After you’ve chosen a home security system, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your installer. Your home security system provider should give all the information necessary to set up an appointment, and may have even done so for you. While the professional will be taking care of all of the drilling, wiring and testing, there are a number of steps you can take to prepare for your home security system installation that will help expedite the process and prevent any last-minute issues or decisions from needing to be made.
Register for a security system permit
Many cities require that you have a security system permit before activating your system. If you don’t have one, they may refuse to respond to your monitoring service when your system is triggered. To ensure that you’re getting a fully-monitored security system that will receive a response from the police department, call your city’s public safety line to see if a yearly permit is necessary in your neighborhood. Also, make sure to ask how often you need to renew your permit; it’s likely that it will expire every year, so you’ll need to stay on top of the renewal date to avoid any lapse in coverage. Your security system provider may be able to provide this information for you as well, as their staff should be familiar with the rules and regulations in each city and state.
Pick the best locations for sensors and keypads
If your home has multiple entryways and a number of rooms, there may be more than one viable option when it comes to choosing locations for your keypad and sensors. It is most common to place the keypad close to the front door, but if your family mainly enters from a side door or the garage, you may want to place it there. If you do not consistently enter the house from the same entryway, you may want to install more than one keypad, or place it in a central location between all of the access points.
When it comes to motion sensors, do you want them indoors, outdoors, or both? In addition to the main living area, do you have any other rooms with valuable items that should be equipped with a motion sensor? Do you want to detect motion around the windows as well as the doors? Also, do you want to install open/close sensors on every window, or only the ones accessible from the ground floor? And do you have pets that you need to keep in mind? All of these questions should be decided on prior to the arrival of your installer to avoid any delay or unexpected situations. In addition, if your home has an open floor plan, you may require less motion sensors than if each room is separated with sensor-blocking walls.
While most modern security systems are wireless, you may want to consider wiring your security system to your landline to provide added backup in the event that your cellular network or WIFI service is interrupted. Wiring may dictate where you can and cannot place sensors and keypads, as some locations may be easier to wire than others, especially when it comes to outdoor locations. Your installer may have some good insights into the best placement for sensors and keypads, but it is ultimately up to you to decide what makes you feel the most secure.
Decide on a keypad password
It’s likely that your security system will require a security code in order for it to be armed and disarmed. Your installer will need this code in order to finish programming your system. If you’re not prepared with an entry code prior to your home security system installation, you may forget it or choose a code that’s not optimized for your safety. Make sure to avoid easy-to-decipher codes that may involve your name, phone number or address, or sequential passwords like “1234.” On the other hand, you’ll want to make sure that your code is easy to remember, especially to prevent any false alarms due to forgetting how to disarm your system. You may also want to set up multiple codes for guests and/or family members, which you can do at the time of installation.
Allow access to installation areas
If you have specific places in mind for your sensors and keypads, make sure your installer will be able to access them easily and quickly. This may involve moving some furniture or removing clutter from corners. Clearing these areas is also important to prevent any obstruction to the sensors; they should be able to have a clear path from the doorway and/or the keypad to the sensor in order to do their job effectively. You’ll also want to have an easy time getting to and from your keypad area and your entryways, as you’ll have to be arming and disarming quickly each time you enter or exit your home.
Think of any questions you want answered
While your home security system should come with an information package, sometimes talking to a real human being can be much more informative than reading a manual. While your installer is present, make sure you have all of your questions answered so that you understand all the components of your system, how they work together, and how you can use them to their highest capacity. An installer can walk you through the arming and disarming process, and show you how to monitor and maintain certain sensors and detectors. By preparing your questions ahead of time, you’ll have added peace of mind that your system is working correctly and that you know how to operate it.
When you go into your home security system installation appointment prepared, you can be sure that your system is protecting your home, your loved ones and your belongings to the best of its abilities.