DIY Home Security Now a Trend: How to Do It
by Keith Morris
Topic: DIY Home Security
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Whether crime rates are rising or staying steady in your neighborhood or city, adding a home security system may be on your mind. Improving the safety of your home, a large investment which not only shelters but protects you and your family is advancing as one of the most sought-after home improvements to make these days.
Thanks to the newest technological advancements, DIY home security is trending, with various devices and kits available to meet any home need. Along with these advancements comes easier installation and monitoring, making the do-it-yourself method popular and highly efficient in securing your premises. Here’s how you can do it and rest easy day and night knowing that your home is secure.
Get Familiar with the Equipment in a Home Security System
Knowing what to look for and what you potentially need is the first step in DIY home security. Become familiar with all the various types of devices you can install in your home and how they will benefit your safety and security overall. This way, you can more readily identify which system or pieces of equipment are the best fit for your lifestyle, your particular style of home, and your family.
- Security cameras
The most common security cameras are HD Wireless, for both indoor and outdoor use, and come with easy installation with no in-house wiring required. Look for ones with zooming and panning capabilities for the best video capturing. Also, check night vision abilities, including distance and higher resolution.
- Keyless locks
To secure main entry points to a home, keyless locks with user codes are a popular option, with your door automatically locking behind you as you leave or after entering. This provides a protective measure keeping someone from slipping in behind you.
- Video doorbells
From a vision-only function to a see, hear and respond ability to more advanced versions that can detect motion and provide higher resolution night vision, video doorbells are unique home security devices you don’t want to overlook.
- Window transmitters
Motion sensors often lead to false alarms and only alert you when someone, possibly a burglar, enters your home. Instead, consider installing window and door transmitters that detect break-ins as they are happening, not when the intruder is already inside. These transmitters work by triggering when they sense a loss of contact with the corresponding magnet, sending a signal to your control panel. Depending on the type of DIY system you have, it can lead to an alarm sounding; an alert pushed to your cell phone or email address, or a call to your monitoring service if you have one.
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Don’t forget to add smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as part of your overall home security. Some DIY home security system kits come with interconnected smoke and carbon monoxide detectors; otherwise, you can add these separately.
- Notification features
You have choices when it comes to how you are notified of break-ins or strangers in your yard. These can range from loud sirens to real-time alerts (by phone, text, emails, or push notification). Many systems offer live streaming features, remote activation, and their own apps for self-monitoring.
Determine the Best Home Security Approach for Your Home
Before selecting a DIY home security system, walk around your home. Sketch out the entryways and windows, including those in an attached garage. If you have more than one floor, identify potential access points in the upper levels as well, including a balcony or deck entry. Determine if windows are easily accessible by a propped-up ladder.
Analyzing your home’s layout can help you identify the type of home security system you need to purchase and how many sensors and cameras you’ll need. While many packaged systems come with a set number, you can usually purchase additional cameras and other equipment to add to your DIY system.
If you plan on integrating with smart devices, such as smart locks, now or in the future, you’ll need a DIY home security system compatible with Z-wave or similar monitoring capabilities. These require a slightly more detailed installation and initial set-up, but most are not overly complicated to figure out.
Get Out a Few Tools and Install Your DIY Home Security System
Installation of DIY home security systems is more simplified these days, and you don’t need high-level technical or mechanical skills to get it done.
If you purchase an already packaged system kit, it will usually come with required cables, adapters, and maybe even mounting screws to make quick work of the set-up. Full directions are included as well as a customer service number if you get stuck along the way.
You’ll need to plan, identifying spots to install your security equipment. For instance, whether you have a simple one-camera security system or a complete set of indoor and outdoor cameras, you need to determine where the most advantageous location is to install them.
For example, if your system comes with eight weatherproof cameras, consider how you will place them strategically outside your home or choose to line them up in a row for the widest view possibilities.
Obtain a Permit
Once you install your home security system, check with your city or county licensing department to determine if there is a local requirement to display a permit. If so, you will need to stick it near a front door or on a noticeable window.
Choose Between Self-Monitoring and Professional Monitoring
Your DIY home security system allows you to self-monitor, providing access via your phone in most cases. While many provide notifications, others may only allow live video streaming, so you will have to check in periodically to monitor what is going on.
While you may set up your own home security system, certain brands offer professional monitoring as an add-on. While these do come with a monthly fee and usually a long-term contract, they can be beneficial if you want to ensure continuous safety for your home and those in it.
Advances in technology not only produce highly efficient products when it comes to DIY home security equipment and connected systems, but they also make installation and self-monitoring a breeze for just about anybody. With a little planning, understanding of the necessary equipment, and a few tools, you can set up your home security system in a few hours and be on your way to self-monitoring immediately.
About the Author
Keith Morris is a 20+ year veteran of the security game, with the knowledge and experience to set you on the right track toward personal safety and security. His firm is committed to giving you the tools and know-how to combat any threat to your safety.