Your alarm system serves two important functions. Firstly it protects the people in your home and secondly it protects your belongings when you are not there.
To fulfill these functions, our theory of home security is one of concentric circles. The protection of your premises should be arranged in concentric circles. The more circles you have, the more secure your home or office will be.
The first circle should be the neighborhood you live in, but we usually have little control over this once we have moved in. Getting involved in community policing forums and a neighborhood watch is always a good idea. Living in gated communities forms part of this outside circle.
The next circle is the perimeter of your own home. This external perimeter is protected with a good fence or wall, topped with an electric fence. This electric fence should be kept clear of vegetation and kept in working order. It should be connected to your security system so you know of a breach.
The next circle is your garden. This area should be armed with perimeter beams or outdoor motion sensors. We recommend passive infrared detectors over beams as they are more secure, here's why. It is a good idea to keep this area armed whenever you are at home to prevent intruders surprising you.
Next is the perimeter of the structure of your home. All the doors and windows should be connected to your security system. While you are at home, all these doors and window detectors should be armed.
The interior of your home, the next circle, should have motion sensors in all the rooms where valuables are stored. These are the rooms a burglar will target first, where the TVs are, the computer, the silver etc.
The next circle is the sleeping area. This area should be secured with a physical barrier like a security gate. You should be able to arm all the other circles while moving around freely inside this smallest circle. You and your family should have access to all the bedrooms and a bathroom without having to enter the next circle. Also the telephone must be accessible inside this circle.
Other important factors to consider, install panic buttons throughout the home. This should be a mixture of fixed panic switches and mobile remote panics. Also consider protecting valuables like a TV with a 24 hour detector. This means your alarm will be triggered when the TV is moved regardless of the arm status of the alarm, so if you forget to arm the alarm, or you are forced to disarm, your alarm still protects you.
In recent years alarm systems have advanced considerably. With the convergence of smartphones and IP systems, you can now control all aspects of your alarm system from anywhere in the world. Alarm systems are now wireless, no more unsightly cables running through your home.