How to Protect Your Home with a Wireless Security System

By: Alastair Lydeard

Many Hollywood films show the burglar or villain having a rather easy time of breaking into a home. They simply snip the wires leading to the home alarm system, and voila, instant entry. One of the answers to this problem is to have a system without wires -- a wireless security system.

These wireless burglar alarms use radio waves to communicate with other components instead of using wires. The potential burglar cannot figure out how to cut wires to disable the system, so gives up.

There are two kinds of wireless burglar alarms on the market. The first type is activated when the alarm is tripped, but only the homeowner or neighbors can hear the alarm. This kind of system doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you live in a rural area and are away from home when a break-in occurs. Another kind of wireless security system uses a monitoring device that will communicate a forced entry to a security company. When the alarm is triggered, the security company will check to see if it's a genuine break-in; if it is, they will call immediately to dispatch the local police.

The central brains of a wireless security system is the control panel, which can usually be located in the basement or a closet. Here, all the wireless signal data from the various magnetic switches and motion detectors in the home is sent. If the control panel detects a suspicious movement or door or window entry, it will sound the alarm or place a phone call to the monitoring staff at the security company.

Magnetic contacts are attached to doors and windows. These small, inconspicuous devices consist of two parts: a switch installed inside the window or door jam, and a magnet placed on the door or window. If the distance between the magnet and switch increases, as in the case of forced entry, the control panel will receive a signal and sound the alarm.

If your home has large spaces such as hallways, you can equip them with a feature of the wireless security system called a body sensor, or motion detector. They use infrared motion or body heat detection to sense someone's presence, and send a signal to the control panel. The panel will determine if the threat meets its standards and if so, will alert the monitoring station or sound the alarm.

To enter or leave your home, the wireless security system must be deactivated or activated. You simply enter the password on a keypad near the main entrance to your home, making setting the alarm easy to do. Remote control devices also come with some systems, just like car alarms, so that owners can operate some features from a distance. Some systems allow owners to switch lights off or on remotely, giving the appearance of a home that is occupied.

Some wireless systems also use hidden or wall-mounted cameras that are connected to a video unit and VCR. All movement detected on the cameras is recorded by the VCR. Depending on the system, the cameras may be monitored by staff at the security company.

A home security system is a good idea for protection and peace of mind. But for the highest level of security, consider a wireless system as the best choice, because of the enhanced features offered.

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Author Alastair Lydeard enjoys contributing to a variety of web sites, on family vacation and diesel truck part issues.
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