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Home Security Information

You may have had your home security system for many years or you may be in the market for one. You may think all you need to know is how to set the alarm when you leave or when you go to bed at night. However, the more you know about your system, the less service calls you will have to make if something goes wrong. Here are some key home security terms you should know.


Basic Components

Panel:  The panel is the brains of your entire alarm system. Compare this to the old fuse boxes that are in homes. The panel will also include a backup battery so that your alarm system will work even in the case of a blackout. You want the panel to be where thieves (who will want to dismantle the system to get inside) cannot find it easily. 

Keypad: This is obvious. The keypad is where you set your alarm when you go to bed or leave your home. Many homes have several keypads so that the alarm can be set from several entrances.


Codes, Zones and Arming Your Alarm

The master code: This is different from your alarm code. If you want to bypass the alarm in certain areas of your home (for example where your pets are), you will use the master code.

Away code: Use this code when you are leaving home and need total protection.

Stay Code: When you are home and you only need protection in certain areas, use this code.

Zones: When your alarm is installed, zones will be established. These zones will be numbered on your alarm panel. For example, you may notice that Zone 1 lights up every time your front door is opened. You will need to work with your alarm company to determine what zones you want in your home.


How are you wired?

When the installer begins wiring your home security system, he or she will ask what type of wiring you have. You will have one of two types:

Prewired: Many homes, particularly new ones, are wired for security systems when they are built. If your house is prewired, you may receive a discount of your installation costs.

Hard wired: This is when the system is wired to the panel (remember that is the brains of the system). Most companies will recommend that your system is hardwired.


Types of monitoring

Most alarm systems are monitored by the home phone. For example, if the alarm goes off, the alarm company will call the home phone. However customers have other options when it comes to monitoring.

Radio monitoring: Radio waves will send a signal to your monitoring company when there is a problem. Many people like this option because it costs less than other types of monitoring.

Cellular monitoring: As is implied in its name, cellular monitoring involves sending a signal through your cell phone. You must have a strong cellular signal. This is a good back up if weather has knocked out the phone system.

VOIP monitoring: With many people choosing to use their computers and Internet connection for their phone service, many alarm companies began offering VOIP (voice over internet protocol) monitoring. However, many companies have found difficulties using the system since Internet connections can be lost.

These are just a few of the terms your alarm company representative may use. If you donít understand anything the representative is saying, ask him or her. It is important that you understand how your alarm system works so that if something goes wrong, you will know what to do. You never want to be without protection for your home and family.

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