Homeowners who have installed burglar alarm systems statistically stand a better chance of avoiding invasion than those without protection. Approximately one out of every six American families has an alarm system, and according to the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association, the number of security-protected residences is rising.
Types of security systems vary, with many requiring a monthly fee for an alarm monitoring service. In addition, the equipment and installation costs may vary by company, so you can save by comparison shopping.
Standard components in most home security packages consist of a master control panel, the control keypad, sensor pads for doors and windows and a motion sensor device. Some systems are connected to an offsite alarm monitoring service, while others have in-home alarms.
The master control panel is the hub of the security system. When any of the security sensors are breached by an intruder, the control panel relays a message to the monitoring service or sets off your home-mounted alarm.
The control keypad, usually placed near the most-used entryway, is the device that arms or disarms the security system. You enter a code to turn the system on or off. Should the alarm activate by mistake, you can cancel the alarm by entering a code.
The security sensors designed to mount on doors and windows have magnetized contacts that trip the alarm when disturbed. High-end systems may also include passive infrared sensors to detect the body heat of a home intruder. Other specialized sensors can be triggered by the sound of breaking glass.