Modern security systems are easy to install and operate; and they are quite affordable too. The points that sense security threats are known as 'contacts'. When the contacts are installed at all exterior potential points of entry, they sense every unauthorized entry into your apartment. You can switch on or switch off the system with the help of a small key pad.
Types of Burglar Alarm Systems
There are wired as well as wireless home security systems. Wireless alarm systems are more popular. They rely on a combination of motion sensors inside the room and contacts which are placed at doors and windows, control panels, key pads, siren, etc. For installation of a wireless alarm system, you don't have to change the existing wiring system of the apartment.
In monitored security alarm systems that are designed for apartments, a message is sent to the central monitoring station, by the control panel when a burglar opens a door or a window. The system waits for 30-45 seconds, before sending the message, so that the owner has a chance to deactivate it if he wants to. Thus, he can avoid false alarms. The motion sensors detect a burglar if he is inside the apartment and they sound the alarm and send signals to the central monitoring station. After contacting the home owner for confirmation; police, fire department and medical authorities are contacted by the central monitoring station, which works round the clock. This ensures immediate capture of the burglar by the authorities.
Unmonitored Systems :
Unmonitored security systems consist of flashing lights and on-site alarms, which force the burglar to run away. They rely on neighbors or passersby to call the police. The flash lights need to be installed in such a way that they are easily noticeable. They should be on the street-facing side of the house and should not be easily accessible. The combination of flash lights with alarms is the best option.
Apartment Alarm System Products
Security alarm systems that are in great demand are:
- Burglar Alarms : Burglar alarms are units that connect apartments with monitoring stations. They are installed in doors and windows of an apartment. They detect unauthorized entry into your apartment. They have a sensor connected to a control unit which in turn is connected to a voice response device. Instead of loud wailing sirens, you can have a monitored security system where burglary is reported to the authorities as soon as it is detected. The police authorities can arrive at the scene immediately.
- Smoke Detectors : They can detect the presence of smoke in your apartment. They issue an audible alarm or send an alert to the centrally monitored unit of the security system. They are disc shaped and generally placed in kitchens.
- LPG Gas Leakage Alarms : It is a compact electronic unit which can detect a higher concentration of gas than that which is pre-set as the safety level. Due to the leakage, audio-visual alarm signals are activated.
- Glass Break Detectors : They are sensitive to certain sound frequencies, especially the ones like glass breaking and wood splintering. Shock sensors and acoustic sensors are two main types of glass-breaking sensors. Shock sensors detect the vibrations created by breaking of glass. The acoustic sensors can detect sound waves.
- Panic Buttons : They send alerts to the monitoring station in case of a threat to a person or property. If somebody falls and cannot even get up to reach to the telephone, panic buttons help him in triggering an alarm.
- Pressure Mats : These are placed under the door mats. When someone steps on it, an alarm is triggered.
- Cameras and Closed Circuit TVs : Someone entering into your premises can be seen through the home security cameras; while you are inside your apartment. There are hidden cameras, which transmit a signal to the monitors. You can switch them off when you don't want them to work. They can be used as per your requirements. You can hide them anywhere.
- Alarm Screens for Windows : They offer protection, irrespective of whether the window is open or closed. You can keep the window open for ventilation. These screens look better than window bars and can be considered as an alternative for the bars as well. They can be a part of the monitoring system and you can plug them easily into the existing system. There are wires which are interwoven in the window screen at equal distances, forming a mesh. This forms a protective grid which issues an alarm in case of burglary. When a burglar tries to cut the wire, there is another detector which activates the alarm.
- Fire Alarms : Fire alarm systems have a control panel to which smoke and heat detectors are connected. They also have sensors that detect burglary. They are connected to doors and windows and can send alerts to the monitoring rooms when they sense motion or body heat. These systems usually contain an emergency battery so that they work during a power outage.
- Infra Red Motion Sensors : They detect the heat of an object when the object passes through the secured zone. Pet shields are available to allow the pets to move through this scanned zone. The sensors come with key chain remote to activate the system.
- Other Options : These days, security systems provide remote notification to you through either a phone call or Internet connection. You can operate and control the system remotely through a smartphone or Internet. Even when you are away from your home, you can watch what is happening to your apartment with the help of a video camera. If a false alarm is triggered, you can switch off the alarm (despite being away) and can avoid unnecessary disturbance to neighbors and police as well. Modern systems provide protection not only from fire and intruders but also from carbon monoxide, flooding and other medical emergencies. They come with camera systems and home automation too.
Burglary: An Area of Concern
Most of the apartment burglaries occur during daytime, when people are away at work. Or they occur during nights, either when everyone is sleeping or when no one's at home. Most burglars look for small but expensive things which they can carry and cash easily. Jewelry, watches, laptops, hard cash and expensive guns top the list; as burglars mainly want to make quick money.
According to the available statistics, more than 30% of the burglars have gained access into apartments, through an open door or window. They often use ordinary household tools like hammers, screw drivers, small bars and channel-lock pliers.
Burglars follow a very simple process to select their target. An unoccupied apartment with an easy access is chosen. The apartment which has a great amount of cover and easy escape routes is considered as the best target by burglars! Therefore, 'making the apartment difficult to break into' should be your main objective while securing it.
Installation of Security Systems: Things to Remember
With recently developed technology (biometric recognition, for example, fingerprint analysis, iris/face/voice recognition) apartment alarm systems can sense the difference between the owner and a burglar.
- Put up stickers on the doors and windows of your apartment saying that you have installed a burglar alarm system. This will automatically keep the burglars away!
- Before buying any system, go through the reviews , ask your friends or neighbors about their experiences with the systems installed in their apartments. Ask them what they would recommend.
- Check whether the company has appointed efficient and knowledgeable persons as operators at the central monitoring station. They should have a great track record for emergency responses. The non-emergency customer service line is also very important. The staff should provide answers to the queries, quickly and efficiently.
- After all, it is because of helping neighbors that a technique like neighborhood watch works very well, at times better than even the alarm systems. If you can entrust your neighbor with the apartment keys, you don't need to hide the keys outside your door. It is important to establish trust between you and your neighbors. Neighbors can report suspicious activity to the nearest police station. They can take the right action at right time.
- Check all the features provided by the company for detection of an attempt of burglary. The number of contact panels for doors and windows, the range of these units and the technology used are some of the important aspects to be considered while choosing a security alarm system for your apartment. Prices may vary according to the features.
- Apartment alarm systems should not only be correctly installed and programmed but they should also be maintained properly.
- Some systems are automatically reset after issuing an alarm. Some have to be manually reset, once an alert is activated by them. If the resetting of the alarm system is necessary, it should be reset immediately.
- Good lighting along the pathway and at the entrance of the apartment minimizes the risk of burglary. This is also necessary for the hidden or covert cameras that help detect any unauthorized entry or suspicious movement.
- Switch on room lights as it is considered as the sign of occupancy at night. Light timers are not at all expensive. They should be used everyday and when you are away.
- Use timers to turn on the radio and television, when you are away. This will simulate the occupancy during the day and night.
- It is better if you consult, inform and confirm with the local police department about the installation of a system in your apartment. When your system activates an alarm, police would take the necessary action.
- Many systems require a telephone connection to send an alert to the monitoring system. If a telephone line is cut from outside, an alert cannot be sent to the station. Be sure that your apartment has a protected telephone line.
Modern security alarm systems that are designed for apartments are quite reliable. More precision with use of advanced technology contributes towards the increasing popularity of these devices. There are less chances of false alarm being triggered. Alarm system manufacturing companies usually display their signs on apartment lawns and the decals on windows. This serves their purpose of advertisement and increases the fear in the mind of burglars of being caught. With modern security systems, you can enjoy the safety of your home and family forever.