Tips & Tricks: Putting Together a DIY Alarm System

Tips & Tricks: Putting Together a DIY Alarm System

Setting up your own DIY alarm system may seem like a daunting task at first, but these systems are designed to be user-friendly and relatively easy to customize to your security needs. Many DIY system providers offer guidance to help you choose the parts that you need to protect your home, including starter kits that contain everything you need to begin the project.

Many homeowners find that there are a number of benefits to using DIY alarm systems in their home. These are some of them:

  • Flexibility
  • User control
  • System expandability
  • Plug-and-play technology for fast and easy setup
  • Remote access capabilities
  • Mobility between locations
  • Customization is upfront and ongoing

Getting Started

It’s important to begin the process of setting up your DIY alarm system by considering your security needs; this will help you determine which components you will need to invest in and which system you should select. Questions to ask yourself when determining your security needs include:

  • What are you trying to protect?
  • What entrances do you need to monitor on your property?
  • Are there areas inside your home that you want monitored, such as the door to a room with a safe or weapon closet?
  • Do you want to be able to monitor your property remotely on your own, or do you also want additional support from a certified monitoring company?

Some systems may be fully DIY, meaning that you will monitor your home yourself, but there are also options for systems which are both DIY and monitored, maximizing your control and also your businesses' or family’s safety.

Selecting the Parts

When it comes to putting together your DIY alarm system, you have the flexibility of selecting the components that you want to use. Your options will vary depending on what you need to achieve. Many people begin with simple components, such as door and window sensors to detect the presence of intruders, but it is possible to be as simple or complex as you desire with your alarm system. Additionally, a central control panel will be necessary for your system to communicate with a cellular network in order to trigger emergency alerts. Some of the parts that you can include are:

  • Contact sensors for windows, doors, garage doors, etc.
  • Cameras and surveillance equipment
  • Glass break sensors
  • Flood sensors (heat, freeze, smoke, etc.)
  • Strobes and sirens to alarm intruders
  • Tamper alarms/alerts
  • Additional home automation features (for ongoing expandability)

Setting it All Up

The first step of setting up your DIY home alarm system is selecting your control panel and components. While generic control panels are available, there are also kits on the market which will supply you with the initial components you need, including contact sensors, strobes, alarms, motion detectors, etc. These control panels come in a variety of customized kits. There is something available for you whether you are a homeowner, renter, small business manager, or whether you are setting up a system to begin creating a smart home, creating a medical alert system for an elderly or infirm relative, or even renting out a home to vacationers.

Once the components of your system have been selected and purchased, the process for installing and activating it is relatively simple:

  1. First, you will need to set up your control panel. Depending on the brand of your system, setup instructions may be different, but will be included with your kit. Setup usually involves mounting the control panel in an appropriate location, powering it on, and creating a login, if necessary.
  2. Once the control panel is powered on and set up, the next step will be placing the components that you are using with your alarm system, including door and window sensors, motion detectors, etc. It’s important to place these in areas that have security vulnerabilities such as entrances, easy-to-access windows, and doors to rooms where valuables are stored.
  3. Make sure to take note of the placement of each sensor. Some companies, like BrickHouse Security, will number the sensors included in the kit to make it easy for you to keep track of them. With most systems, you can enter this information directly into your control panel for easy reference when alarms go off.
  4. Once these steps have been completed, the system can be activated according to the system instructions. Usually that involves setting up an activation appointment with the company that manages your system.

Support is available to help you choose your components and make sure you set up the system correctly and in the best way to suit your needs. No matter which style of system you select and which company you choose to work with, a DIY alarm system gives you customization options and flexibility when it comes to protecting your property.

For more information on home and business alarm systems, contact a BrickHouse Security specialist at (866) 952-5276.

(Image by informedmag, licensed under Creative Commons)

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