Thursday, July 19, 2012

Exploring Options In Home Security Systems

Home security is something we are all looking for.  Today home alarm systems have several different designs, functionalities and activated response mechanisms.  Before you choose an option for your home and family it is important to understand each difference and choose the best fit for your home security situation.  

First let us take a look at some of the features that are common to most home alarm systems.  With a keypad entry access control system you will note that there usually is a panic button built in that is designed to alert the police, fire department and EMS in an emergency situation.   Another common feature home alarms and home monitoring systems have now-a-days is the ability to self diagnosis a system failure.  This is a valuable feature in that a service technician does not have to come out each time the system has a glitch.  Back up rechargeable batteries is another common feature that allows the alarm system to function normally in cases of power outages.  This of course is important as we have come to realize our society is full of thieves that lurk and wait for a situation of vulnerability to strike.

Most systems used for home security purposes are designed to monitor and detect fire or burglary. The alarm is triggered when a sequence, however short or long, of events happens that to trigger the alarm.  Usually fire alarm systems are activated by smoke or a steep rise in temperature.  Of course flames also set the system off.  Burglary alarm systems are triggered when a circuit that has been created is broken.  This can happen when a door or window is opened or closed.  Also censors for motion and the high pitch of breaking glass can set off the home security alarm system. 
One of the benefits of having a personalized alarm system is your ability to customize the alarms sensitivity.  This is important for households of all kinds.  Some alarm systems have been none to be set off from high pitched snoring.  Another common alarm trigger is pet movement.  It is important when having a system installed that you take into consideration where the motion detectors are placed to avoid conflict.

There are several types of alarm systems that are common in homes today.  The first, most basic type is a simple on premise alarm.  All homes should be equipped in this manner.  These alarms are set to sound to alert homeowners of a single danger.  Most commonly found in fire detection and carbon monoxide monitoring.  Some families even use small wedges placed in doors that sound if disturbed to signal an intruder.  This is the most basic form of home security.

Another simple, effective alarm system is a localized system that signals with a siren or loud bell on the inside and outside of the home when the system has been compromised.  This type of system relies on outside sources to relay the problem to proper authorities.  

A third type of systems is a phone based dialing system.   When an alarm is triggered a central phone number is alerted.  From there the alarm company monitoring the home sends calls out to the home owner to determine if crews should be sent.   This is the most often type of system that is triggered and often falsely.   Systems have improved ten-fold over systems of the past and are becoming more reliable.  Being able to custom set the sensitivity of the system has helped improve the reliability of this alarm set up.

The most effective type of home alarm system is one that can be continually monitored.  As soon as an alarm, fire, smoke or burglar is triggered a central center is notified.  This center is run on a constant 24/7 basis and immediately sends a validation call back to the source of the alarm.  If the call is validated to be real or if no contact can be made police and emergency responders are immediately dispatched to scene.  This process happens in a matter of seconds as everything is automatic.  

Home security and monitoring is a personal decision left up to each and every household.  Take into consideration your lifestyle and determine what will give you the most peace of mind while you are home or away.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Don’t Be Afraid To Upgrade Your Home

As homeowners we often contemplate little things to spruce up the environment and simply change the atmosphere and add value to the home.   Homeowners paint, add decks, room additions and security to make their home valuable financially and personally.  Sometimes this is the only way to go about building equity into a home to refinance for a lower payment.  Whatever the reason you are updating your home consider what you want to get out of it in the end before beginning to avoid major money being spent on unnecessary upgrades and renovations.

One upgrade that we recently decided on was a home security and monitoring system for our home.  The summer is a time when our children are often left at home alone while we are working so we knew this upgrade would pay off in our peace of mind.  It is incredibly nice to know that the home is hooked into the central dispatch for the fire and police in our township.  We can also monitor their doing s while we are not at home.  Also when taking a week long trip North this past month we realized how much weight was lifted not having to worry about our home.  It was great not to have to hire a house sitter or ask the neighbors to come watch the home.  The home alarm system has paid for itself.  

Another home improvement that we recently embarked upon was new flooring in the kitchen area.  We eagerly ripped up the white ceramic tile; although incredibly pretty not a great choice for a house full of animals and kids.  We were sure we would find something wonderful in hardwood flooring but opted for bamboo once we heard all of the benefits it offers.  Bamboo is a very pliable flooring option.  We found that something heavy can be dropped without scuffing or denting the floor.  Yep, two kids, three cats and a dog something heavy drops on the floor a dozen times a day.  Another feature we liked was how strong it is and how well it holds up in high traffic areas.  It is also a great substance that withstands moisture and humidity which living on a river and the deck opening to the kitchen area, our floor had to do.  

Another home improvement we are looking into is adding more lighting in the house.  We love natural lighting, adding skylights and adding a French door have been two options we are looking into.  Another option in lighting for us is to add wall sconces.  Many people look into recessed lighting but this option does not necessarily appeal to the rustic home we have.  Recessed lighting is a very modern, contemporary source of adding light.  It looks beautiful in the right home.  That is another thing we have learned with home improvements; everything you do must fit into the natural feel of your home to ensure the best outcome possible as far as resale value and your satisfaction.

Home upgrades and improvements should mainly be based upon what will bring the homeowner happiness.  Resale value is the second thing to consider but really the focus needs to be on making sure your needs as homeowners are met.  I love the color red.  My husband thinks red paint is overkill and will kill the natural feeling of our home so we compromised with red toned accessories.  Everything in your home, every feature be it a security system or gated drive way, should tell your guests something about you.  Don’t be afraid to upgrade!