What Do You Get When You Buy A Smart Home Alarm System?

CCTV and smart home alarmWhen you invest in a Smart Home alarm system you don’t just get alarms, you get cameras, door and window sensors, smoke, fire, water and CO detectors too. You can buy a full outfit for your home, or you can start off small and add more devices as you discover you need additional sensors and detectors. Your home security alarm package is adaptable and customizable, not only can you add new detectors and alarms, you can add skills and If This Then That (IFTTT) when particular events occur. DIY kits are a good entry level security solution which you can usually install in an afternoon while professionally installed systems take about as long for an engineer to install, after planning the coverage that your property will receive and installing all the appropriate devices, installing the software and hardware and syncing all the devices together.

As well as opting between DIY or professional installation, you can choose between DIY and professional monitoring as well. With DIY monitoring you’ll receive emails, SMS and Push notifications when sensors and motion detectors are triggered, whereas if you choose professional monitoring an agent will be notified and, depending on what they observe, will attempt to contact you in person. If they can’t contact you via the above methods they’ll try to phone you. If they still can’t contact you then they will call the emergency services.

Capture The Evidence And You Capture The Criminal

Monitoring your home security yourself is free, but if you’re asleep or away from your phone or computer you won’t know what’s going on until it’s too late. Any video footage your cameras capture can be sent to a computer or to a subscription based archiving utility on the cloud. Storing video footage off site has obvious advantages if the burglar steals your computer, and stores the film according to time and date and will archive it for a month, year or indefinitely, depending on your preference.

When it comes to monitoring your home security system there are a number of options. You can do it entirely yourself, you can outsource it to a monitoring service who will contact you or the emergency services when your alarms or sensors detect an intruder, fire or flood, then there’s the Pay as You Go / On Demand option where you subscribe for a monitoring package for a specific time, meaning that if you go on holiday you can leave your phone switched off knowing that if there is an emergency then someone else will handle it on your behalf.

Buy Alarms Now, Add More Sensors Later

Smart home security set-ups are modular, meaning that you can buy a basic package now and add more and more devices to your security system as you feel. As well as intruder deterrent and detection, you can add further CCTV cameras, intercoms and access control, alarms, motion, smoke, carbon monoxide sensors, lights and sirens at any point. Most people starting out will want to invest in a door camera and CCTV cameras to watch over the doors and windows. Sensors which alert you to any windows or doors opening are a wise investment and can easily be added to your system and controlled either via a wall mounted hub or an app which you can download to your phone, then simply add new devices by syncing them with the security hub as and when you need.

As you add door locks, garage door openers, indoor, outdoor and perimeter cameras, lights and sirens, smoke and fire detectors you can also develop new skills and protocols for them. For example you might want to turn the garage light on when you use the garage door opener, but turn on a night vision camera and send an alert whenever the door is opened without the use of the opener.

Your entry level DIY alarm package should contain CCTV cameras to watch over doors and windows which can alert you to people on your property, door and window sensors which will tell you if they are opened while the alarm is armed, motion sensors which don’t need to be in every room, but should be used to let you know if people are on stairways, halls and landings (you can adjust the sensitivity to prevent false alarms being triggered if you have pets).

Professional Planning And Alarm Installation Delivers Peace Of Mind

The benefit of having your alarms and security system fitted professionally is that your installers will have planned and designed your coverage, identified the best products, and places to locate your cameras and monitors, and they will fit all the equipment safely, taking care of any drilling and hammering so you don’t have to. All you have to do is read the manual so you know how it all works and how to adjust the settings to achieve the perfect balance of security and privacy. Your installer will be able to give you advice and answer all your questions while on site, a benefit you don’t get when talking to a sales representative in the shop or when ordering online.

Different components work on different frequencies and protocols so it’s wise to ensure that different devices will work with your hub. There should be no significant problems, as that’s the whole point of connected IoT technology, but sometimes there are extra steps that need to be taken to get devices to work in conjunction. Door sensors, window sensors, fire, smoke and motion sensors usually work on Z Wave or Zigbee, a short range signal which can be meshed to increase coverage and uses little power or signal. This means they are among the smallest devices so they can be discretely placed throughout the home. Z Wave and Zigbee create a closed system and work on an AE128 security platform which, along with their limited range, make them especially well suited for domestic security applications. CCTV on the other hand uses WiFi as sending video and sound uses more power and data. Being WiFi the devices is relatively easy to secure yourself by simply changing usernames and passwords.

Adapt The Alarm and Security System To Not Only Detect Intruders, Use It To Make Life Easier Too

Once your security system and alarms are installed you can get to work creating rules, workflows and If This Then That sequences, these are rules that trigger other things to happen when an even occurs. For example you could operate the garage door opener but as well as the door opening, the lights come on and the CCTV is switched off. Conversely, if the door is opened manually an IFTT workflow could turn on night vision CCTV throughout the entire home and alert you to a potential problem.

Other customised rules which are possible would be turning security and indoor lights on when motion is detected either by motion detectors or your CCTV. Unlike older security lights, Smart security enabled lights can be adjusted to come on only when motion is detected in a specified area, meaning your lights don’t come on every time anyone walks past your property, or only when they’re right on the door step. Another idea is ensuring that all the doors are automatically unlocked when a fire or smoke alarm is activated, making evacuation and entry for the emergency services as fast and easy as possible.

Briant Communications have years of experience installing a range of electronic home security systems and are familiar with a range of different products and user packages to suit any number of homes, retail and office properties. If you’d like to discuss Smart Security and Smart Alarms then call us on 01273 465377 or fill in your details on our Contact Us page.

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