How Do I Design My Own Security System?

You can design your own security system by choosing an alarm control panel and then selecting various sensors and other needed add-ons to go with it. Once you have obtained all of the equipment, you can get the system monitored by an alarm monitoring company to protect the building.

Before designing a security system, it's good to know how a security system works. Various sensors are set up inside the building to monitor for any activity. These are different types of sensors, with each type being used to perform its own task. For instance, door and window contacts are used to let the system know if a door or window has been opened. And motion sensors are used for detecting any movement that occurs inside the building. There are also other types of sensors that are used with alarm systems, and users can pick and choose the sensors that they need.

All sensors report to a central hub called the security panel. This can be accomplished using wireless RF signals or using physical hardwired connections. The panel is the centerpiece of the entire setup. This is the device that will send out a signal to the central monitoring station and/or to the end user directly if a security sensor is activated when the system is armed. The process of arming and disarming is also often accomplished using the panel. If the panel is a wireless all-in-one system, then system control can be done using the actual panel. But if the system is hardwired, then an external keypad will be needed. System operation can also be done using a cloud-based interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or

Of course, the system will need some way of sending these outbound signals. In most cases, this is done using a cellular or internet connection. Both types of monitoring are relatively quick and reliable, but cellular is the more dependable of the two. Some systems will even use both cellular and internet connectivity for a "dual-path" setup. In order to use either type of communication, the proper type of internet communicator and/or cellular communicator must be installed in the panel. Some panels already have a communicator, while others will need to have one added separately.

Complete the following steps to design your own security system:

1. Choose a panel. The first thing a user should do when designing a security system is to choose a panel. This will dictate the rest of their experience in using and setting up the system. It is the panel that they will most likely interact with on a daily basis. So choosing a good panel is very important. Most users decide to go with a wireless panel because they require fewer add-ons, are easier to use and install and can be brought to new locations quite easily. However, an advantage of a hardwired system is that it will basically integrate with the building and can add value to the property. Unless a user has any particular reason for wanting a wired system, we typically recommend a wireless panel. Some factors to consider when choosing a specific panel include price, number of zones, overall design, sensor compatibilities, home automation capabilities and more.

2. Select your sensors. Next, the user will need to choose sensors for their system. The number of sensors used in a security system can vary significantly between different setups. It usually depends on the building and just how secure a user wants to make their set up. We recommend having a contact on every entry/exit door and major window, a motion sensor in every large central area and a glass break sensor near every prominent set of windows. This will provide a robust and complete setup that should ensure excellent protection. A user can also consider life-safety sensors, such as smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. There are also environmental sensors, like flood detectors. In any case, the user should make sure that the sensors they choose are compatible with the panel they have selected. Remember to follow guidelines when choosing places to install the sensors.

3. Obtain your add-ons. Finally, a user can decide on any add-ons they want for their system. This could include external keypads for additional system access points, Z-Wave smart home devices for home automation, an internet or cellular communicator, security cameras and more. And remember, more equipment can always be added later, so users shouldn't necessarily feel like they need to purchase every piece of equipment for their security system right away.

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