How to Figure Out What You Really Need In a Home Security System (Part 5)

by dave

How to Figure Out What You Really Need In a Home Security SystemHow well will you get along with your new home security system?

This is the latest article in a series helping you figure out what you need in a home security system for your home or apartment.

In previous articles, we’ve looked at cameras, protecting your home’s entrances, detecting an intruder indoors, and assembling all the pieces into a system that’s right for you.

This time we’ll continue with a look at convenience in how you interact with the system—even in an emergency situation.

If you want to go back and start at the beginning of the series, here’s part 1.

Convenient activation & deactivation

No doubt you will want to be able to easily activate or deactivate your system.

Forgetting to or not wanting to bother activating your system is one of the big mistakes that people often make. The more convenient you can make it, the less likely this will become an issue for you.

Common ways to activate a system are keypads, keychain remotes and handheld remotes.

If you’ve already climbed into bed for the evening and realized you forgot to activate your system, imagine being able to fix that by reaching over to the remote that’s laying on your bedside table.

Or if you’ve walked out of the house and locked the door, on your way to a fun evening out and realized you forgot to activate your system, imagine being able to fix that by pressing a button on your keychain remote.

In both of those examples, without the convenient solution nearby would you be likely to take the time to activate the system. The week after installation? Maybe. Two years after activation? Probably not.

Convenience makes all the difference in the world.

Help when you need it…fast

In an emergency, you can’t afford to waste time.

Three features you may want to think about for your new home security system are

  • keychain remotes
  • panic buttons
  • duress silencer

Your keychain remote, with a panic button button, allows your to quickly trigger the alarm, for example, if you come home and spot trouble, especially before stepping into the house.

If you wake up in the middle of the night to an intruder or are sitting on the couch watching a movie when someone kicks in a door, you won’t have time to make a dash for the keypad—especially if that would take you closer to the burglar.

Having a panic button handy allows you to trigger the alarm as conveniently as the keychain remote would.

Some systems have dedicated panic buttons that can be wall-mounted. Others have handheld panic buttons (which are often part of a system remote control).

A duress silencer allows a burglar to force you to deactivate the system when in fact you’re actually telling the monitoring company that you’re being forced to shut off the alarm, that it’s not a false alarm, and that help is needed.

It tends to work by you punching in a special code—not the regular deactivation code, but a code that tells the monitoring center “I’m being forced to shut off the alarm. Send help.”

I hope you’ll never need this (or any of the emergency alarm triggers)!

More to come

We’ve covered a lot in this series so far. I hope you’re learning a lot and are getting closer to knowing exactly what you want in a new home security system.

But there’s still more to come. Stay tuned!

We still have topics such as different activation modes, monitoring your system, sirens, control panels, making configuration adjustments, sirens, and more.

I’m very interested to hear your thoughts. How has this series helped you? Is there anything you want to make sure I cover?

Please leave a comment below. I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts.

© 2011, Safe At Home Security Guide: Do-it-yourself home and apartment security. All rights reserved.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Snapes November 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

for wireless home security systems, you can evaluate LifeShield Home Security because it has many easy DIY components. It plugs directly into your router and can be set up in 30 minutes. It has multiple points of redundancy. They make their own equipment and have patents on their own technology. A great option for both homes and apartments home security.


Kevin Petersen December 23, 2014 at 1:59 am

Very informative post. We should install home security system for our own safety.


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