Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published in April 2018 and has been revised to reflect industry updates.
Protecting your loved ones, home, and valuables are of course top priority. While some may believe a break-in or theft could never happen, there is always a chance. Certain precautions, such as installing a home alarm system, can help reduce this possibility.
With many available security systems and technologies, choosing the best can be daunting—especially if you're unsure of functions and quality. While key features include real-time notifications regarding intruders, thieves, or fire, there are other safeguards and conveniences to consider.
Below we’ll highlight five features of the best home alarm systems, as well as accompanying benefits and smart integration capabilities of each.
1. Security Cameras
Comprehensive home alarm systems should feature more than intrusion alerts, such as security cameras. You’ll receive immediate activity notifications within and around your property, including unwelcome visitors approaching the front door, suspicious vehicles, and other unsavory behaviors.
Set virtual tripwires and activity zones through video analytics for specific responses, such as turning on lights and music. Adding motion detection can facilitate real-time alerts during an unauthorized breach, whether you’re home or away.
When combined with video analytics and compatible cameras, Perimeter Guard from Alarm.com takes intrusion detection to an even more advanced level. Should a breach occur, trespassers will be made aware of on-premises security cameras blaring loud whistles and beeps, and flashing red lights. Note cameras must be equipped with both visible LEDs and speakers to activate this security feature.
Boasting added features such as night vision, in-app video feeds, and two-way audio and video communication, indoor security cameras keep a watchful eye on daily activities, such as children arriving home from school. You can even look in on household pets to ensure they’re behaving! Outdoor cameras provide added safeguards for pools, backyards, driveways, and patios.
Adding extra convenience when retrieving packages and food deliveries, doorbell cameras provide contactless communication with delivery personnel and other visitors. This can be accomplished from inside the home, and even when you’re away, via the Alarm.com app.
2. Professional Alarm Monitoring &
Alarm systems alert you about what’s happening when you’re not home. This is why the best setups grant complete control over your property via remote video surveillance and alarm monitoring. Users can view from any mobile device for invaluable peace of mind, as well as real-time information before tragedy strikes.
When adding 24/7 Central Station Monitoring, you’ll never have to worry about an emergency situation. Serving as your home’s secret guardian, this technology can be the difference between severe injury, extensive damages, and even death. Directly connected to local law enforcement and first responders, this service immediately alerts of a security breach within and around your property.
While key features include real-time notifications regarding intruders, thieves, or fire, there are other safeguards and conveniences to consider.
3. Energy Management
The best home alarm system also provides control over additional non-security functions. Adjusting home thermostats while at work or on vacation according to the current weather in your area is just one example. This ensures it's always the correct temperature, and helps save money on energy bills.
Another example concerns light settings. We’ve all slept late and had to rush to get to work or school in a frenzy. An energy management feature remotely adjusts lighting to turn on and off at certain times. This can also help with other electronic devices, such as TVs and gaming systems. Smart settings can be adjusted to shut down automatically when children should be doing homework or getting ready for bed.
4. Carbon Monoxide & Fire Detection
This tasteless, colorless, odorless, and potentially deadly gas can build up indoors and poison those who inhale it. Carbon monoxide detectors are therefore critical additions to any home. Although these devices are available for purchase separately, many security providers include these as part of your home alarm system solution.
When integrated with smart technologies, both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors ensure added safety for your family. These alerts signifying the presence of fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide, as well as low battery notifications. It’s recommended to regularly test devices, and replace batteries during fall and spring daylight saving times.
5. Wellness Alerts
Designed to monitor seniors who still want to live independently, wellness alerts can be implemented into home alarm systems to safeguard against slips and falls, burns, and other emergencies. Simply pressing the bottom of a Personal Emergency Response Pendant can instantly put users in contact with an emergency call center, which then notifies the appropriate first responders.
A modern wellness system also includes protection technologies utilizing real-time sensor data and algorithms to identify regular activity patterns, such as trips to the bathroom, eating habits, and medication adherence. Sensors on kitchen cabinets, refrigerators doors, and bathroom medicine cabinets detect and monitor how often they're opened.
Another measure to consider is a Wellcam smart video solution. This two-way audio and video camera can be easily integrated for additional communication with family members and emergency contacts.
Choosing the Best Home Alarm System
As you research the best home alarm system, it’s also recommended to consult a reputable service provider such as General Security. We can help with technologies and smart integrations, and perform an on-site assessment of your home’s possible security vulnerabilities.