The basic security system still includes sensors on the doors and windows that detect when an unauthorized opening occurs. Most systems also include at least one motion detector that covers an open area such as the area right outside the bedrooms. When the sensors are triggered, they alert a control panel within the home. This calls an alarm company operator who then alerts the authorities. Many independent systems call the homeowner directly instead of going through a third party monitoring station. This saves the homeowner the monthly monitoring fee.
The rise of the Internet has given homeowners the ability to control their security systems from a distance. Depending upon the sophistication of the installed system, that control has now extended to smart phones and other devices. With the proper app a homeowner can now:
- Monitor and control the entire system.
- Check doors and windows for proper closure.
- Unlock and de-alarm individual doors while away.
- Receive alerts such as flood detection, carbon monoxide, and freezer failure no matter where they are.
Camera and DVR prices are now low enough to make home video surveillance a reasonable choice for their homes. Once only used by the rich and well-to-do, video cameras are now protecting many middle-class homes.
Most video systems consists of:
- 1 to 8 cameras
- DVD recorder
The recorder may be part of the package, or the homeowner may hook the cameras directly into an existing computer system. Because the camera is recording during viewing, the system provides evidence from any situation.
The cameras come in two versions: wired and wireless. Wired cameras connect directly to the recorder. Often the power supply is built into the wire. Wireless cameras can have more flexibility as far as where they are placed. However, cameras need a power supply so they must be close to an electrical outlet. If the outlet is the typical wall installation it can make a camera vulnerable to being turned off by just unplugging it.
Even the most basic video surveillance system allows Internet monitoring and control. Sophisticated models feature smart phone apps that control the system. Various types of alerts are programmed into the controls to allow a homeowner complete access to both standard and critical situations.