The DIY crowd is all about increasing quality of life without compromising independence or budget, so here are a few DIY home security tips so that trying to install a DIY home security system doesn’t backfire horribly. Home security isn’t something to compromise on—not with the severity of the potential consequences of installing an unreliable system.
Here are some tips to optimize your home security system as you prepare to DIY:
- Don’t neglect a weak point. Comprehensive DIY home security is comprised of a number of elements—you have fire detection, carbon monoxide detection, measures to ward off and to protect against intruders, and surveillance to keep you aware of what’s going on in and outside the perimeters of your house. Forgetting any one of these elements could leave your home with a critical weakness, inviting a potential catastrophe.
- Be sure to purchase reliable equipment. Nothing will ruin your home security system quite so humiliatingly as a faulty piece of equipment that you installed to save a buck. Do your research and find quality sensors, alarms, cameras, lights—the works.
- Stack up the security measures. Not that you need your home to be a military-grade bunker you have to access with passcodes and thumbprints from three senators, but true independence and peace of mind come most easily when you have planned for the unexpected. So double up. Yes, you could put a tension bar on each window to keep it from opening from the outside, but a criminal could still break through the window itself. So investing in PIRs (passive infrared receivers) to monitor activity in front of the windows would be an excellent backup measure to use in case a criminal is determined enough to break the glass. Yes, you could put deadbolts on the doors to physically deter a housebreaker from coming in. But a more experienced or determined criminal still has ways of getting in through that door. So add another layer of security by installing a closed-circuit magnetic sensor. Such a device doesn’t physically block an intruder from entering the house, but it sets off an alarm that would drive away a lot of skittish criminals. Just as importantly, it could let you know someone has gotten through the door.
When it comes down to it, DIY home security will never be as effective or as reliable as a professional home security service. This is true for a couple of main reasons: first, a professional security service can find all of the weak points in your property that even the most determined and experienced criminal could. They are also well trained in how fires spread and where to strategically place smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. So they can blanket your home with more comprehensive and industry-tested disaster and crime prevention systems than you ever could with DIY methods. Second, professional security services maintain your security systems and monitor the state of every alarm installed on the premises. Thus, you will get a faster response to the authorities from a professional service than you would otherwise; also, you will have the otherwise-absent security of knowing that your home is being protected from intruders and disasters even while you are away at work or on vacation. When it comes down to it, do what you can to protect your family with DIY security, but get a professional service as soon as it becomes a possibility for you. Your safety and that of your loved ones may depend on it.