- Home Improvement
A Simple Home Security System
I live in a modest neighborhood with working class families. The street is normally empty with very few people at homes during the daytimes. Over the past years, more and more families were reporting to be victim of burglary. Instead of sit and wait for the same predicament to befall upon my home, I decided to look for an affordable, yet reliable and effective home security system. Looking around the neighborhood, some homes were already subscribing to the home security management company like ADT. This company usually charges around $30 a month and promises quick response team whence its installed security setup in the home has an unauthorized trigger. One day, I saw an ads by Radio Shack selling a self-installed security system for $200 in a magazine. I went to the local Radio Shack outlet and bought the whole package. It was very easy to install and my home has not suffered a loss to burglary after 16 years.
It manages a maximum of 8 sensors making sure that all sensors are operating properly. If one of them is malfunctioning, a warning beep will be emitted and a LED light will be on to indicate the faulty sensor. When one of the sensor is tripped, a loud alarm sound will be emitted to alert the neighborhood and hopefully, to scare away the intruder. The alarm sound lasts for 4 minutes. It can also be setup to call 4 telephone numbers to leave a message. The Control Panel can be powered by the AC outlet or a 9V battery.
There are 2 types of sensor to detect unauthorized entry.
1) Magnetic Switch – It is used on doors and windows. It consists of a magnetic switch assembly and its sensing box. The magnetic switch assembly is installed on the window (door) and its frame in such a way that when the window (door) is moved, the circuit is broken. The sensing box detects it and sends an alarm signal to the Control Panel. The sensing box is powered by a 9V battery.
2) Motion Detect – It is usually used in the hallway and has an effective range of approximately 25 feet. This single unit needs to be strategically installed and adjusted in order to catch any possible movement in the hallway. When any movement is detected, the unit sends an alarm signal to the Control Panel. The unit is powered by a 9V battery.
It is used to arm and disarm the whole security system in the home. It is small enough to be carried in the key chain. There are 2 flat buttons – one for arm and one for disarm – on the surface. The unit is powered by a 9V battery.
In addition to the arm/disarm functions, it also has a button to set off the alarm without having the sensors to be triggered. It is handy for a person alone in the house in a distress condition and needs immediate help from the neighbor. It is small and light enough to be carried in the pocket or placed by the bedside. The unit is powered by a 9V battery.
The Control Panel has a built-in siren. But, additional siren box can be purchased to increase sounding coverage. Due to its power requirement, it needs to be plugged into the AC outlet.
I have this Radio Shack security since 1995 and the only thing that I have to replace is the battery inside the system. Recently, I found that a company called X10.com also makes compatible system. Better yet, individual component (control panel, sensor, siren, etc.) can also be purchased separately. X10.com has a very colorful and extensive catalog that helps the customers to put together a security system best suited to their specific needs.
Not long ago, I bought a simple video surveillance system under $100 from X10.com. I installed it on the front door to capture and record any movement on a VCR. The setup was a little elaborate. I am very happy with its operation as I am able to review who was at my door when nobody was at home.