Home security systems can be improved with a few simple and inexpensive appliances most homeowners can install without employing a handyman. This guide details the most effective home security equipment and gives an estimate of their prices.
Before installing any home security lighting systems, take a few minutes to perform a quick check of the area outside your home. As lighting for home security purposes is the most effective when it is able to reveal all the activity outside a building, remove or prune any trees or shrubs that offer a hiding place. Burglars prefer to break into properties under the cover of darkness, and avoid well-lit properties, so good home security lighting makes your home less of a target for intruders of all kinds.
- The best kind of home security lights featuring a timing device the homeowner can adjust, which will switch lights on at the same time each day. These are useful for properties where frequent absences or late returns from work can create an opportunity for intruders.
- Economical home security sensor lights (also known as dusk to dawn darkness lights) which automatically switch on and off when they sense changes in the strength of daylight should be positioned as high up as possible and arranged so the light of each overlaps the others, leaving no dark spots.
- Sensor lights that come on when they sense any movement are even more economical, but may trigger false alarms, if set off by pets. Sensor lights should be carefully set and tested to ensure they cover the whole of any area requiring coverage.
- Solar powered lights for home security purposes are becoming very popular, because they do not need to be connected to any power supply, rely on batteries or mains electricity to operate.
Prices for a range of home security sensor lights start at under $15.00 for door lights, average around $40.00 for large halogen yard lights with motion sensors, and rise to approximately $ 100.00 for top-of-the-line lights featuring sensors, adjustable settings and peak at $260.00 for ones with storage batteries for emergency lighting during power black-outs.
Home security systems using cameras have come a long way from the bulky, wired-in dinosaurs of less than a decade ago. Now so tiny as to be almost undetectable by those who do not know where to look for them, they offer a very good quality picture of both inside and outside conditions.
- The real home security cameras should be mixed with a number of decoy cameras, which are only shells, resembling the real items. Put the fakes in an obvious place and save the real ones for more discreet locations. This can lead to intruders being convinced they have found and disabled your security system, by cutting wires to units that are used as the decoys.
- Cameras may be connected to either silent alarms inside the house, loud sirens outside, or both.
- A camera security system for a home can be started with one or two cameras, adding units as circumstances or needs dictate.
- The small size means each door, gate and area can have its own camera, offering a very complete and flexible system of home security.
- New wireless internet technology allows these cameras to be monitored anywhere a computer can connect to the net. This is particularly useful for busy parents with children at home and family members with special needs, such as the elderly, as well as to check for intruders.
- For monitoring your cameras on the road, packages now are available with several cameras and a mobile phone with live view that receives the images via a wireless feed.
- Cameras range from basic models to ones with infra-red technology for night vision. Others switch on lights, triggered by motion sensors, before commencing to record.
- Any kind of a security system for the home can be a deterrent to criminals, so even a few well-placed fake cameras have their own value to add to existing home security system equipment.
Camera prices depend on quality and how they are bought. One at a time will be more expensive than getting a whole set at the same time, but by a careful mixture of real and fake ones, an effective home security system can be set up.
Fake cameras cost from $7.00 upwards, with the cheapest appearing obviously fake, and the most expensive, at $35.00, very hard to distinguish from the real thing. The lower priced video cameras cost an average of $26.00, with night vision models at around $90.00 and those with flood lights from $140.00 upwards. Whole camera systems, including mobile phones, featuring live view scenes from the cameras cost from $450.00
Automatic Timer Switches
To make an unoccupied house seem full of life and activity, install a timer switch on key appliances such as lights, TVs and music systems. This is a very economical and effective home security gadget
- Select a few appliances to switch on automatically at different times of the day. Be sure to combine at least one light source and one sound source for the best affect.
- Program your switch to resemble a realistic pattern of use. Intruders will sense it’s a ploy if a TV is broadcasting cartoons, at top volume at 3am in the morning.
- Ensure the chosen appliances are in appropriate locations. An example of this is a room where there is no easy way to verify if anyone is present by simply glancing through a window.
Automatic switch prices start out at around $10.00 and rise to $100.00 for switches offering the largest amount of options, such as pre-set programs.
General Advice for Improving Home Security Surveillance Equipment
Unless a home is in a remote location, there are a few factors which should be considered when updating or installing home security.
- Any necessary permits for proposed work should be acquired before the starting date.
- Be sure not to invade the privacy of neighbors with aggressive home security lighting or video systems, especially if the beams are directed near windows, doors and yards of adjoining houses.
- Consider sharing drive coverage with long standing neighbors who are trusted, to lower costs and increase the number of eyes monitoring the neighborhood.