You have decided to get an alarm system to protect your home and family. You are trying to figure out which equipment and services are truly necessary to provide a proper level of protection. Do you need to turn your home into a castle (moat and drawbridge included)? Probably not. With that said though, what’s the proper balance? How much home security is too much?
To properly protect your home and family, you need to assess your true security needs. To do that, some questions need to be asked:
- What is the square footage of the location?
- Is the location open concept?
- How many doors are there to enter?
- Is the location 1-level or multi-level?
- Are you looking to protect the home when you are inside the home, away from the home, or both?
- Are there any locations inside that require additional protection?
Let’s go over each of the questions above to understand the importance. You don’t need bars on all windows and tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment for proper protection. These answers will let us know the true needs to protect the location.
The best way to provide protection is through a motion detector creating a trap zone. A trap zone is the area in the home with frequent foot traffic that would be covered by a motion detector. This information is important to understand as it will be mentioned ongoing.
The size of the location is key to figuring out what’s necessary for proper security. A condo requires less equipment than a 5000 square foot home. The layout of the location matters equally as much. If the location is open concept then less equipment is needed. If there are multiple smaller rooms which each contain valuables, then that should be noted as well. An open concept area needs just 1 motion detector for full protection. This is because the trap zone is wide and is easily covered by 1 motion detector. This single piece of equipment will catch any burglar since there’s no way to bypass it when armed.
The number of doors in the location is also an essential question. It’s important to note that not all doors need door contacts. Some security companies tell their customers that for full protection they are necessary. Those companies mislead their customers because selling door contacts are a great cash generator.
The amount of floors in the location is needed. Look at this example: a home is 4000 sq feet – a very large home. The needs change if it’s a 3 level home versus a single level. The 3 level home will require less equipment since in most cases the main level will only need protection. This is due to the slim chance of someone breaking in on the upper levels.
A ranch style home though is spread out. A 4000 square foot single level home has various areas that can be broken into. This means that more trap zones are present inside the home. A burglar in this case can access the living room, bedroom or other areas without traveling through the home. The result of this ends up being more equipment is needed.
We ask if the customer is looking to protect the home when they are inside or away from the house because this lets us know if motion detectors can be used. If someone wants security when they are home, then a motion detector would be constantly triggered as they walk around the house. Other equipment in this case works best. Proper home security comes with understand the user’s needs.
Asking if there are any other locations that have special needs is important. For example, the homeowner may have a valuable collection in a certain part of their home. Maybe they have a home office that needs extra security? We won’t know that unless it’s assessed. Whether it’s a vintage guitar collection or expensive wine in a wine cellar, different situations may require different security needs.
After we look at the answer for the questions above, we can figure out what truly is needed for proper home security. In most cases, less is more. You don’t need thousands of dollars of equipment for proper home protection. A home alarm system deters and detects burglars. Adding more pieces of equipment often becomes redundant. Motion detectors are the first key tool for security. Second door contacts. Third is everything else.
Make sure you don’t get fooled by alarm companies trying to add more and more equipment to an alarm package. If an alarm salesperson talks you out of equipment than that should earn your trust. It’s important to find a proper solution, as it most often will end up including less equipment than you originally thought.