Choosing a Home Alarm System
There are two types of alarm systems: wired systems, where electrical contacts on doors and windows sound the alarm when the window or door is opened and contact is broken; and wireless systems, which use infrared, ultrasonic, or microwave technology to sense movement. Wired systems require less in terms of both cost and maintenance, but are more easily tampered with than wireless systems.
A truly effective home alarm system should be professionally installed, but there are some stopgap measures that you can take. Portable alarms can be hung on doorknobs or placed across from the door to sense movement. for example.
You also need to decide whether to have your alarm system monitored. While central monitoring is an ongoing expense, it can be worthwhile, especially if the house is left vacant frequently. Whether or not your alarm is monitored, check with your municipality, county, or police department about false alarms. These have become a serious nuisance in many areas, and some local governments have instituted fines for frequent offenders.
A professional alarm system that's centrally monitored has several advantages. It can be wired into smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and temperature sensors, so that the monitoring company will be able to detect fires and malfunctioning furnaces. This can reduce your insurance costs.
If you're looking for a professional home alarm company, seek out recommendations from friends or colleagues. The installation company should carry a license, liability insurance, and membership in a national trade association, and its employees should be bonded.
You've now approached the exterior of your house from every angle, from the materials that encase it to the threats posed by weather, pests, and break-ins. It's now time (finally!) to head inside to find interior fix-it jobs, starting with the basement in Chapter 11