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What to include in your home security system

The best approach is to secure and protect all possible points of entry into your home. All doors, of course, and those windows that can be reasonably accessed from the outside. The number of openings maybe two or three if you live in a condo or an apartment, or you may have 15 or more possible points of entry depending on the size and layout of your home.

Step One

Place a contact sensor on every vulnerable door and window. They are designed to send a signal to the security operating panel when opened.

Securing all of your accessible doors and windows is called perimeter protection. This is step 1 in designing your system. You want to know when someone is trying to get in your home, not after they are inside.

If you have windows that open by crank, such as casement windows, it really isn’t necessary to place a contact sensor on this type of window because it is virtually impossible to open without breaking the glass. If you have this type of window, we recommend installing a glass break sensor. This device has a range of 25’, so it is perfect for securing entire rooms with crank windows or even large pain solid glass windows that might be vulnerable. Glass break sensors should be considered a part of the perimeter protection because they sense activity before someone enters your home.

Casement style windows are popular in the Denver, Colorado area.

Step Two

Step 2 is creating a second layer of interior protection. Interior protection is used as an additional safety net to detect if someone gets inside your home. Motion detectors are placed in areas where a person’s movement inside your home will be detected. Motion detectors are designed for different lifestyles, including having pets in your home or moving household features like ceiling fans or drapes that may move from fans or a breeze.

Our Colorado lifestyle seems to include lots of pets and the weather allows for windows to be open throughout the year.

A basic motion detector may be the right choice for you.  But you may need a pet proof motion or a dual tech motion detector if you have any of the above mentioned factors inside your home. There is a motion detector available that will fit your needs.

Step Three

Step 3 is determining if life safety protection is right for you. This includes detection devices such as smoke detectors, heat sensors, and carbon monoxide detectors. It is recommended that at least one smoke detector be installed on each floor and carbon monoxide detectors be installed near bedrooms. Colorado law requires carbon monoxide detectors to be installed when every home is sold. These life safety devices are connected to your security security and when activated, the central monitoring center will dispatch emergency personnel even when you are not home or somehow incapacitated.

In the Denver Metro area, the Front Range and Colorado mountain areas, natural gas appliances, fireplaces and furnaces are usually the norm. Using natural gas is very efficient and plentiful, but these devices do produce carbon monoxide. Make sure you are protected against an accident or appliance malfunction.

Step Four

Step 4 is determining what control devices you may need. These include additional touchpads located in other areas of your home, remote key fobs, and medical or emergency panic devices.  All these devices are designed to give you quicker access and control of the features built into your security system and the convenience of controlling your system from multiple locations throughout your house.

Step Five

Once you decide on which security system best fits your needs and have it installed, Step 5 is to place a yard sign and window stickers in very visible, easily seen locations. You want to display the fact that your home has a monitored home security system.

A 5 year study by Rutgers University in 2009, one of the most comprehensive studies ever done on home safety, conclusively proved that burglars are 40 to 50% less likely to attempt breaking into a home with a security system. The study found that these homes are noticeably less commonly broken into, and the burglars are less likely to go to any nearby homes either. In other words, your security system will keep you and your neighbors more secure. The security system creates a kind of security bubble that reduces the risk for everyone inside and nearby.

The National Burglar and Fire Association released a study in 2004 agreeing that a protected house is roughly three times safer than an unprotected house. This study agrees with the Rutgers research cited above.