DIY Home Security Systems


No suburb is immune to break-ins, so it might be time for you to reconsider your level of home security. Here’s what to look for:
  • One or more panic switches for instant alarm triggering.
  • medical alarm (for elderly or infirm people).
  • One or more smoke detectors.
  • 24-hour back-to-base monitoring, which can notify the base station of break-ins, smoke, personal duress, panic and medical alarm.
  • Personal duress feature (for monitored systems): if an intruder forces you to deactivate the system, entering a duress code will give the appearance that you’re complying, but the monitoring base will register this.
  • Even if you don’t want monitoring, it can be worth getting a system with a phone dialler, so if the alarm is triggered it can call you (or someone else) to let you know.
  • Get a system that allows your home to be compartmentalised into zones so you can program each zone separately.
  • Zones also allow an instant/delay handover. For example, you may set up your living room zone so it’s triggered instantly when an intruder comes through a window. On the other hand, if an occupant of the house enters through the front door zone, the instant/delay handover comes into effect, so that the living room zone goes into delayed-alarm mode instead of instant alarm, giving the occupant time to deactivate it.
  • Ability to add optional accessories, like additional heat or motion detectors, pressure mats, reed switches or an extra siren.
  • Battery back-up — a good feature especially if there’s a power failure or it’s deliberately cut, so your home’s always protected.
  • Single versus multiple triggering. Alarms may be automatic or manually reset. An alarm that’s reset automatically can go off every time it’s triggered — multiple triggering. It could be a nuisance if you have a pet that’s discovered a great new trick to set it off continually. But under most circumstances, it’s the preferred system for local alarms.
  • Warning stickers for your windows and door.
  • Test the system regularly, keep it maintained and if it was professionally installed, get the company to do a professional service at least once a year.

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