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How to Install Burglar Alarms

Home security is regulated listed among the paramount concerns of homeowners, and with good reason. No matter how much money you put into renovation, repair and upkeep, all that effort will mean little if the entire house can be easily breached by an intruder. Although some such criminals only come for your valuables, it’s sadly all too common for botched burglary attempts to result in serious injury and even death. It is for this reason that burglar alarms have become obligatory elements in any well-kept home. If you’re like many homeowners, you may have wondered whether precautions such as these should require you spend thousands on a professional installation.

The answer is no. Although a number of sophisticated systems come with trip wires, motion sensors and other advanced electronics built in, for the most part such devices are modular. That means the electronics that run them are essentially self-contained, so the installation is largely conventional and familiar. If you can attach screws, check circuits and test the proper operation of simple consumer electronics, you should be able to get an entire network up and running within a matter of hours. Exercise good judgment about the placement and orientation of your alarm components and you can expect outstanding security for years into the future.

The most important step to any installation is choosing the proper configuration for your home. Although a number of security companies would have you believe countless sensors and alarms are required for airtight security, the truth is that nearly every home intrusion utilizes the basic doors and windows you would expect. That means it pays to be conservative about how much you pay – more bells and whistles rarely translates into better security. Still, most of the experts agree that the surest way to protect your family is to cover all the bases carefully, including chimneys and smaller windows.

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Place the alarm itself somewhere it can be heard, and be sure to test it regularly. If there is one constant in police reports of failed security systems, it tends to be that the alarm itself failed to sound adequately. Even in homes where an alarm is prevalent, it’s important to train family members – and neighbors – to recognize it immediately. Anything less that proper preparation and you could end up a victim of “distributed responsibility,” that tendency of bystanders and neighbors to ignore sounds of distress because they assume someone else must have taken care of it. Thankfully most quality alarms are deafening and consistent, so if you can attach a backplate to a wall and secure a few screws and nuts, this part of the job goes rather quickly.

Next you want to install your various sensing devices. Nearly all such devices work with magnets, so it is important to measure carefully to ensure you have two distinct settings when the door or window is either open or closed. If you place the magnets too far apart to begin with, for instance, you may encounter troubles as the circuit doesn’t know when an opening has been breached. Test a few times to see just what kind of activity it takes to trigger the alarm, and adjust accordingly until you have the sensitivity you want.

The most demanding part of the burglar alarm installation process is setting up a circuit that will always work if any node is disrupted. The wire itself is made to be thin, light and unobtrusive – fragile intentionally because you want it to be responsive. The first connection you’ll make is to the terminals in your alarm box, a job which may require rudimentary knowledge of how to strip and wrap wires. Next lead the line to the first sensor and attach to the terminal screws in the same way. You’ll then continue in this way, running along floorboards or under carpeting, until the full circuit has been completed. Test it per the manufacturer’s instructions. If all appears to be working, you only need to check battery leads or power sources once a month or so to make sure the entire system remains audible and accurate.


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