Having a home security system does not mean that you have to sign up for service with a national or local security company!
If you’re looking for a security system that just sounds an alarm when it is activated and is not monitored by a company, then there are a variety of security options available to you. This is a great way to save money without being committed to a costly three, four or five-year contract with one of the regional or national home security companies. Depending on where you live and how well you build it, you may even be able to have your custom security system monitored directly by the local police or fire department. Here are three different ways of building your own security system: basic, intermediate (along with video surveillance) and advanced.
Basic security systems:
One of the most basic ways to detect intruders is with a little device that attaches to your doors and windows and makes a loud noise whenever the contacts are separated. You have to use a key to arm and disarm the unit. These door and window alarms are as low as $10-15 each depending on the store and can be a great way to keep tabs on children inside a house or as a cheap noisemaker to harass any intruders. Most of these door and window alarms are not loud enough to be heard at a next door neighbor’s house.
Another way to provide basic anti-burglar home security is with a simple motion detector. A basic, wireless, motion detector with an alarm usually runs between $30-40 depending on the range of the sensor. Through the use of careful planning, only a few motion detectors are needed to create an effective “detection zone” throughout your home. Do take note that this type of alarm will not be activated until the intruder is inside your home as opposed to the door and window alarms that sound when an intruder is still outside your home.
Intermediate security systems:
The next method of building your own home security system is to purchase a home security kit. Unless your home is pre-wired for security, or if you’re not handy with basic installing of hardware and electronics work, the easiest way is to work with a wireless home security kit. Most kits consist of the alarm, multiple motion sensors, a few door and window contacts along with a control keypad or two. Depending on the kit, there should be options to add on to your system with additional types of detectors and contacts. For the basic wireless security starter kits, expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $500. The larger kits that include extra keypads, zone expanders for additional components and additional monitoring sensors will cost anywhere from $500 to over $1000.
Some of these home security kits have the ability to send a text message to your phone whenever the system is turned on or off and whenever the alarm sounds. Remember that you have to manually call for the police or fire department to further investigate the problem. Some of the busier police and fire departments will need you to visually confirm whether or not the emergency is real before they send any help. This may delay the police from arriving at your home to catch the robber, but you know that the robber will be in a hurry to leave the home as the alarm is sounding and people and police will be arriving there very soon.
image: camera kit camera kit night vision camera kit
Today, there is also the option of purchasing a video monitoring system to go along with or even replace a traditional home security system. It is now more affordable than ever to have video cameras installed inside and outside your home, watching areas like the front door, patio area, and even the living room with the entertainment center. Nothing says “guilty” faster than having the robber’s face and actions caught on camera. The more expensive options include night vision, weatherproofing and digital receivers & recorders. A basic kit is going to range between $60 and $199, while a more high tech or larger kit will range from $200 to over $1000.
The rapid advancement of today’s technology even allows your video camera surveillance system to automatically transmit the video images to a remote server across the Internet. There are companies that allow you to store footage and watch the cameras in your home live through a website. Now if a burglar or robber were to break in and try to steal or destroy the digital video recorder, you’ll still have your evidence since it was also stored far away from your home. This service will become cheaper and more widely available as technology advances and Internet speeds are further increased.
Advanced security systems:
The ultimate way of building a security system is to design, install and configure your own custom design to cover your house and every possibly safety and security concern. This method requires electrical knowledge and the ability to do carpentry work to make sure that your sensors are securely installed and fully operational. When you factor in the costs of the power supply, control center, keypads, alarm module, wiring (or wireless receiver), and all of the detectors, you’ll easily spend anywhere from $500 to over $2000. This all depends on the size of the house and how you’re planning on detecting and possibly monitoring the intruder. The intruder can be anything from a person to fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, extreme temperatures, excess water (flooding) or even radon gas. There are different sensors available to cover nearly every type of intruder possible, whether it’s a person or something else.
Depending on where you live, you may need an electrical permit before doing any large scale wiring projects.