As modern technology progresses, so do our security systems. Modern tech has brought us alarm systems and monitoring devices that are significantly more advanced than their non-tech counterparts, allowing you to stay on top of home security.
It is important to recognize that failing to utilize up-to-date and modern security systems leaves you, your home, and your family vulnerable to burglary, theft, and even dangerous situations. Have a look at some of the weaknesses we've outlined in previous posts.
Older alarm systems are no match for tech-savvy and determined burglars. Traditional locks may seem secure but can be picked by virtually anyone in possession of the right tools.
That being said, even a smart system is only as safe as the individuals using it, and there are some universal weaknesses in all home alarm systems, tech or not.
There are, however, various ways to improve the effectiveness of modern home alarm system devices or networks of devices, sensors, and services that alert you and others to events like break-ins, smoke, and fire.
The four most impactful ways to improve the effectiveness of an alarm system are; to build it around your unique family routines; ensure you avoid common gaps in security around the house; use deterrents as often as possible; and make sure that a triggered alarm can alert you, your loved ones, and the local authorities.
- 1.Build it around your family
Alarm systems out of the box come in all shapes and sizes. Some are designed for mansions and skyscrapers, others for small homes and offices.
Among the huge selection available, you can easily become lost when trying to pick out a system for your home, which is why you must consider the specific needs of your family before making any purchase decisions.
Fortunately, most systems on the market today are highly configurable, allowing you to build a security system around your home’s layout and entry points while considering the unique routines of your family. Doing so allows you to minimize the hassle and inconsistencies of maintaining a generic device, maximize your peace of mind, and justify your investment.
The more naturally the alarm system fits into your routine, the lower the chance that it ends up deactivated entirely, the unfortunate fate of many complicated systems that look good on paper but are essentially incompatible with daily use.
This also offers the added benefit of reducing the chance of false alarms, and the lower the number of false alarms from your neighborhood, the faster the police can be expected to respond to your calls.
- 2.Avoid common gaps in security
Even when our alarm systems are designed in accordance with our family and habits, there are additional common lapses that many of us are guilty of making.
The most common of these mistakes is leaving the garage door unlocked. Many families use the door connecting the garage to the house to leave and arrive rather than the front door of their home.
Typically, this connecting door remains unlocked, as homeowners rationalize that only individuals who have the ability to open the garage door have access to the connecting door.
However, the majority of garage door systems always include a backup key in case of failure of the power lift system. Unfortunately, this means anyone with a good bump key set has easy entry into your home.
A simple solution to regaining the level of security your alarm system provides while retaining the convenience of an unlocked connecting door is to replace the deadbolt lock on the door with a smart lock, which automatically locks on closing and can be unlocked via fingerprint or passcode. Modern alarm systems can easily sync with smart locks to provide a seamless and secure entry point.
- 3.Make sure the alarm is heard
Sensors and door locks are just one part of a security system. The most important part is the alarm itself. Alarm systems usually have a siren and a strobe light on site and communicate with a remote security agency or 911 service whenever a breach is detected.
Many older security systems rely on telephone lines to communicate with you or the police in the event of a breach, which is notoriously easy to find and cut. It doesn’t matter how sophisticated and advanced the sensors and controls in your house are if a burglar can simply snip the telephone line before breaking in unhindered.
Luckily, modern systems have a way around this. AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) communication systems feature two-way secure wireless communication that is extremely difficult to disable without authorization.
Utilizing an AES-enabled security system allows you peace of mind in knowing that the authorities can always be alerted, even if telephone and power lines are cut. Home security systems by Google and other tech giants also offer regular updates for their security systems to minimize the risks of being hacked.
The local component of the alarm system, the siren and strobe lights, are also a critical part of alerting you, your neighbors, and any nearby law enforcement of a break-in. Make sure your system is as loud and visible as possible for maximum security.
Make use of deterrents
The best way to avoid a burglary is to prevent your house from ever becoming a target, and the most useful part of a home alarm system is arguably the sign in the front yard.
In addition to “advertising” your alarm, there are other deterrents that can improve the efficiency of your home alarm system by reducing your risk of becoming a target in the first place.
One of the tell-tale signs of an empty house is the absence of lights, but merely leaving certain lights on in itself is not effective, as most burglars can easily see past this measure.
The ideal solution here is to integrate smart lighting around your house by setting lights to turn on or off based on the time of day and/or based on motion detection. This makes it significantly harder for a passerby to tell whether the home is occupied or empty.
Homes equipped with alarm systems are proven to be less prone to burglaries. Even when targeted, burglars spend less time in a home that utilizes an alarm system, and average losses are lower compared to non-alarmed homes.
One of the most critical aspects to remember when buying a home alarm system is that merely installing one in your home does not mean you are adequately protected, no matter how high-tech it might be.
Safeguarding yourself and your loved ones requires various practices that you must adopt into your everyday life. Utilizing a personalized alarm system, effective deterrents, and wireless AES communication can make this task much easier for you and your family.