on, activate the security camera to begin recording, and will send notifications to you if you’re using a home monitoring company they will receive alerts as well.
  • Control Panel… This is the backbone of the whole system which allows controlling and monitoring and making changes to the system from a tablet, control screen, or smartphone.

2. Wiring and Installation

It’s very important when going thru the process of installing your home security system that everything is wired correctly. Be leery of the term “wireless” which implies just “no wires”.  This refers to the way the system sends the data of video and audio, a wireless video needs at least a cable or power cord to supply power to it.

While there are systems that use solar power and batteries that don’t require any hard wiring they tend to be less reliable simply because the batteries die and need to be changed out. A good wired security system with battery backup is the best choice. Just as important is the location of the cameras,

3. Motion Sensor Sensitivity

A common problem with a home security system is false alarms; this can be lessened by locating your cameras in areas that don’t have branches or other obstructions that will blow around in the wind giving your false alarms. There are usually sensitivity adjustment settings on the camera or motion sensor and some security systems allow you to adjust this from the software end.

4. Setting up the App

You’re going to need a screen or device to control the home security system and the easiest is using your smartphone. This will let you receive notifications and watch the live video feed from wherever you are, and if you’re not using a home monitoring company this will give you full control over the system.

Remember that many home automation systems that combine different products from different manufacturers may not have an app that will work with different devices.

How to Choose a Good Home Security System

Finding that home security system that will provide you with the home security you need today and in the years to come can be a bit overwhelming, considering the large number of alarm companies to choose from. To help you choose a good security system here are some tips to consider.

– What type of monitoring system will you need?

– DIY or paid monitoring.

– Home automation technology and its capacity.

– Customer support.

– Home security package options.

– Costs and monthly fees.

– Picking a good company.

Monitoring your security system is the backbone to providing safety and security to your home. While some monitoring methods are better than others you’ll want to look at each method that provides the best connection for your situation. Some methods can be less secure and depending on your location and access to the different technologies.

Some locations don’t have access to cellular coverage or do you have a home automation system to tie into? The 3 main options are Landline, broadband, and cellular. Let’s take a look at each method.

– Landline… Also known as the “twisted wire” is an actual wired phone line that connects to the monitoring company. While it’s not the most updated method or as secure it is the least expensive option to choose from.

– Broadband… This is an internet connection that will notify your monitoring company in the event of an emergency. This connection is quicker and more secure than the conventional landline and is much cheaper than having to use a cellular connection. This method will only provide coverage if there’s internet access. If you live in an area that has unreliable internet you can use both broadband and landline to have a more reliable method.

– Cellular… Just like a cell phone, the cellular method is becoming more popular because it’s the most reliable and not easily tampered with. It’s faster than landline and broadband and does not require any wiring to operate. It’s also the most expensive method; some alarm monitoring companies are providing 100 percent coverage via cellular.

Choosing Between DIY and Professional Installation

Installing your home security system breaks down into 2 options, Do it yourself or have a professional installation done. Both of these choices come with different pros and cons, if you don’t have access to the internet you will have to have a landline or cellular connection. For those of you who are renting a wireless or cellular system is best. For more information on renting read my article “DIY Home Security Systems for Home or Apartment Renters

Installing your Own Home Security System

– DIY System… If you choose to install your system yourself you’ll be in total control, giving you’re the option to put your sensors and camera devices where you want them. Going with a DIY system will also give you the option of going wireless, and depending on which system you have decided to install there will be some technical support that you can call if you need some help. And there’s no charge to install your system yourself!

– Professionally Installed… Choosing to have the security system installed by a professional lets you sit back while they install the system. They will go over your home’s layout and access points to determine the best location for cameras and sensors. A couple of things that you may want to look at is the fee to have them install the system and the time needed to install it. If you’re going with a monitored system the company usually installs the system and you pay a monthly rate for it.

Adding a Security System to a Smart Home

Combining the security system with smart home devices will give you more control and added safety. The smart home system lets you control lights, locks, cameras, motion sensors and temperature of your home and you can even use a smart assistant to make your system respond to your voice commands. Just be sure the security system you choose can handle the added devices from your smart home.

4 Questions about Home Security Systems

1] Is There Any Advantage of Using a Monitored Alarm System?

The biggest advantage of having a monitored system company is if the system is triggered the company that’s monitoring your system will be notified and they will send you an alert and will notify the authorities. Having a home system that only alerts you when an alarm is triggered means you will get the alert and you will have to notify the authorities.

The whole purpose of home alarm systems is to provide you with security and safety and to let you know if something is going on around or in your home when you’re away. If you were home at the time you could be placed in a dangerous situation or major emergency and not be able to contact the authorities quickly. Having a self-monitored system will save you money; there are different low-cost monitoring options that will keep you safe in the event of an emergency.

2] What Options Do Renters Have as an Owner and Renters?

If you’re a homeowner you will have more options of home alarm systems to pick from. You can choose a wired or a wireless system, contract length, and much more. You can add more sensors to provide coverage to all the entrance areas and windows on the ground floor. Research has shown that a home with a good alarm system will deter most burglars from trying to break into your home.

If you’re a renter you will have fewer choices, you won’t have the freedom to drill holes and run wires to install your home security system. Your best option will be a Wi-Fi or cellular system that requires no holes and wires to be installed. You will also need to think about entering into a long-term contract if you’re having the system monitored by a company.

There are some monitoring companies that have renter packages, be careful when choosing a package and be sure to read the fine print. Most companies will charge a fee to move your system and you may not be able to cancel your contract if you need to move.

3] What are Your Options When Moving?

It is possible to transfer your security system to another home, but it may cost some extra charges depending on the company’s policies. Before signing any contract make sure you know their policies. Don’t take the salesmen’s work that it can be moved. Get in writing before committing to the contract.

A lot of monitoring companies will also be charging you a fee to reactivate and re-set up the equipment and they may extend your existing contract. Many established companies will allow a move without any fees, again make sure you read the full contract and ask questions and have it added to the contract before accepting and signing it.

4] Do Home Security Systems Need to be Registered?

This will depend on your local regulations; it’s a really good idea to register your alarm system with your local police department. You simply give them a call and ask them if you need to register it and if there’s going to be a charge.

Sometimes when a system is not registered the police may not respond or you may be charged a fee for their response. Usually, if you have a false alarm and the police respond you will be charged a fee. It’s better to register your home security system to save the possible problems when you need help.