What Are the Different Types of Home Security Systems?

Motion detectors can usual sense changes in pressure caused by a swinging door.
Carbon monoxide detectors can be linked to a home security system.
Home security systems can be costly, but they are usually worth the investment, especially in nicer homes that are prime targets.
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  • Written By: Nychole Price
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 March 2014
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Home security systems are used by homeowners to make sure their homes are well-protected from theft, burglars, fires and other disasters. Many people decide which type of home security system to purchase depending upon the neighborhood in which they live, how much security they want and how much they are willing to pay for the security. The types of security systems available for installation fall under unmonitored and monitored.

The unmonitored home security system is the most popular and cost-effective system on the market today. When the alarm is triggered by a burglar, it produces a loud siren noise on the inside and outside of the home. A majority of the time the siren will scare off the intruder before he even enters the home. If you aren't home when the alarm is tripped, it will be up to your neighbors to call the police, as this type of system doesn't contact the monitoring company for you.


Monitored home security systems are ones that alert the central call center when the system is tripped by a burglar or intruder. When the alarm is tripped, the call center waits 30 to 45 seconds to confirm that you didn't accidentally set it off. If the alarm continues, the call center will attempt to contact you for a password, and if unsuccessful, will alert the authorities. Monitored systems also signal the authorities in the event of a fire, gas leak and flood. The biggest advantage to this type of system is you don't have to depend on your neighbors to be home to contact the authorities for you, but the 30 to 45 second delay allows burglars ample time to escape with your valuables.

Both the monitored and unmonitored systems can be set up with cameras, motion detectors, sensors, smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors, keypads and video displays. These setups can be hard wired or wireless. Wireless home security systems are, by far, the easiest to set up, as you don't have to install new wires in the walls of your homes. Another advantage to the wireless home security system is that it can be installed by the average do-it-yourself homeowner, as the system is only connected by battery-powered radio transmitters and receivers. The downside to these types of home security systems is that you are limited in the distance allowed between the sensors, cameras and control panel due to the radio transmitters.


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