Home Security Overview

There are many things that a person should consider when choosing their home security system. With so many options, it can be difficult to know which solutions will best fit the needs of a particular household.

Here, find a basic overview of several modern home security systems.

Traditional Alarm Systems

For many people, an alarm system is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of home security. Without a doubt, an alarm system is a valuable tool in your home security arsenal. These systems work with sensors made up of two components - a magnet and an electrical circuit - and are placed at vulnerable entry points.

The magnet holds down a metal switch that keeps the electrical circuit closed. Whenever that point of entry is used, the circuit is broken and an alarm will sound if the system is not deactivated within a certain amount of time. Usually, a countdown of several seconds begins as soon as a wired door or window is opened, and a code must be entered at the control pad before this countdown finishes.

However, alarms only work when they are wired to an entrance point. If only your front door is wired and a burglar breaks in through a window around back, your alarm system will not be triggered.

An alarm system can be wired to a 24-hour monitoring service so that help is on the way immediately following a breach or when a quick-response panic button is pressed. Systems that are wired to immediately call 911 are efficient but can be troublesome in the event of an accidentally-triggered alarm.

Motion Sensors

Motion sensors trigger an audible alarm when motion is detected in the home. Some motion sensors come with a swivel mount and monitor the entire room while others are fixed in a set position.

Exterior motion sensors can trigger a light to come on when motion is detected. Positioning motion-activated lights near your front and back doors will provide illumination when anything or anyone enters your yard or approaches your door.

Modern Alert Systems

These days, alerts can be sent to mobile devices, email or phone numbers. For example, if an alarm sensor is triggered or a breach is detected by motion sensor, some systems will send a text message to a mobile device registered with the system. Even carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors can be set up to send an alert to a homeowner when they are set off. If you are traveling, you may wish to have these alerts sent to a trusted neighbor who can react in real time and check on your home or follow up with emergency services.

Renters Versus Homeowners

While homeowners can choose any home security system that meets their needs and budget, renters are often limited due to the terms of their lease or the cost of installing a permanent system in a temporary home.

Most wireless security systems will not require landlord approval as they are temporary. The benefit here is that the renter owns the equipment and can bring it with them should they move.


Homeowners and renters alike should consider any contract they may have to sign with monitoring services. While some services provide free moving packages and reinstall your equipment in your new home free of charge, others do not.

In closing, there are a wide variety of options when it comes to home security. Research various products and services to determine how to best meet the needs of your household.