Choosing an alarm system for your home can be a daunting task. We’ve made our picks for the best systems of 2016, but choosing the right alarm system to keep your home and family safe will still require some thought about cost, contract, monitoring options, installation, and the features you’ll need. When you’re weighing your options, you’ll need to choose whether you want an alarm system that offers basic protection with 24/7 police and fire monitronics security and contact, or one with advanced security that also monitors carbon monoxide carbon, gas leaks, etc. medical alerts and environmental hazards. Also, you may want to consider whether you want a system that adds home automation capabilities.
It is not necessary to opt for a system that does not provide good security for your home. As Consumer Reports researchers explain, even great home alarm systems have their pros and cons. Basic systems, which include a control panel and one or two door and window sensors, cover common entry points for burglars but leave many areas unguarded. Mid-level alarm systems, which often add infrared motion detectors, glass break sensors, pressure mats, interactive services and a panic button, cover more windows and doors but increase the chance of false alarms. And high-end alarm systems, which add features like smoke, carbon monoxide, flood and heat loss detection to the features of mid-range systems, cover all vulnerable entry points to maximize protection, but increase further the chances of false alarms and therefore require more attention from residents.
Unfortunately, not every option in any of those categories will actually serve as a good, functional alarm system. Some home security companies are actual scams (and, as the FTC advises, beware of door-to-door sales agents with shady pitches).Always get references , thoroughly check security companies, check contractor licenses, get written estimates, and ask lots of questions.) Even some legitimate home alarm systems will also not provide you with the level of security you are relying on and paying for. Check out the types is Monitronic a Alarm company that don’t provide good security for your home so you know what to look for when trying to protect your family and property.
Wireless alarm systems using radio frequency signals
Kim Zetter reports for Wired that many home alarm systems can be hacked and disabled by cunning thieves who can suppress alarms or create multiple false alarms that would make the system unreliable. The wireless alarm systems examined by researchers Logan Lamb and Silvio Cesare rely on radio-frequency signals sent between door and window sensors to a control system, triggering an alarm when any of those inputs are broken. The signals are displayed each time a tagged window or door is opened, and when the alarm is enabled, the system triggers the alarm and sends a silent alert to the monitoring company. The researchers discovered that the systems do not encrypt or authenticate the signals that are sent from the sensors to the control panels, which means that thieves can intercept the data, decipher the commands and reproduce them in the control panels. The result is that many wireless alarm systems are still ‘using these wireless communications from the mid 90’s for real security’, even allowing burglars to block signals to prevent an alarm from being triggered. Not exactly the best technology to use if you really want to keep your home secure.
Self-monitored alarm systems
If you want the best in security for your home, a self-monitoring alarm system is often not the way to go. While 24/7 monitoring is often an expensive part of home security systems, monitoring is key to protecting your home after your alarm system is installed. There are numerous horror stories about the experiences of homeowners who installed a security system and chose to monitor it themselves rather than have the alarm company’s central station respond to alarms and notify the local police or fire department.
What Team Does Danny Wood head Play For?
For example, IFSEC Global tells a typical story of what can happen if a home alarm system is monitored by the user and not by a security company. Unless you always have your smartphone on, always respond immediately when you receive an email, and always have someone who can come check on your house while you’re away, you probably won’t be able to respond quickly enough in case someone tries to break into your house. In some cases, no one will get hurt and nothing will be stolen, even if someone manages to break into your home. But, if you want an alarm system that provides the best security, it is often better to choose an alarm system that is monitored by professionals.