What Home Security Alarm System is Best for Me?

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Kay & Burton Concierge Partner G-SEC is a security services firm. Several of our clients are currently reviewing their existing security systems and/or installing new systems for the first time. Whether it’s a property that you’re spending more time in as result of COVID-19 and/or one that you’re now spending no time in, it’s useful to understand some of the typical security system constraints and components so that you can consider which solution is best for you. As a non-restrictive service, G-SEC can consult onsite and install security systems during Stage 4 Restrictions. 

The first thing to consider is any constraints you might have, all of which are workable with the right components. A key consideration is the location of your home. If you live in a rural environment, strobe lights and a siren will not be of any use; you will need a “back to base” or “phone alert” if there’s an issue. Apartment buildings do not do well with sirens either because it can be hard to tell which apartment the siren is emanating from and can often just be ignored. In both these situations, though, you should consider the deterrent effect of a siren going on upon a break-in. Another constraint might be the design and construction of your building. Some older style homes, for example, may provide challenges in terms of where and how to install sensors and/or the location of power sources. 

Home security system components fall into the following broad categories:

  • detectors, which will indicate if you have an issue that needs to be dealt with, such as an intruder;
  • ongoing information once the danger is detected, such as cameras;
  • alerts to indicate who and what the danger might be in various ways;
  • a control panel to tie it all together and provide various functions; 
  • miscellaneous items, such as a panic button and medic alerts.

Detectors 

Your first line of defence, detectors comprise various pieces of hardware that let you know that there’s an issue, such as: 

  • motion sensors;
  • heat detectors (can be used to detect the presence of a body when there should not be one or a fire);
  • chemical and smoke detectors (for fire protection);
  • floor sensors (detect pressure on a floor);
  • door and window detectors, which show when a door or window is opened or broken;

Ongoing Detection (once an alert is discovered)

Typically, cameras are used to track a threat or record an incident for evidentiary purposes. Other sensors can also be used to track the location of an intruder in real time, for example, while alarms are triggered in different rooms. In some situations, physical security guards can be dispatched if an alarm is triggered and can monitor an ongoing threat. Moreover, phone apps can be used to remotely monitor cameras or other sensors, to track a break-in, and to determine if the threat is real or a false alarm before calling, and incurring the expense, of security guards or the police. 

The Control Panel

The Control Panel is usually installed within the home in a location that is easily accessed but not immediately obvious. It should be pin, or biometrically, armed and disarmed by the user. It needs to have a secure battery back-up in the event of power failure. The control panel can have a SIM card to directly contact a security base in the event of an alarm trigger. It can have a WiFi connection to communicate with devices, such as sensors, lights and cameras, and then relay this information across the Internet to a mobile phone app or security control room. For this to work, the WiFi network needs to be secure as well. There are many functions that can be provided to your control panel, all with varying levels of reporting complexity. Most of these functions can be offloaded to a phone app, which is often more cost effective and secure. 

Remote Access

You can, as mentioned, perform functions from your remote device, such as a phone app, including arming and disarming the system, monitoring camera feeds and receive alerts from sensors. You may wish to have these same functions available to a security control room that will monitor your sensors and react if there is an alarm. 

Deterrents & Alerts 

The traditional alerts are blue strobing/flashing lights on the exterior of a property or loud sirens if a sensor is tripped. Alternatively, they can be silent alarms to a control room or direct to you. It is recommended that you prominently display placards warning of security systems. 

Each new sensor or level of complexity adds an element that can go wrong, increasing the risk of false alarms or system failure at a critical moment. So, maintenance is a factor, as is professional installation. 

Hopefully, this information has provided you with a good place to start in determining the best security system for you and your home.

Please contact Kay & Burton Concierge on 03 9825 2000 or via concierge@kayburton.com.au to engage the services of G-SEC Security. 

For more information about Kay & Burton Concierge, please visit https://kayburton.com.au/concierge.


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