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What you need to know about home security systems

Going on vacation? Before you leave for your relaxing getaway, are you sure your home is safe? A home burglary occurs every 13 seconds, which means your home could be at risk. Before you call a home security specialist, check out our beginner’s guide to home security systems and what to arm your home with to give you peace of mind so you can actually enjoy your vacation.

Home Security Systems

A home security system is exactly that: a system that secures your home. A combination of devices work together to protect your home against burglars and break-ins.

The average home security system is a made up of these components:

  • A control panel – the primary controller of the system;
  • Door/window sensors;
  • Motion sensors;
  • Security cameras;
  • Siren/alarm.


How they work

A home security system is designed to secure entry points of your home through the control panel (think of it as the brain of the security system). The panel is a small unit that gets installed on a wall of your home and is used to arm and disarm the security system. It also communicates with the sensors that are installed around your home.

The sensors that secure entry points into your home – side doors, front door, windows – are installed near these spaces. When the security system is armed by a homeowner, the sensors automatically communicate with the control panel to confirm the entry points are secure. When a door or window is broken into, the sensor goes off and the control panel indicates a problem, which sounds the alarm that should be loud enough to be heard by surrounding neighbours.

Types of home security systems

Every home is different and while homeowners want a home security system for the same reason, there are different types on the market that will satisfy different needs and budgets. Here are the most popular systems:

  1. Monitoring systems. This type of home security system is connected to a 24-hour monitoring center. If something is happening in your home and the alarm is tripped, a signal will be sent to the call center, which will then contact the police. To have a system like this in your home, it requires a connection to a landline. There are two downsides to the system: it will take a few minutes from the time the call center gets the signal and contacts the police. Also, if a burglar is smart, they’ll cut the landline wire and the system won’t be notified of a break-in.
  2. Non-monitored system. This system is not connected to a monitoring station, so you’ll save money on monitoring fees. At the same time, however, if a break-in happens and you’re not home, you’ll have to hope that a neighbour hears the alarm sounding and will call the police for you. If your neighbour has a watchful ear and eye, their phone call to the police can draw attention to your home if they sound the sirens on their vehicle, which can distract and scare a burglar from your home.
  3. Wireless systems. These can be purchased at your local hardware store. They’re very easy to install and there are no monitoring fees attached to the system. A wireless system gives you the ability to retrofit the alarm with additional security features, such as sensors and cameras. The batteries will need replacing overtime, so it’s important to watch out for that. It would be a rather unfortunate experience to rely on your system when the batteries aren’t operating the equipment.

Check out this video. It outlines the top 5 home security systems on the market today:

Don’t know which system is right for you? Check out our extensive directory of home security experts. They’re knowledgeable in the field of home security and can help you decide what’s right for your home.

Security Cameras

A popular component to home security systems is surveillance cameras. From a compatibility standpoint, they work with both wireless and monitored systems, so they can be easily integrated into your current – or brand new! – security system. Here are some reasons to consider purchasing surveillance cameras whether you’re upgrading your current security system or buying a new one altogether:

  • They help you see all areas of your property, including exterior and interior doors and entryways.
  • They can easily be accessed remotely on a computer or tablet. This added feature is a bonus if you’re going away on vacation and want to keep an eye out on your home (or if you want to check up on what time the kids are coming home!).
  • If a burglar attempts to break into your home, a security camera could capture an image of the intruder and/or the car they drove.

Thanks to technology, there are quite a few cameras on the market that can make your life easier. Here’s a brief overview:

  1. Night vision camera. This camera helps illuminate poorly lit areas, so you can easily see what’s going on outside without leaving the interior of your home.
  2. Motion detection camera. These cameras can record and even take pictures when they sense movement. Don’t worry – you won’t have to sit through hours of watching cars go by on the street. It’ll kick into high gear when it senses a moving object and will track it. How neat is that?!
  3. Hidden cameras. These are for the inside of your home. They can be hidden in cookie jars or other corners of the house so you can monitor unusual behaviour and movement.


Security cameras can make you feel at ease even when you’re home. If there’s an unexpected knock at the door, you can easily see who’s at the door. Not only that, but if you hear an odd noise before going to bed, you can check up on different rooms without leaving your comfortable abode.

A home security system coupled with security cameras is a smart way to protect your home from unwanted intruders. If you’re ready to arm your home but don’t know where to begin, we can help you out with that! Use our directory to contact a home security specialist. They’ll retrofit your home with the right tools and equipment, so you can rest easy on that vacation! If you’re planning a staycation, those security cameras will still give you the peace of mind you need to live comfortably in your home.

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