Businesses have used burglar alarms for many years as a way to protect their businesses from intruders, but in recent years more and more private citizens are also using these systems to protect their private residences, too. If you have ever ventured into the world of shopping for a burglar alarm (now more commonly referred to as a home security system) you probably know that there is a dizzying array of options available. Systems range from quite afford and straightforward to install to highly sophisticated systems comprised of many electronic components that must be installed by a skilled technician. The truth is, however, most home security systems are comprised of the same design elements. A quick look at sites like icrfq will clearly show that there are so many electronic components available at every price range. So, with that in mind, is it really necessary to shell out major bucks? To answer that, let’s look at a few examples of home security systems.


Magnetic Switch

This is the simplest kind of burglar/home security system. This is built by a simple electric circuit built into a point of entry such as a door or window. Electricity flows only when it can flow on a path between two points of opposite charge. The electricity is disconnected or connected when you open or close part of the circuit. This type of burglar alarm circuit is activated when the switch detects that the circuit is being opened or closed, such as when the door or window is opened. This is an example of closed circuit system, meaning that the circuit is only complete with the door/window is closed. As long as the door remains fully closed, electricity will continue to flow from one end of the circuit to the other. However, when someone opens the door, the circuit becomes open, thus preventing the flow of electricity. When the circuit is broken, this series of events triggers the alarm to sound.

The magnetic sensor in most circuits is comprised of a basic switching device, including a battery that powers a circuit and a metal switch (driven by a spring), both built into a door frame, and a magnet in the door that is installed to line up precisely with the switch when the door is closed. When the door is opened, the magnetic spring releases the switch, causing it to move into the “open” position and thereby severing the current flow and activating the alarm sound.

This type of system can also be incorporated into a window frame. In this scenario, the system is activated when the window is opened, an action that triggers the alarm in the same way it does when installed on a door.

In most systems, a control box will also be incorporated. This purpose of this box is to prevent an intruder from closing the window or door, thereby reconnecting the circuit and deactivating the alarm. Because these control boxes operate on a power supply that is separate from that of the rest of the system, it can only be de-activated when someone enters a security code into the keypad. In this way, unauthorized deactivation of the alarm system is prevented.

Motion Detector Systems

Another type of home security system that is becoming increasingly popular is the motion detector system. Although the magnetic switch systems described above are perfect for discouraging the unauthorized opening of doors and windows, sometimes a homeowner wants a higher degree of protection from intruders. That’s where a motion detector system comes in.

These systems, known as Passive Infrared (PIR) systems are some of the most advanced home security systems available. These systems work by detecting the presence of body heat, and when an unauthorized party walks within the range of the PIR, that sudden increase in body heat triggers the alarm. As a control measure, motion detectors are set so that the control box will not sound the alarm immediately upon the detection of an increase in body heat. There is a delay of several seconds before the alarm sounds, allowing the homeowner to enter the property, enter in the security passcode, and turn off the system before the alarm sounds.

Depending on the type of system you choose, there will be several ways to deter an intruder. In more advanced setups, the control box will connect to several components and will activate a loud noise, flashing or blinking lights, and a telephone auto-dialer. The auto-dial feature will play a recorded message will give the address of your home to the police and will also call your cell phone or other emergency contact number to alert you of the intrusion.

Home security systems also come in both wired and wireless configurations. In a wired system, all the connecting components are wired together to complete the electrical circuit. Wireless systems, by contrast, automatically transmit signals between the components of the security system. The benefit of the wireless system is that there is less installation time and no need to hide unattractive wires.

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What about in cases where there is no electricity or telephone service? Many of us have summer homes or cottages that we want to protect when we aren’t there, particularly over the winter when we are away for an extended period of time. In those cases, a GSM burglar system fits the bill. There is no nee for electricity for the operation of these systems, as they include an integrated SIM card and battery power that is used to alert you through mobile phone access when something trips the alarm.

There isn’t one right answer as to what is the best option for you. One of the guiding principles will probably always be budget, but that shouldn’t be the only concern. Determine what you need, the level of security you want, and how much technology you are comfortable with before making your decision.