Home and business security systems are designed to protect you from intruders and other dangers, but consumers may miss out on total peace of mind if they opt not to sign up for ongoing monitoring with a trusted service provider. There are numerous advantages, ranging from improved response times from police and fire departments to the ability to protect against a variety of building concerns including extreme temperature drops and flooding monitoring.
Improvements with Monitoring
In most cases, the sensors and other components that are connected to the central alarm system act in a passive manner. That means that if a burglar trips a pressure sensor in a foyer or a magnetic reed sensor that protects a window, a combination of an alarm will sound and a strobe will begin flashing to dissuade intruders from moving through one’s home. However, this can occasionally lead to false alarms, and without monitoring it could limit the response time of first responders.
Instead, many homeowners and small businesses will sign up for monitoring by a home security system provider that offers locations near Bucks County and the surrounding areas. Trained staff monitor sensors and other equipment designed to detect intruders and as soon as one is tripped, the representative contacts the home or a contact number provided by the consumer. If they do not get a response, or do not hear a previously-agreed-to safe word, they will call to dispatch local police or fire departments.
Benefits of Technology for Better Monitoring
The primary sensors that used to be monitored by home security companies were smoke alarms and equipment such as pressure and vibration detection units that would indicate the presence of an intruder. Thanks to improvements in technology, and reduced cost, homeowners and businesses now can be protected from even more potential problems.
Two key potential issues are temperature and flood monitoring. If a heater no longer works or a door or window that is not otherwise protected is left open, then the temperature inside a home or small business office can drop precipitously. Consumer electronics such as TVs, video game systems and more can be damaged by extreme cold, as can computers in offices and at home. Perhaps more dangerously, unless a home has been prepared to close up for the winter, freezing can lead to water expansion and pipes cracking. If a family or group of employees are away for the holidays, they can come back to severe water damage.
If temperature sensors are not tripped, those problems can still be limited by moisture sensors that are often installed in the basement or the first floor of homes and businesses with slab foundations or that only have crawl spaces. When homeowners are away on vacation, any small crack in the walls or temperature change can lead to rapid flooding. With monitoring, that risk is much lower and can be easily handled with a call to a neighbor and/or a contractor.
Best Practices for Monitored Home Security Systems
Home security monitoring can improve the response times for police officers and fire departments which makes it a worthwhile investment for people who have a number of valuables or just in general. However, as with all technology, there are some caveats to keep in mind when taking advantage of a company’s services:
1) They only work when they are activated – This may seem silly, but the easiest way for homeowners to eliminate the benefits of a monitored alarm system is to forget to turn it on when they leave the house. Make sure every thing is online and working properly before heading out on any trips.
2) Monitoring augments a security system – The sensors that an alarm company installs are what will be tripped in the case of an unwanted intrusion. It is important to work with consultants who can assess the various risks of windows and doors and offer an effective plan that accounts for valuables and the layout of one’s home or business office.
3) They need a phone line and consistent power – Lengthy outages in most of Bucks County are not a common occurrence, but they do happen. People who are considering a security system should be aware of the limitations of a battery backup and compare it to the worst case scenarios in terms of power being out. In addition, many systems rely on a phone line for monitoring, and experienced home security consultants can offer ways to hide the wiring so it cannot be accessed by burglars.