Home Security Blog.

Basically there are 4 components to an alarm system; the key pad, master control center and the various connected devices. I’m going to focus in on the key pad this talk.

The key pad got it’s name because the earlier alarm systems were turned on or off by a key. Now most systems are controlled by a “digital” key pad, but the name stuck, “keypad.”

Now that I’ve said that, there are different keypads that don’t even look like a keypad. Yes, they still have some systems controlled by a key, but most have buttons on them from 1 to 10. This is to let you “type in” your special code to tell the master control panel what you want the system to do. Some systems may have a “touch screen”. This looks like a computer monitor that has the various things on it that you want ths system to do. You touch the screen on the icon you want and it controls the system.

There may be several codes programmed into your system. Each person authorized to enter the building can be assigned there own code. The system will have a memory logging in the time and date the person either entered of left the building. You also may have a temporary code put in for a worker for the time he/she is needed to enter the building. This is taken out after the work is completed. Some people have their maid with her own code.

You also can program a special code for only certain times of the day. The master control panel will not let access on any other time periods.

A system also may have several “panels”. This I means you can have special codes for different areas of the building limiting a person only to the areas they are supposed to have access to. A good example of this is to have a jewelry draw, safe or file cabinet, silver closet with it’s own access code.

Key pads also have other information on them. They can tell you what doors or windows are not closed. What areas have been violated. The condition of the system. If there is something wrong with the system it will tell you the problem.

If you enter your home and go to turn your system off and it’s indicating you had an alarm while you wre gone, leave the home immediately. The person may still be in your home. Call the police. Let them search your home. Believe me, they would rather make this call than a homicide investigation call.

All this can be tied into an automated system that can be controll by a computer from anywhere in the world!!! Yes, you can even control your system anywhere. You can have a “spy in the sky” from anywhere if you have video included in the system. THINK ABOUT IT !!!!!!!

To have or not to have; that is the question. My personal opinion is to have the loudest siren/sounder you can have with your security system.

The idea of a loud sounder is two fold: 1. let the criminal know he has been detected and 2. let your neighbors know someone may have broken into your home or business.

Some people tell me, “I want a silent alarm so I can catch the burglar.” The fact is that even with an alarm system, the chances of catching the criminal is slim to none. They are not in your home long enough to be caught. They want to jump and grab and be gone in less than five minutes. A loud siren is likely to deter them.

So why have an alarm system? Because you want to limit the time they have in your home and if a burglar sees you have an alarm system he may very well bypass your home. He doesn’t want the hassel of the system or the chances he may be detected and caught.

Almost all of the burglars that were interviewed in prison said if the home had an alarm system they would bypass that home.

Another device I recommend are strobe lights. Imagine if you violated my home and this loud noise is going off and this bright strobe light is flashing, what would you do? Most likely you would get out of dodge in a hurry. Here again, this bright flashing light directs the police to your home easily even in the darkest of nights.

Some communities have noise ordinances them. So before you install a siren, check your local police or city hall to see what ordinances they have in your community.

Remember that a steady sounding siren means a break-in and short bursts of the siren mean fire.

Write down anything you see to tell the police when they get there. Vehicle descriptions, license plate numbers, description of the person fleeing the home, time the alarm went off, etc. Do not put yourself in danger. Let the police do their job.


Posted on March 17th, 2006 at 14:38 by Alex Smith in home surveillance and monitoring,security services,wireless security systems - Comments (2)

The first special device I want to talk about is a Carbon Monoxide Detector. They are sold at many retail stores for homes, but they are not usually recomended for RV’s. RV’s take a special type of detector.

There are different laws & regulations from state to state and communities. I recommend before purchasing a carbon monoxide detector, to call your local fire department or building codes enforcement office.

The minimum detectors I recommend is having at least one detector on each level of your home. Do not place them near any furnaces, gas fired stoves or heaters, kitchens, areas under 40 or over 100 degrees, high steam or vapor levels, or near automobile exhaust areas. If a carbon monoxide detector is placed is inside your kitchen cabinets it may not be safte from the heat, and it might be slow to pick up the Carbon Monoxide due to poor ventilation.

Learn the symptoms of “the silent killer”; Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, oderless gas and is deadly. The most common source is usually from a furnace or heater that have been improperly installed or developed a “cracked” heat exchanger or flu. Improper use of space heater can also be dangerous. They should only be used where there is ample ventilation. Also incomplete combustion of fuel in furnaces and heaters can cause carbon monoxide to form. Many people store items in close proximity of the furnaces and heaters, limiting proper air flow. Be sure all gas fired appliances have good airflow for proper operation. These can be natural gas, propane heaters, oil, kerosene, coal, charcoal or wood appliances.

One or more of the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning may be a headache, dizziness, sleepiness, mental confusion, tightness in the chest, and breathing difficulties blurred vision. These syptoms are often confused as flu-like syptoms.

It can happen to anyone at any age, however, infants and small children are at a higher risk because they are known to sleep more and appear to be normal.

The first signs of any of these symptoms or if your carbon monoxide detector sounds exit the house immediately. This includes all pets. Don’t try to find the source, leave the home.

If you have an alarm system it will have already contacted the alarm monitoring center. They probably have contacted the fire department. It is best to wait until they arrive and search your home for the cause before re-entering the home.

If you purchase a CO Device, be sure it has a UL Seal of Approval. If it is battery powered change the batteries every time you change the daylight times. Check them on a regular basis. They will have a button you can press to see if they are working or not. If it is powered by household electricity buy one that has a back-up battery in case you lose power. Again, keep this battery fresh as well.

A good website to learn more is:

Remember: There are two key conditions for the operation of any fuel burning appliance: Proper ventilation & complete combustion.

Posted on March 2nd, 2006 at 20:06 by Alex Smith in carbon monoxide devices,Home Safety - Comments (0)

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