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What is a Home Security System?

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A home security system is an electronic installation in a home designed to detect intruders and sound an alarm to alert the occupants of the house in the event of an unwanted presence. Many systems can be programmed to call either the police or a monitoring station to which the homeowner subscribes. Home security systems come in both indoor and outdoor varieties, both of which are effective; however, one may be more practical than the other, depending on the homeowner's particular circumstances. It is possible to install both indoor and outdoor systems to protect a single house, but, in most cases, one system will be enough.

Indoor security systems

Indoor security systems are usually programmed to keep watch over the openings and closings of a home's doors and windows, using a magnetic strip to determine when a door or window is opened, and, if armed, triggering an alarm (anything from a small beep to a loud siren). Motion detectors are another important part of an indoor home security system, employing sensors that use infrared imaging or ultrasonic pulses to determine movement. If any motion above the programmed threshold is detected, the alarm is triggered. Indoor security systems are useful for any house, but are an especially good choice for residences without outdoor areas (such as apartments) or with small yards (such as suburban houses, townhouses, and duplexes).

Outdoor security systems

Outdoor home security systems focus less on alerting a home's occupants to an intruder and more on actually deterring the intruder's entrance to the home. Floodlights with motion-detecting sensors are installed in a way that covers both the front and back of a home and the driveway; if enough motion is detected, the lights come on, and an alarm a programmed alarm sounded. Many outdoor security systems come with "pet-immune" sensors installed, allowing the motion detectors to filter out pet and small animal movement, based on shape, mass, and size. Of course, outdoor security systems are a good choice for houses having large yards or driveways. Homeowners with smaller facilities may find that an indoor security system is a better choice.

A home security system is a common investment for anyone wanting to add protection to their home; indoor and outdoor security systems work well as both deterrents (discouraging a burglar from entering the home) and as a response to a break-in (i.e., sounding an alarm and contacting the police or monitoring station). The house's layout determines whether the indoor or outdoor home security system is more appropriate, but each is effective as home protection.

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