While many homeowners prefer to have a professional install their home security system, especially when hardwiring is involved, others who are comfortable with do-it-yourself home projects can save significantly by self installing their home security system. If you are one of those people who wants to install a home security system yourself, follow these six easy steps.
Step 1: Start by reading the instructions
If you’ve chosen a DIY home security system, it will come with a manual, and you should read it. Seems obvious, right? Make sure you read it from top to bottom and familiarize yourself with how the system and its components work before you get started. If anything seems confusing or overwhelming, contact your home security system provider to get answers or to help you troubleshoot if you encounter any issues. The more you know about the installation process before you get started, the less chances there are of problems arising during the installation or after it is installed.
Step 2: Designate where you want to install sensors and the control panel
Before you do any installations, you will want to designate where you want the equipment installed, particularly the sensors and the control panel. Typically, you will install sensors at all possible entry points to the house, focusing on areas that are most vulnerable . You should also consider sensors for fire detection, to be placed near the kitchen and sleeping areas, as well as motion detectors, to be placed near large, open spaces and near valuables. The control panel should be kept in a centralized location so that you can access it easily when you need. However, you shouldn’t keep it too close to entryways, in the event you have an intruder and they try to damage the control panel or attempt to disable it.
Step 3: Install window and door sensors
The majority of home security systems will feature window and door sensors, which consist of two parts: one part will be attached to the window or door itself and the second part will be installed on the door frame or window sill. Installing the components this way makes it so that when these two parts are separated and your security system is armed, the alarm will be activated.
For wireless systems, installing the window and door sensor is fairly easy. All you need to do is screw in or adhere the parts and connect the two pieces. Wired systems are a little more complicated. You will need to run wire from the sensors back to the center control system, which should be performed by a professional if you do not have electrical experience and certification. If you are installing a wired security system, ensure that the wires do not obstruct you from opening and closing the window and door. Many home security systems include wireless sensors that connect to the wired control panel, making it easier for you to self install. Be sure to review your instruction manual carefully.
Step 4: Install additional sensors and equipment
Most security systems, however, will feature additional options that many homeowners choose to install since they offer more security without much more effort.
One common feature of home security systems is a motion sensor. A motion sensor can detect changes in ambient temperature, so it can detect bodies in motion because of the temperature difference. It is a good idea to install motion sensors in large, open spaces. You shouldn’t, however, install motion sensors near entryways, as sudden gusts of wind or fluctuating temperatures can cause these sensors to work improperly. Motion sensors also typically only detect human motion. Most pets are often too small to set off the alarm, should you have a dog or cat that would roam in these areas of your home.
Surveillance cameras are also a popular option. With cameras, you can monitor your home from wherever you are. Depending on your system, you may also be able to view footage remotely from your mobile phone or tablet. Wireless surveillance cameras are the best option since wiring outside can be challenging. It takes minimal effort but adds a lot of protection.
Aside from burglary, there are also additional features available to protect you and your home from accidents and damages. You can install fire and carbon monoxide detectors that can be synced with your security system. There are also flood monitors available that alert you if a certain water level has been reached.
Lastly, your security system can also be integrated with a home automation system, which allows you to control many manual functions automatically. Such features include automated light switches and automatic door locks. Most of these components can be self-installed easily.
Step 5: Install the control panel
After you install your motion sensors, your next step is to install the main control panel. Your control panel is essentially the central hub of your security system. From there, you can arm or disarm your system. Many control panels also have two-way communication, which allows you to communicate to your security system monitoring company directly from the equipment. This comes in handy when you are not close to a phone. Depending on the system, the main control panel can also be accessed through a mobile app, giving the user control remotely. This is preferable for many, especially for the times no one is home.
For the control panel, find a location in your home that is easily accessible. You want members of your family to be able to access it in case of emergency. However, it shouldn’t be in easy reach of small children. You also don’t want to install the control panel too close to entryways, since intruders can enter there and potentially disarm the alarm.
When considering hard-wired vs. wireless systems, you should also consider your control panel. Depending on the system, a wireless security system may allow you to bring the control panel device anywhere in the house. A control panel from a hard-wired device, however, will be installed in one fixed location.
Step 6: Test and activate your system
Now that your system is installed, be sure to thoroughly test it. Your security system company will have a process to do this, as you do not want to create a false alert. Contact your company to walk through all steps of the installation and testing process, especially when you self install your security system. That way if any issues arise you are able to work with a representative who will troubleshoot with you. You definitely want to work out any kinks to be sure that you are ready in case of an actual emergency.
Now that you know all the steps to install a home security system yourself, you can go ahead and find the right system for you. DIY installation takes just a few simple steps, from installing your sensors to testing your system, and saves you a lot of money and time. Contact your preferred home security system company to learn more about the DIY systems they have available today.