How to Protect Your Home with a Wireless Security System

by Alastair Lydeard

Have you ever watched a horror film where the villain snips the wires to a telephone or home alarm? The scariest part is realizing that, despite your home’s security system, it could happen to you. In order to truly protect your home and family against the threat of break-ins, you need to invest in a wireless security system.

These wireless burglar alarms use radio waves to communicate with other components instead of using wires. The potential burglar cannot figure out how to cut wires to disable the system, so gives up.

The two main types of wireless burglar alarms are unmonitored and monitored. If an intruder is detected, unmonitored systems sound a loud alarm that is audible in the home and for a short distance outside. If you live in the countryside, these systems are not ideal, because if you are not at home, neighbors may not be able to hear the alarm, so no one will know about the break in. Monitored services, on the other hand, detect a break-in and then send a signal to security company staff, who determine whether it is a real burglary, and then call the police.

All wireless security systems include a control panel. This is the “brains” of the system, usually located in a closet or in the basement. The control panel receives all wireless communications that are sent by magnetic switches and motion sensors located throughout the house. If a suspicious entry or movement signal is received, the control panel will sound the alarm or dial the security company’s central monitoring system.

Throughout the home, inconspicuous magnetic contacts and switches are attached to doors and windows. These consist of two parts: a magnet on the door or window, and a switch placed on the door jam or window sill. They simply detect movement by noting an increase in the distance between the switch and the magnet, which only occurs if a door or window is opened or forced open. The switch sends a wireless signal to the control panel, which sets off the alarm.

If your home has large spaces such as hallways, you can equip them with a feature of the wireless security system called a body sensor, or motion detector. They use infrared motion or body heat detection to sense someone’s presence, and send a signal to the control panel. The panel will determine if the threat meets its standards and if so, will alert the monitoring station or sound the alarm.

Each wireless security system includes a keypad, which homeowners use to turn the system on or off. Normally, keypads are installed beside the main entry door, so that it is convenient to arm the alarm when leaving, or to deactivate it when returning home. Some systems also include remote devices, similar to a car alarm, which can operate several features. Homeowners can also switch lights on or off from a distance using the remote controller, to give the illusion that the home is occupied.

Some wireless security systems also have hidden or wall-mounted cameras, which connect to a video unit and recorder, such as a VCR. When movement is detected, the cameras record the scene onto the VCR. For extra fees, the cameras could also be monitored by staff of the security service.

If you’ve decided to invest in the peace of mind and security of a home security system, be sure to consider the added advantages of a wireless system. The advanced features and stronger security may make it your best choice.

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