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When choosing a home security system, Dallas residents have two primary options; to go with a company which offers full service and installation (typically under a contract) or to select a DIY option, which offers more flexibility and can be much less expensive. If the DIY option appeals to you, there are still many options within the category to consider. We’ll break them and some of the benefits down on this page, so you can pick the level of service and options that are right for your family’s needs.
Choosing a DIY Home Security System in Dallas: Self or Professionally-Monitored
Once you’ve settled on going with a DIY option, you’ll then need to choose between a unit that you’ll monitor on your own, one which comes with professional monitoring, or a hybrid.
Self-Monitoring: Tech today enables you to purchase equipment that you can check on as you have concerns or if it catches something suspicious. For example, you may be able to watch the video cameras in your home from your phone at work. Some people prefer this type when there’s usually someone home, such as a nanny, child, or domestic employee, but want to be able to check in.
Local Alarm: You may also hear the term “local alarm” to describe one that isn’t monitored by an outside source. This style may or may not allow you to view footage and is distinguished because it typically emits a loud noise designed to scare off intruders. An in-home fire alarm that notifies the inhabitants but not the fire department would also be considered local.
Professional Monitoring: Most people who want a home security system in Dallas are looking for some degree of professional monitoring. With this, the alarm company provides some type of response when it’s alerted of an issue, which may include reaching out to the authorities or fire department depending on the trigger.
Hybrid: Newer high-tech options like Life Shield will send a signal for help when it’s needed and also let you check your own cameras remotely using a smartphone or PC whenever you wish. This tends to be the best of both worlds and provides greater peace of mind for many.
Deciding Which Components to Purchase for Your Home Security System in Dallas
DIY alarm systems by LifeShield come as a pre-packaged kit with everything you need to get started, but not all systems are so simple. Because of this, it’s helpful to know what each component does and what the benefits of having the various alarms is.
Fire: Fatalities from fire may be declining, but more than 3,000 people still die each year, per data from FEMA, while an additional 11,000 are injured. Time is of the essence in these situations, and most fires occur while families are sleeping. Having a system that calls for help will increase the odds that the fire department can get your family to safety if you can’t get out and may reduce the amount of damage caused by a fire.
Carbon Monoxide: Carbon monoxide sends more than 20,000 people to the emergency room and kills 400 each year, according to the CDC. Buildups of the odorless gas are often created by household appliances, such as personal heaters and refrigerators. Because people are generally unaware there’s an issue, they simply nod off and don’t wake up again. Babies, the elderly, and those with health conditions are especially at risk, but anyone can succumb to it. Most new fire alarms also detect carbon monoxide, giving your family time to escape to clean air. However, it can be comforting to know that an ambulance will be dispatched if dangerous levels are detected.
Door and Window Alarm Systems: Most door and window systems operate on the premise that an intruder will open it somewhat normally, either because it was unlocked, through picking a lock, or through brute force. When contact between components is broken, a main controller gets a signal that the door or window has been opened. The main box is usually programmed to contact the authorities right away if a window or rarely-used door is opened, though primary entries can be set with a time-delay that enables you to disarm the alarm as needed.
Broken Glass Detection: The sound of breaking glass is distinct. Modern alarm components can be programmed to pick up the sound, so an intruder is caught right away if he attempts to gain entry by breaking a window or sliding glass door.
Motion Detection: Motion detectors are designed to capture movements inside a home that should be vacant. While they shouldn’t sound off over minor movements, like ceiling fans and flapping curtains, large and active pets sometimes do cause issues with them. If you’re considering using motion detection, speak with the company you’re purchasing from to find out how sensitive it is and if it’s pet-safe. (LifeShield’s are pet-friendly.)
Video Monitoring: Depending on the home security system, Dallas residents may have video monitoring kick in when movement is detected or it may be digital and accessible by the homeowner as he or she wishes. Those offered by LifeShield hold data for 30 days and can be remotely viewed by the homeowner via apps for iOS and Android.