As security systems grow smarter and more advanced, they actually become easier to install on your own. A sensor here, a motion detector there, a camera somewhere else—and one panel to control them all.
How can you actually do it, though? What steps are key in making sure that your system is properly set up and won’t go off just because you opened the curtains or walked down the stairs?
This simple guide will walk you through the various steps and tips to make your system work for you and not against you.
Look at your home: the inviting front porch, the perfectly laid driveway and two-car garage, and the large windows facing the manicured lawn at the back of the property. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
Now, look at it again. Where are the weak spots that thieves will target? Most home invasions happen on the ground floor. So, look for areas that are open, yet obscured from the road or neighbours, and dimly lit. Perhaps, placing one camera per area as well as motion-activated flood lights are a safe bet.
How secure are the window and door frames on the ground floor? Reinforcement of frames and door locks will go a long way to aiding your security system, along with the addition of smart locks.
How many people are allowed in your home without you being there? Personalized codes would be very handy to have.
Knowing what alarms you need will save time, as you can purchase all-in-one packages. That way, you won’t spend more time than necessary running out to get additional cameras or detectors.
The ideal place for your access panel will be next to your main point of entry, where you and your family usually enter and exit. Not only does this give you time to set the alarm and leave the property, but you don’t have to run through the house to turn it off when you return.
The wall should be stable and able to hold a few pounds without breaking. Most panels now just require one or two screws to hold them in place.
Make sure that the wall itself is clean and bump-free. A smooth surface will make it a lot easier. The panel will also need to be near a power source unless it is battery-operated.
Once installed, you can then take your time to set up the other devices and make sure that you can program them properly as you go.
Smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors usually come as a standard part of security systems now. Make sure that these are placed in key locations throughout the house.
Fire and smoke detectors typically go in the main walk-through of the house, such as the hallway and areas leading to the bedrooms and bathrooms. Don’t put a fire and smoke detector directly in the kitchen. The heat given off by the stove can sometimes trigger them if they are too sensitive. While they need to be on the same floor level, placing them closer to the main living room or by the front door is preferred.
Door sensors should be placed on all doors that enter into your home as the majority of break-ins happen through ground floor doors. Window sensors, motion sensors or glass break detectors should be placed near ground-floor windows, as these areas can be vulnerable.
Cameras and motion-activated lights are a great deterrent, but they need to go in the right places to be effective. You have a wide range of options now, from colour night vision to infrared, doorbell cameras, or even pan-tilt-zoom cameras.
The data can also be monitored in real time, and the backup data can be stored on a secured cloud or an external hard drive.
Placement is crucial when it comes to cameras. If you install them too high or too low, you won’t get the images you need. Make sure that they are placed in a position in which they can capture a large area.
Almost all the smart devices that make up your home security system are programmable, and you can set them to automatically turn on and off, so you don’t have to think about it.
Smart door locks that automatically lock if left unlocked for more than a few minutes., for instance, or thermostats that lower the temperature during the day when you are not home can save time and money and take just a few moments to do.
Assign access codes to the people who live in the home, as well as cleaners, babysitters, and anyone else that has constant access. This allows you to see who is coming and going.
Additionally, make sure that your panel is set up right to enable the system to work properly, and not cause you to have to redo it repeatedly.
This step might seem obvious, but you should test the security system. Call the monitoring centre to ensure they can see all your devices, there are no breaks in the system, and everything works as it should.
You can then place lawn signs and decals to show you are confidently secured and protected with a working alarm system.
Installing an alarm system seems simple in theory, and in practice, it can be. Still, even the best of us can make mistakes, and this can lead to frustration and giving up on the investment you have spent time and money on.
If you are unsure, have questions, or would just feel happier having someone else install your new security system, reach out to the professionals who will have it done quickly and effectively.