As crime rates go ever higher, many people have made the decision to install a security system in their home. Typically, this involves installing sensors on all the ground floor doors and windows, and sometimes upper floor windows as well. These sensors connect to a central unit somewhere inside the house, and when one of these sensors is tripped while the security system is armed, the alarm siren sounds and a signal is sent to the company that monitors the system. Other options available on some systems are motion detectors, infrared sensors that detect body heat, and even cameras that record onto flash memory.
Traditionally, the most involved and time consuming aspect of installing a security system has been running the wires between the sensors and the central unit. If there is no access either above or below the area, such as with an attic or crawl space, then running these wires can be a problem. Fortunately, security system vendors have developed wireless systems so that the sensors can communicate with the central unit without having to be connected via wires.
The sensors in wireless home security systems transmit the status of the door or window they guard via radio signals to the control unit. They are powered by batteries, which can actually be a detriment when compared with wired systems because the batteries have to be changed occasionally. Fortunately, the control unit on most systems will detect when the battery power becomes low in a sensor and warn the user that the battery needs to be changed. Even so, it can be easy to procrastinate and continually put off changing the battery until it’s too late and a door or window becomes vulnerable.
One benefit to wireless systems is that many of them can be controlled by a remote control. Typically, this comes in the form of a key fob that has buttons on it to arm or disarm the system. Sometimes it will also come with a panic button, so the user can remotely activate the alarm in case of emergency.
Although wireless sensors are a vast improvement over the sensors in wired systems, wireless cameras may not be as good of an idea if they are powered by batteries. Recording video is a very power-hungry activity, so be prepared to change the batteries all the time if you go this route.
Some wireless security system vendors offer a great solution in case the burglar gets clever and decides to cut your phone lines before breaking into your home. Cellular systems connect directly to the control unit and offer a different path for the system to place a call to the security company if the alarm is tripped and the phone lines are out.