How to Perform Security System Maintenance

You may have heard the phrase that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In essence, the same could be said about the security system you have installed at home. Your system is only as strong as its weakest component.

 

Residents who fail to maintain their security system may pay a hefty price. It requires regular maintenance to ensure that it functions optimally. For instance, it may warrant a change of battery. We will look into the measures that inhabitants can take to keep their security system in working order.

 

Test the Control Panel

The control panel is the cerebral part of your security system. The signals transmitted by each sensor pass through it and it is able to interpret these signals and activate accordingly. Each panel is equipped with a test mode which is designed to run an automatic diagnostic as a maintenance measure.

 

If you not want to engage in a DIY activity and want to consult a monitoring service instead, then that can be arranged as well. Also, you must notify them in case you are planning to run the test mode diagnostic. This prevents any instance where the service may send police in case the alarm is activated during the test.

 

It is equally important to visually inspect the control panel and conscientiously examine it for any loose hanging wires or signs of potential damage.

 

Perform Regular Checks

Executing checks on a regular basis is beneficial as well. Home owners should inspect their house. For example, they may study the locks on all doors and windows. Additionally, checking the frames of each door and window to ensure that there is not warping or any other impact that would make foreign entry easier.

 

Seeing the sensors on every door and window is also an excellent ideal. Sensors are held together by adhesive, so they only require slight fastening from time to time. Also, wireless sensors are battery powered, which means their batteries may need testing and/or charging as well.

 

Inspect the Cameras

If cameras are included in your security and there are potent chances that they are, you may want to examine these regularly as well. Since cameras are vital when it comes to surveillance and recording footage, residents must check that they have adequate power and have not been vandalized by strangers or intruders. The recording device must also be checked since footage may be needed in the unfortunate event of a burglary.

 

Examine the Lights

Another important probe that home owners must make when verifying their security system is to see if all the exterior lights are in working condition. This is decisive to ensure that all lights attached to the security system are fully functional.

 

For instance, a strong breeze has the ability to cause security lighting to shift ever so slightly, which may entail that they are not aimed properly. A simple readjustment would suffice in this case to maximize their effectiveness.

Different Types of Exterior Security Lighting

Lighting is an integral component of a home’s security protocol. They prevent unauthorized individuals from entering the premises and also provides brightness in areas which are otherwise considerably dark, especially during the night.

 

It goes without saying that burglars deliberately target residences which are not luminous. This means they are probably unoccupied, which makes them ideal for a break in to be staged. On the other hand, a well-lit home is less appealing to criminals.

 

To avert such scenarios, residents can configure various types of lights at their homes and offices. We will look at the prominent types below:

 

Motion Activated Exterior Lights

If home owners are seeking an exterior light that serves the purpose of safeguarding their property and is cost effective as well, then they should purchase a motion activated exterior security light. This type of light does not affect your utility bill significantly either.

 

Unlike other exterior lights which are switched on throughout the night and consume considerable energy in the process, motion activated lights, as the name implies, are only triggered when they detect movement in the area.

 

Typically, motion activated lights are placed at entry points, backyards and areas like the swimming pool as well. Furthermore, these should be a fixture in places where they are not exposed to environmental elements like rainfall, snowfall, and sunlight.

 

Solar Flood Lights

If residents are searching for environment friendly lights, they need not look further than solar flood lights. These exterior lights work in the same way as any other light with the notable exception of power supply.

 

As the name suggests, these lights acquire their energy supply from the heat of the sun, which it turns into solar energy and uses that energy to power its LED bulbs. No electrical outlet is needed when it comes to solar flood lights.

 

Therefore, if occupants of a house configure solar flood lights, they are able to lower their energy bills significantly as well. The vast majority of solar flood lights are independent units which do not require wiring.

 

Halogen Exterior Flood Lights

Halogen lights rank as one of the most common exterior security lights that you are bound to find in residential areas, as well as commercial buildings and industrial structures. Halogen exterior flood lights emit a potent light at the flick of a switch. Those who are looking to save on energy bills should note that these lights consume more energy than most other types.

 

Fluorescent Exterior Lights

Another model which is considered a conventional exterior security lighting are fluorescent flood lights. These are easily available at any general or hardware store. All that you need is a few fluorescent light bulbs, electrical wires, switch, an electrical socket and bulb sockets. Additionally, you can also use various lighting fixtures such as a dimmer and a timer to create your own home-made fluorescent exterior light.

How does a Video Door Phone Ensure Safety?

CCTV Security Protect Your HomeThe importance of securing your dwelling cannot be overstated nearly enough. It goes without saying that residents look to ensure complete and autonomous control of their abode. The average household attracts visitors, both of the expected and uninvited variety, and pedestrians may go past the entrance dozens of times on a daily basis. Not to forget that guests seek entrance by ringing the door bell, which entails going to the door to grant them access.

 

However, that does not have to be the case any longer. Technology has provided automated solutions which allows occupants greater ascendancy when it comes to home living. One of these facilities are video door phones. These efficient appliances allow users to manage their visitors effectively and conveniently as well.

 

Guarantees Peace of Mind

Video door phones give inhabitants a higher semblance of safety. Not a single dweller would deny the significance of measures aimed at protecting their homes. For instance, like we alluded to earlier, the average household beckons guests, strangers, delivery riders and salespersons as well. In these cases, consider the conventional method of walking to the door without knowing the identity of the visitor and then having to deal with their requests.

 

The other, more viable option is to use door entry systems and manage your guests without difficulty. Residents can use video door phones to conduct proper conversations with any visitor at their door step before opening the door to them. Additionally, two way audio communication facility as well as video conferencing options give users peace of mind.

 

Assures Safety

Those who are concerned by frequent visitors and the overall security of their home can take advantage of door entry systems. Video door phones allow residents to gauge the identity of their guests and speak to them with regards to the purpose of their visit, if they are unable to recognize who is at their door. This facility also includes inbuilt audio communication, which enables residents to correspond with their visitors without opening the door.

 

Smart Monitoring

Door entry systems also provide a sense of security when residents are away. For example, adequate video door phones ensure smart surveillance and home inspection capabilities. They are equipped with motion sensors, security systems and viewing apps as well, all of which augment security even more. For example, door entry systems may also be connected to smartphones if the app is installed. This means that residents can keep a constant eye on their property. Imagine a scenario where they are away for an extended period, such as a vacation. They may feel the need to check their home and can access their door entry systems and obtain live images of their house, thousands of miles away!

 

Connectivity

That leads us to the point regarding remote access. Video door phones are not just meant to allow access to visitors. Door entry systems can also integrate with existing home security measures, a fact which makes home management extremely facile. If residents are away, they can still let their family and friends enter without interruptions.

 

Options

The final factor we will consider is that customers now have multiple options available to them. They realize the importance of security measures and want what’s best for the wellbeing of their loved ones. Featuring digital controls, potent ringers, smart receivers and two way video capability, door entry systems are more than a sufficient instrument for home security.

Different Types of Commercial Fire Alarms

Fire AlarmResidential properties or commercial buildings – all need security measures to keep occupants safe. Whether it is CCTV systems or burglar alarm systems, they ensure that the safety of the premises is intact and the inhabitants have no cause for concern.

 

Another type of alarm that can alleviate potentially stressful situations for residents are fire alarms systems. It is beyond any resident’s control to forecast when a mishap might transpire. For instance, if there is a short circuit or a gas leak at the property, residents may be unaware and may not realize until they smell smoke or see a fire burning inside their dwelling. Therefore, fire alarms are a valuable commodity as they can prove particularly useful.

 

We will take a look into the categories of fire alarms available for installation in properties.

 

Automatic versus Manual

First and foremost, there are two broad classifications of fire alarms: automatic and manual. In case of the former, when there are signs of smoke or heat, they emit an audio visual alert to notify residents that there is a fire in progress so they can either extinguish the fire before it escalate or evacuate the property if the situation is beyond saving.

 

The other type is called manual fire alarms. These are not as advanced and have pull stations situated in proximity to the property. When a fire starts and is detected by residents, they just have to pull the lever and alert the concerned individuals that there is imminent danger.

 

Commercial Fire Alarms

There are a varying types of fire alarms available on the market. We will look into the main types below.

 

Conventional Fire Alarms

These are typically wired to the same cable which connects to a fire alarm control panel. The panel delineates a signal when the alarm is activated. Conventional alarms are generally cost effective and are best suited for smaller properties.

 

This is primarily because they are equipped with a radical circuit which allows limited coverage. A separate alarm must be configured in each room and connected to a unified control panel. If a single alarm loses its connection, the entire system malfunctions.

 

Addressable Fire Alarms

On the other hand, addressable fire alarms are a modern version in contrast to conventional models. Its components have separate identifiers. For example, if a component initiates, it shows where the fire is emanating on the control panel. That makes it easier for residents to tackle the predicament of an emerging fire. This attribute makes addressable fire alarms better suited for large properties since it provides convenience. Residents do not have to scurry around their home or office searching for the fire, which may happen if they have installed conventional fire alarms.

 

Hybrid Fire Alarms

As the name indicates, hybrid models combine both conventional and addressable fire alarm systems. Technically speaking, the hardwired zone feature of conventional types is incorporated and merged with the loop circuit attribute of addressable fire alarms. These are connected to a unified panel. An integrated fire alarm enables users to upgrade from conventional fire alarms to addressable ones effectively and reduces the cost incurred at the time of purchase as well.

 

Wireless Fire Alarms

These come in either conventional or addressable systems. Their definitive attribute is that wiring is not necessary which makes these the ideal solution for properties where extensive wiring is not feasible, such as museums or listed buildings. Additionally, wireless alarms are easy to set up and provide an excellent short-term solution. With a range reaching 1.5 kilometres, they are also well suited to large properties.

Common Questions about CCTV Cameras

Common Questions about CCTV CamerasClosed-circuit televisions are systems in which the circuit is closed and not accessible to pedestrians. However, these cameras are used for monitoring public domains and densely populated areas. For example, these cameras are installed in places like retail outlets, banks and shopping malls. Our aim is to answer frequent questions pertaining to CCTV systems.

 

What are the Types of CCTV Cameras?

There are several kinds of CCTV systems that are used widely in a variety of settings. Each is equipped with its own attributes and advantages. For instance, features which determine which one is selected are indoor, outdoor, night vision, tilt and zoom respectively.

 

Motion Detection

Cameras with motion detection capability do not record round the clock. This means there is ample storage space. More importantly, these cameras sense movement and only carry out surveillance when an activity is in progress. The users of such CCTV systems are alerted if that happens.

 

Nanny Cameras

As the name suggests, a nanny camera is typically operated to monitor nannies and children when the parents are away from home. Surveillance is done but not divulged, since the cameras are placed surreptitiously.

 

Night Vision

Like nanny cameras, the name itself is quite self-explanatory. Night vision cameras may be installed either indoors or outdoors and elucidate dimly lit areas in the process of recording footage. In fact, this is a common element of most security cameras and CCTV systems in general.

 

Outdoor Cameras

The two prerequisites to qualify as outdoor cameras is that they should be able to withstand water and possess the facility of night vision. In principle, these are used to observe front and back doors, yards, sheds and other areas in proximity. They eliminate the need for occupants to be present in person.

 

Fixed and Tilt/Zoom Cameras

The primary difference between fixed cameras and cameras that can tilt, pan and zoom is that the former is only equipped with minimalist features. They do not have features that allow them to zoom into objects, pan, or tilt left and right. On the other hand, tilt/zoom cameras are able to move. They can be positioned and repositioned accordingly, either remotely or by hand also.

 

Wi-Fi Cameras

The most frequently used cameras on the market are Wi-Fi enabled ones. They allow remote access and users can monitor proceedings even if they are away. This can be accomplished remotely on a mobile device. Once the app is installed on your smartphone and the CCTV systems are configured, users can see live footage on their cell phones.

 

Can Security Companies Access Household Security Cameras?

The short answer to this question is no. Firms that provide CCTV systems cannot see the images and footage that are recorded inside or outside a home. However, if these companies offer video monitoring as an additional facility at the time of joining, then they may be able to see recordings.

 

How is Footage Stored?

There are four main ways that surveillance is recorded. These are DVR (Digital Video Recorder), cloud services, memory cards and direct to computer as well.

 

Are Cameras Entirely Wireless?

Not all cameras have wireless capability. The vast majority of cameras require an electric source and must be plugged in to function properly. Also, battery operated ones may be wired directly into a DVR or another system so that recorded media can be transferred and viewed.

Benefits of a Home Intercom System

Home Intercom SystemWhether you live independently or collectively, in a flat or a villa, home security measures are a must have. Fortunately, one of the various modern amenities that technology has contributed include intercoms and door entry systems.

Intercoms are a convenient appliance that are widely available courtesy of advances in home automation. They are available in a variety of options and provide additional security for residents against unwarranted visitors such as burglars.

 

So what exactly are the advantages of home intercom systems? We take a look at how they ameliorate domestic security.

 

Augment Security

It goes without saying that intercoms and door entry systems provide an element of greater control and security. The addition of video to the intercom adds another safety layer to the household. Occupants can easily ascertain the identity of their visitors and detect if there is any suspicious activity occurring outdoors.

 

Detection and verification of guests, whether they are of the welcome or unwanted variety, is imperative. Also, if the intercom is also installed outside, it gives home owners a blanket of security as well. They can speak to their guests to corroborate their character before letting them enter the premises. Last but not the least, another way intercoms serve as sufficient home security measures is that they are deterrents for thieves who may be canvassing the area and planning a burglary imminently.

 

 

Convenient Devices

Intercoms are fundamentally user friendly as well, which makes these gadgets a worthwhile investment. Inhabitants are able to unlock doors from various points of the house once intercoms and door entry systems are configured properly. Video facility also guarantees that they can confirm who their visitors are without the need to venture to the entrance. In simple terms, installing intercoms in your dwelling can make your life a lot simpler. They promote comfort and greater peace of mind for those who are indoors.

 

Enhancements

Furthermore, significant advancements have been made to intercoms since they were first devised. Initially, when intercoms became commercially available, the technology was just limited to a speaker and microphone. Naturally, with the passage of time, considerable upgrades have been made.
That means these gadgets now have additional features, which include video surveillance and that also with high definition broadcast. Other attributes are key card systems and voice activation as well. Now imagine an intercom system that combines all of the above! Such an apparatus is a potent weapon against assailants.

 

Monitoring Activity

Additionally, intercoms provide residents the benefit of oversight. We are stating that from an indoor perspective. For instance, placing intercoms inside gives parents the ability to keep a watchful eye on their children, particularly infants and youngsters. When they journey outdoors in the garden for example and the parents remain inside, they can still monitor their actions.

 

Such a facility will surely make the parents feel at ease regarding the safety of their children. If an unfortunate circumstance arises, they can immediately tend to their children as well. Also, parents can have a telephonic conversation with their kids via intercoms in case they do not possess mobile devices.

 

Efficiency

Intercoms can make your residence more productive as well. Households become more facile. For example, managing a person who has a disability and is wheelchair bound or considerably immobile is easier if intercoms are installed. They facilitate communication throughout the house without commotion.

How to Find the Best Burglar Alarm for your Property

Best Burglar Alarm for your Property
Burglar alarms are one of the foremost appliances that are mandatory in households. Installation and configuration is imperative as these alarms represent an essential aspect of an effective home security system.

 

Given the wide variety of options of burglar alarms available in markets, it can be an arduous task to determine which one fits the bill. Our aim is to specify factors that must be considered when deciding which burglar alarm is appropriate.

 

Reliable Manufacturer

 

This rule is applicable when purchasing most products really. If consumers learn to trust a certain brand, they are loyal to the commodity and company as well. Burglar alarms are no different. A reliable provider must be located when seeking a dependable burglar alarm.

 

In the United Kingdom, companies that are members of the National Security Inspectorate (NSI) or the Security Systems and Alarm Inspection Board (SSAIB) have licence to install a burglar alarm as per the standards set by the police. This is done for a police response in case of emergencies. Naturally, security companies with a proven track record when it comes to burglar alarms are the best bet for residents looking for a legitimate burglar alarm.

 

Consider Your Options

There are myriad types of burglar alarms that are worthy the investment. However, prior to selecting and buying the apparatus, customers should ascertain its viability.

 

Dummy Alarms

As the name suggests, these are actually faux burglar alarms and are installed for the sole purpose of deterring criminals. For example, it may augment a property’s security if an artificial box is placed in or out of the house. If a thief is surveying the property with hopes of a break in, they might think twice if they see an alarm system installed. They won’t know based only on appearance that the box is only an imitation.

 

Do It Yourself Alarms

Another cost effective alternate is to purchase an alarm that can be installed without professional intervention and does a respectable job in protecting the property as well. Those who invest in a DIY model do not incur installation charges and subscription fee also. However, experts suggest that given the severity of potential burglaries, it is best to let technicians from security companies handle the arrangement.

 

Wired/Wireless Options

For residents who are not looking to cut corners, it essentially boils down to choosing between a wired and wireless burglar alarms. The former are typically available for respectable prices although their installation can drive up the bill. Also, these alarms are robust and come with low maintenance costs as well.

 

On the other hand, wireless alarms have sensor controls that connect remotely to the main console. Like smartphones and smart televisions, smart (wireless) alarms have also been introduced. They send a notification to the user’s smartphone in case of emergency, which has made them a popular option.

 

Home Insurance

Another important determinant to consider is home insurance. Insurance providers generally offer discounts on premiums in cases where the security is genuinely robust. Having adequate burglar alarms in place can mitigate the chances of theft, which minimizes the chances of insurance claims as well.

Furthermore, residents must ensure that they do not abrogate their insurance by ignoring their alarm. This is because insurers enquire about the alarm in scenarios when there is considerable risk, including the middle of the night or when the house is unoccupied.

Why Positioning CCTV Cameras Properly is Significant

Positioning CCTV CamerasClosed-circuit television (CCTV) is an important aspect of security, whether you are in the comfort of your home or in a public domain. They deter and detect criminal activity. However, it is important to note that CCTV cameras must be placed and positioned properly for the best surveillance results.

We can look at the usual mistakes made when installing CCTV cameras and determine how to best position them.

 

Errors in Placement

There are various blunders that CCTV users make with regards to their installation. For instance, some might choose to install a low quality camera to save money. They may also configure the camera only to realize that there is no network coverage in the location where it was set up.

 

In some cases, CCTV cameras may be used in places that do not guarantee a clear vantage point. This is a gaffe that essentially defeats the purpose of using a camera for security reasons. Good vision is imperative for surveillance.

 

Furthermore, there are cases where users do not install ample cameras that cover the entire property or area that requires supervision. Some might even forget to turn on the motion detection alert function of the cameras while other cameras may be placed away from a power source.

 

Ideal Placement

For the purpose of simplicity, we can consider a normal household as an example to determine where the CCTV cameras can be installed.

 

Front Door

A large number of burglars enter homes through the front door. While other openings like a partially closed window may provide safe passage, the front door is the most convenient. This is why a CCTV camera should be positioned to allow surveillance of the front door and adjoining area of the house.

 

Moreover, to avoid an instance where criminals tamper with the camera, it must be positioned beyond their reach, like the second floor. This would protect the camera from rocks, sticks and other weapons burglars may use to avoid being seen.

 

Back Door

Another popular outlet that burglars seek to exploit is the back door. While securing the front door is imperative, making sure the back area of the house is being monitored is vital as well. Generally, there should be at least one camera for every door in the house. Obviously, the same rules of placement apply here also. The camera should be higher than the reach of criminals so that they are unable to tinker with it.

 

Backyard

The next area of the house which needs a CCTV camera is the backyard. If both front and back doors are well guarded, burglars may use the backyard as a means to enter the house. In most cases, it may provide considerable space and might not be under surveillance either.

 

Windows

Additionally, burglars are accustomed to breaking windows to enter a property they want to steal from. A rear window is one such passage. Hence, a CCTV camera must be placed near susceptible windows to ensure that they are monitored also. If these windows are not in direct view, it may be convenient for intruders to enter the house without being exposed.

Why Home Security Devices are Imperative

Home Security Devices are Imperative
When you look at the facts, it becomes painfully obvious why home security systems are mandatory. The equation is simplistic in nature. Statistics show that burglary in the United Kingdom is an omnipresent threat. The average number of incidents involving burglaries in the region is approximately 35,000 each month. Only 40% of residents have installed an alarm, but a third of these people fail to set it.

 

The aforementioned numbers are a damning indictment of the ease with which criminals can invade households. This means appliances that promote security at home are obligatory, without question. There are several reasons security systems are needed. Some of these are listed below.

 

Crime Deterrent

There are various surveys that show the correlation between the presence of a home security system and a decline in burglaries. Naturally, having the requisite system in place helps curb crime as criminals are likely to reconsider their course of action if they are aware that such devices are used by residents.

This is likely to have a ripple effect on those who have not configured a home security system, since thieves may avoid scouring the entire neighborhood. Therefore, having a security system not only protects the residents, it makes their vicinity safer as well.

 

Protection of Valuables

Besides safeguarding your family, home security systems also ensure that commodities, particularly prized possessions, remain safe. This is essentially the secondary reason for residents using security systems.

An instance of breaking and entering is likely to result in the theft of assets like jewelry and electronics are stolen. It is not difficult to envisage a scenario where a home invasion leads to the loss of a family heirloom or similar accessories. This is precisely why it is better to be safe than sorry. Investing in a security system will help avoid unfortunate incidents.

Beyond the fundamental benefits of using a security system, there are other advantages as well. Given advancements in technology, it is now possible to monitor your home when you’re away. This is achievable through a mobile device, which show real time feeds if you install the application.

 

Remote Access

Beyond the fundamental benefits of using a security system, there are other advantages as well. Given advancements in technology, it is now possible to monitor your home when you’re away. This is achievable through a mobile device, which show real time feeds if you install the application.

This feature has made the lives of residents more facile. When they are away, they can simply use the technology as surveillance and have peace of mind. While the cameras installed inside show video, certain systems also allow users to control thermostat, lights and locks.

 

Check on Kids

Remote access also has another benefit. If residents are at work, they can use the application to see what is happening at home. In many cases, this will involve keeping tabs on children for instance. In cases where both parents are away, they can use the facility to ensure that their children are safe in the comfort of their home. Whether they have naughty adolescents or independent teenagers, it will give the parents peace of mind to see that things are alright when they’re not at home. This is yet another impressive benefit of automation and home security systems as well.

Ways to Secure Your Home While on Vacation

Ways to Secure Your HomeIt goes without saying that protecting a home is absolutely necessary. The safety of residents is paramount. Whether you live independently or have a wife and children, their security cannot be compromised in any case.

 

Besides family members, a house will also have innumerable possessions and valuables which no individual would want stolen. This is why residents should take extra precautions when they leave the house, particularly for long periods such as a vacation.

 

Install a Home Security System

If you’re on holiday, you want to enjoy peace of mind and be enthralled by the new surroundings and locations you will visit. It would be less than ideal to constantly fret about home when you’re hundreds of miles away. Such fears can be allayed if an effective security system is installed.

 

When you’re away, the security system will serve as the first line of defense against unwarranted intruders. In case a burglar approaches and tries to invade your property in your absence, a home security system will detect their presence and go off, which is likely to deter criminals.

 

It is best to invest in and configure a system which includes door and window sensors, since these are the two most likely entrances of burglars. Updated systems now provide the facility to monitor live feeds and broadcast those images on your cell phone. However, constant involvement would defeat the purpose of the vacation, especially if data network coverage is sketchy in your area. Nonetheless, a professionally monitored system will do the needful and protect your home while you’re not there.

 

Outdoor Security Lighting

One of the best methods of ensuring increased security outside the house is to install lights. Creating a luminous environment outside the house will also help keep it safe. This is because criminals may scour the neighborhood and earmark properties that are dimly lit or do not have adequate lighting. It may give them the impression that the house is unoccupied, which would mean it is primed for an incursion at their hands.

 

To avoid encouraging criminals, residents must safeguard their property by illuminating potential hiding spots. Parts of the house which are susceptible to an invasion, such as the garage and back entrances must be supplemented with excellent lighting. There are certain lights which are also motion activated and only come on once night falls, which means electricity is not wasted as well.

 

Add a Smart Lock to the Door

A smart door lock allows users to lock and unlock their door remotely using their smartphones and nothing else. They can avail this tool to grant temporary access to their family and friends. For instance, if the latter is visiting to check on the pets, the resident can give them temporary access. This also means locking the doors no longer require any physical keys while you have full control of who enters your property even if you’re in another country!

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