A Guide to Different Types of Home Security Systems

There are various types of security systems on the market. From smoke and fire alarms to sophisticated systems to deter burglars, these solutions use a variety of methods and technologies. According to 2015 statistics from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a property crime occurred every 3.9 seconds and a home break-in/burglary occurred once every 20 seconds.1

A study on the decision-making processes and behavior of burglars was conducted by the Alarm Industry Research and Education Foundation. Factoring in information from 422 incarcerated male and female burglars, it found 83% of the subjects studied would look for an alarm before going forward, and 60% said they’d seek a different target if one was present. This was especially true for those who spent time planning their approach.2

These statistics can be very useful when safeguarding your property. The type of alarm system and detectors installed depends on the most imminent hazard. Here is a guide to the latest technology for protecting your home and family this holiday season:

Monitored Home Security Systems

A monitored security system is tracked by a team or remote professionals 24/7 at a state-of-the-art monitoring center. It is operated by a central control panel. Numerous components transmit important data to a centralized station, including sensors for doors and windows. Motion sensors are used to monitor the exterior and interior of homes for potential intrusions, while wired/wireless security cameras, audible sirens/alarms, and security signage are also used.

Unmonitored Home Security Systems

Unmonitored systems consist of a control panel, sensors, and sirens/alarms as well as motion detectors and motion-activated cameras. Visual indicators such as lights may be included as well. Although triggered the same way as monitored systems, these are not tracked by a dedicated service. However, you can monitor your home from a smartphone or computer, so you can receive alerts from, arm/disarm, and configure the system via your mobile device rather than on-site keypads.

Wired Home Security Systems

If you’re more traditional and prefer a security system connected with wires to a home electrical circuit, landlines can be used. These security systems are directly connected to your phone while sending alerts using radio frequency signals. A back-up battery keeps the system running in case the power is disrupted. A wired system can be just as effective in an emergency, but the prevalence of digital technologies is making this configuration less popular.

Wireless Home Security Systems

Easier to install, update, and control, a wireless home security system uses the same cellular signals as your mobile phone. You’ll receive instant alerts when sensors are triggered. Benefits include simple installation you don’t need a professional for, and factory pre-programming that means the equipment is ready to use as soon as it arrives. The only downside is system reliability depends on the cellular signal quality in your area.

Other Types of Alarm Systems

Burglars aren’t the only home security threats. Smoke, fire, and inclement weather can put you in harm’s way. Fortunately, there are different options to consider that can monitor your property and alert you as soon as there’s a problem. These include:

  • Smoke Detectors: According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, about 1,100 residential fire deaths could be prevented annually if every home had a smoke alarm.3 Smoke contains carbon monoxide, harmful chemicals, and particulates that can be deadly even if a fire isn’t anywhere near you. Today’s smoke alarms placed near bedrooms can alert everyone to an emergency so you can get out and contact the authorities right away.
  • Fire Alarms: Advanced fire detection systems from Boyd & Associates feature a cellular connection and backup battery, so they provide constant protection even if the power goes out. They are automatically activated when a fire is detected. This means whether you are home or not, awake or sleeping, the alarm notifies you of a problem so you can take the appropriate action.
  • Glass-break Detectors: These can detect glass shattering or cracking using a type of microphone. The high-decibel alarm can alert you of a break-in or glass damage due to weather conditions. The microphone is designed to pick up the unique sound of glass breaking, whether from your front door or any window in your house.
  • Critical Alarm System: Trips when there is any type of indoor flooding, due to natural events or an issue with your plumbing. Immediate notification of a problem can help you avoid serious consequences such as extensive water damage or mold, while avoiding the potentially high cost of professional repairs, which can easily run into the thousands of dollars.

Boyd Can Help You Figure Out Which Type of Security System to Get

Boyd & Associates installs, manages, and monitors home security systems, including burglar, fire, and other alarms. Our services include professional guidance in determining the best security systems for your property. Homes, businesses, and communities have been relying on us since 1967. We provide the same advanced systems and service for all our residential and business clients, and our highly trained security teams can not only properly install alarm systems, but monitor them constantly to relay an emergency to the authorities. To learn more about the types of security systems we can install or request service, support, or a free consultation, contact us today.

Sources:
  1. https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2015/crime-in-the-u.s.-2015/resource-pages/crime-clock?kbid=62750
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516160916.htm
  3. https://www.nist.gov/el/smoke-alarm-research

How Fire Detection Systems and Alarms Work

Combination smoke detectors and fire alarm systems are lifesaving in buildings of all types. Fire is an extremely dangerous event and can easily get out of control. In addition to heat, smoke, and flames, fires can create a dangerous environment in which exposure to carbon monoxide, combustion particles, and other toxic substances can put lives in danger.

The Facts

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) published the report, “U.S. Structure Fires in Office Properties”, in 2013, which revealed an estimated 3,340 office property fires occurred per year, on average, between 2007 and 2011. On average, there were four civilian deaths and 44 fire-related injuries per year. Fires were most common when facilities were occupied, with peak times being between noon and 2:00 p.m., while more than one in four office fires were caused by cooking equipment. Electrical distribution, lighting, and heating equipment were other factors.

The report also found that fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers, were effective in 88% of fires where they were installed. In such properties, deaths per 1,000 fires were 62% lower than in offices and stores with no fire suppression equipment with automatic functions.1

Alarm systems are extremely important for fire safety. Here is a look at how the automatic functions of modern fire alarm systems work, and how integrating wireless technology and combining them with access control systems can help people safely evacuate in the event of an emergency.

How an Automatic Fire Alarm System Works

Today’s wireless systems use radio frequency signals. Whether it has a sensor with thermistors to sense heat, opto-chemical or biomimetic cells to trace carbon monoxide gas, or uses photoelectricity or ionization to sense smoke or combustion particles, a detector sends incoming signals to a fire alarm control panel (FACP). The FACP itself can be connected to a building’s electrical system. It can also be powered by batteries or a backup power control when the electrical current is interrupted.

Once a signal is received from a sensor, the main control panel:

  • Activates audio alerts such as sounders (may include horns, gongs, or automated loudspeaker messages)
  • Turns on visual indicators like lights and flashers
  • Activates building sprinklers in affected areas

Different methods can be used to notify occupants on separate floors or connected structures, and even help them find the best escape route. This is useful when specific departments in an organization need to take appropriate actions specific to their role and location.

Some fire detection systems are designed to also:

  • Work with sensitive equipment in computer and clean rooms by discharging clean agents
  • Activate dry pipe sprinklers to protect people/property before the main suppression system kicks in
  • Provide notification of severe weather, bomb threats, hazardous chemical releases, and other events

Advanced fire alarm systems and smart devices can provide people with notifications on safe evacuation routes. Some notification appliances can relay alerts to a local fire department, other authorities, and the alarm company so help is dispatched right away.

Wireless Technology Integration

Wireless technology has made fire alarms more reliable in a world where telecommunications companies have shifted from traditional telephone lines to wireless and IP-based alternatives. Improvements in transmission speed and access to data make it more practical to connect fire alarm systems to wireless networks. Smart systems are more reliable as well, which helps prevent false alarms, as they’re based on the latest NFPA 72-2013 communication standards and can work on 4G cellular networks.

In a wireless mesh network, many devices can be installed without requiring a direct connection. Numerous communication paths can be created to improve reliability. Even if one or more devices are damaged, different communication paths can be found and the network will still function. Point-to-point or point-to-multipoint technology may also be used, but failure of a single device can disrupt the entire network.

A computerized fire protection system linked to a mesh network with bi-directional communication is the most reliable. Aside from a flexible design that remains functional in a variety of situations, it avoids the challenges of running wires in difficult locations, such as historic buildings, parking garages, and warehouses.

Wireless smart systems simplify central station reporting, so the status of the system can be monitored constantly. They also allow for mobile app control. This enables panels and alarms to be remotely managed, alerts of danger to be received from any location, and individual detectors to be monitored. As with an app for surveillance and access control systems, a mobile phone application for your fire detection system can let you:

  • Activate/deactivate the system
  • Check the status of zones
  • Add/manage/assign users
  • View email alerts
  • Access fire safety reports

How Fire Alarms Work with Access Control

Fire alarm systems can now be fully integrated with access control infrastructure. With this integration, a signal can automatically unlock doors that are connected electronically. The trigger of electric locks enables people to safely exit when detectors sense a fire or smoke condition. Otherwise, it would be difficult for occupants to egress a building where there is immediate danger.

Fail-safe locks are required per NFPA 101. It requires doors to automatically unlock if there is a loss of power to the access control system. This functionality is not present in a fail-secure electric lock. The NFPA guidelines also require electric locks to be interconnected with an automatic fire alarm and sprinkler system. During an emergency, such a system can promptly disconnect power from a lock mechanism so people can respond to warnings and protect themselves.

The standard also requires motion detectors that automatically release electric locks. In addition, it calls for egress systems that disengage power to electric locks via mechanical disruption. This type of setup usually involves a double-pole, double-throw momentary push-button switch (can be installed as an easily recognizable pull switch).

Contact Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates is a full-service commercial security and monitoring company offering the latest in integrated fire alarm systems. Focused on protecting homes and businesses in Southern California, we’ve also developed advanced security, access control, smart lock, and smartphone app solutions. We employ trained security teams to provide a swift response to emergencies.

Our fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide detection systems include hardwired and wireless devices. These use light, sound, and text alerts to notify users of a problem, and use a backup battery and cellular connection in case of a power failure. Our monitoring station is UL Listed and operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To request service or more information, call Boyd & Associates at 888-343-2852 or contact us online today.

Source:
  1. https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/Building-and-Life-Safety/US-Structure-in-Office-Properties

Fire Alarm Systems: Major Benefits and Advantages

Fire alarms are among the greatest assets for homeowners.

From 2013 through 2017, there were over 354,000 home structure fires per year, as estimated by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This resulted in an annual average of 2,620 civilian deaths and 11,220 injuries.

The most common causes of home fires were from cooking, heating, electrical distribution, and lighting systems, including those used during the holidays, like Christmas trees and lights.1 Fireplaces used during the holidays and colder months can create hazards as well.

A fire alarm system includes many components and features to help keep you protected. It saves lives by warning building occupants of emergencies so they can get out of danger. The typical components in a fire alarm system that provide protection and life-saving benefits include:

  • A primary/secondary power supply, including batteries
  • A sensitive carbon monoxide and/or smoke detector
  • Audible alerts, flashing lights, and other notifications
  • Pull stations, smoke alarms, and other initiating devices
  • A control panel for constant monitoring and dispatch management

Benefits of a Fire Alarm System

Fire alarms have many advantages. In the event of a fire, they provide detection and notification without you having to do anything. whether you are home or not. They can also automatically dispatch the fire department to your location. The greatest benefits also include:

  • Avoid Smoke Inhalation: Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death related to fires2; more so than heat or flames. A mixture of particles, chemicals, and gases, smoke causes everything from skin and mucous membrane irritation to swelling, respiratory distress, and airway collapse. Without immediate medical help, smoke inhalation can lead to suffocation and death. A fire alarm can protect you against exposure to harmful substances such as carbon monoxide, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and others often found in smoke.
  • Early Fire Detection: An audible or visual signal enables you to seek safety soon after the fire starts. Once fire and/or smoke conditions trigger the system, you can use an available fire extinguisher to protect your home and belongings or rush your family to safety. Early detection can enable you to avoid serious damage or destruction, so it is of extreme importance. In addition to providing security in the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and family rooms, a fire alarm can quickly alert firefighters so they can help minimize the damage.
  • Discounts on Insurance: When you install fire alarms, you can save money on home They help cut costs for insurance companies by reducing the risk of a fire destroying your home, appliances, and possessions. Installing a fire alarm system shows you are taking responsibility and are prepared for unexpected events. Instant notification of a potential fire and fast action can minimize the amount of an insurance claim; your fire protection devices can, therefore, go a long way in qualifying you for discounted homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • Decreased Risk of Fire Damage: Property damage can require large investments and a great deal of time to repair. You can also avoid damage to nearby properties when you install a residential fire alarm. This level of prevention is possible because a fire alarm system can enable firefighters to respond and put out the fire before it gets out of control. The less damage there is, the quicker you can get each affected room back in order.

Other Advantages

A home fire alarm system is affordable and easy to install. When a fire alarm is activated, it boosts your security and safety during a dangerous event. Additional advantages to consider include:

  • Placement Flexibility: A fire alarm can be placed just about anywhere you want. Its effectiveness is maximized when the detector is placed near the kitchen or other areas with fire hazards. Proximity to bedrooms and family rooms is important, as it’s easiest to hear the alarm when it warns of danger.
  • 24/7 Monitoring: Fire alarms provide constant protection, whether you’re at home, asleep for the night, or away in which case you can receive remote These advantages exemplify the many uses of a fire alarm system. Also, many systems include 24/7 monitoring services for constant protection no matter where you are.
  • Easy & Affordable: Once installed, fire and smoke detectors are easy to use. They automatically sense hazardous conditions without you doing anything. It’s not expensive to have a professional installer put them in; plus, even if insurance can replace lost or damaged belongings, you can’t replace personal items such as gifts from loved ones or photo albums.
  • Low Maintenance: Despite their importance, fire alarms require little maintenance, except for occasionally changing batteries or having them professionally inspected. There’s little obligation and cost-overhead associated with having a fire alarm system.

Additional Resources

For more insights on the advantages and importance of fire alarms, check out these resources from Boyd & Associates:

Additional insights on causes, circumstances, and statistics related to home structure fires can be found on the NFPA website and its informational report and tables.

Contact Boyd & Associates

Boyd & Associates has been providing fire alarm and other home security services since 1967. We serve homeowners throughout Los Angeles as well as Orange, Ventura, and Riverside Counties. In addition to dependable professional installation, we provide 24/7 fire alarm system monitoring, as all our systems have a built-in cellular connection. A backup battery is included as well, so your home remains protected even if there’s a power outage. Trained professionals monitor your system from a central facility, and immediately respond to alerts and notify the proper authorities who can potentially save your home, family, and belongings in an emergency.

Call Boyd & Associates at 800-381-2693 or contact us online, today, to learn more about our fire alarm system installation and monitoring services.

Sources:
  1. https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Data-research-and-tools/Building-and-Life-Safety/Home-Structure-Fires
  2. https://www.webmd.com/lung/smoke_inhalation_treatment_firstaid.htm

Features and Benefits of Home Security Automation

In 2018, more than $5 billion was invested in U.S. smart homes, and about 15% of homes in the nation are using smart technology, according to Statista’s Digital Market Outlook.

The U.S. smart home market was forecast to top $27 billion in 2019.1

With this kind of growth, the benefits of home automation systems cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to security.

What Are Automated Home Security Systems?

Automated home security systems represent the future of connected homes. Once an automated security system is installed, you can program it, monitor your home from anywhere, and control the system remotely via a smart app. You can even link your security system to personal assistants such as Amazon Alexa, depending on the product. From watching video feeds of your front door to controlling lights and thermostats from a smartphone, to unlocking the door for guests from the office or while on the road, you have complete control over home security.

Security automation enables you to configure your security system any way you please. It lets you monitor every aspect of your home and detect and deter crime when it happens. The system can be controlled via an in-home dashboard or your smartphone.

But it’s not only about deterring crime; home fires are typically on the rise this time of year. Connect your Christmas lights, fireplace, and more to avoid situations like one of the 7,000 residential building fires in 2017 resulting in injuries, or the estimated 1,900 fires that resulted in fatalities (based on U.S. Fire Administration estimates).2

Features of a Home Automation Security System

Smart technology enhances home security because alarms, motion sensors, and control panels can all be connected. It consists of several more components than a standard security system, which incorporates an alarm, control panel, and yard signs. Some of the most important features are:

  • Smart Apps: Smartphone apps allow for full control of and access to the system. With an app, you can access a Wi-Fi-connected camera and receive notifications from it. Video feeds can be accessed on demand while you can notify law enforcement or other agencies of a problem. You can even speak over the intercom or lock/unlock the door for invited guests.
  • Energy Management: The ability to control your home thermostat or shut the lights off from your smartphone can save energy. If the kids are home by themselves, watch video feeds and send a text to remind them to close the window curtains. Sometimes, sunshine warms your home, but you don’t want to stress your cooling system with excess heat. Manage your entire HVAC system, appliances, and electrical meters from anywhere.
  • Smart Locks: These electromechanical devices provide some of the greatest benefits of home automation technology. Locked and unlocked remotely, they help monitor who enters and leaves your home and let you grant or deny access remotely. Control the lock with your smartphone or wireless key fob, or use email or SMS to send a virtual key and set a time frame during which someone can unlock the door. Even interconnect locks with security alarms and cameras, and never worry about losing your keys!
  • Smart Video: Modern Wi-Fi enabled cameras allow you to control them and view video feeds from anywhere. Smart video can be used indoors and outdoors, day and night, depending on the model. Some cameras feature motion or sound detection, so they record only when necessary (and send alerts when triggered), but some record continuously, conveniently uploading feeds to the cloud. Features to consider include video resolution, color or black-and-white video, wired or wireless systems, and field of vision.

Advantages of Smart Home Security Systems

The benefits of home automation technology are far-reaching. Some of the most significant home automation benefits you can see by upgrading to a smart security system include:

  • Safety: Home automation systems keep your family and home safe through control of lighting and appliances. If you forgot to turn something off, just do it with your smartphone. Or, turn the lights on before you get home at night.
  • Security: View the status of the front door to verify it is closed and locked. Security alerts notify you when someone enters your home; or, turn on the lights before you get there to make sure nothing is hiding in the darkness.
  • Convenience: A smartphone is something you have whenever you leave the house. Why not monitor everything from your connected device? Many tasks become automatic, so you don’t have to run home or even get up off the couch to set smart locks or turn on the lights.
  • Saves Time: Life today is very fast-paced. Time savings is one of the advantages of smart security for your home you can’t ignore. There’s no need to run home to check on things or if one of the kids forgot to close the door; just check it all from your phone.
  • Saves Money: Turning lights on/off or even dimming them remotely can save a bit of money, as can controlling window shades and adjusting automated thermostats. You also save on gas by not having to drive back home to check on what you forgot to turn off.
  • Energy Efficiency: Program appliances and systems to turn off or control them remotely. Some home automation systems provide continuous monitoring and notify you on their status and energy usage; if your home is warmer than necessary or extra lighting isn’t needed, make the appropriate adjustments to save energy.
  • Comfort: One of the most understated advantages of home automation is comfort; you can control adaptive lighting, sound, and temperature as well as play music. Even record shows on your DVR by setting it remotely. Automation allows you to control all aspects of the home environment.
  • Peace of Mind: Check on young children, or even baby monitors, or view the status of your appliances, window shades, or the garage door. Verify anything on your app without worrying about whether you remembered to close doors or turn everything off before you left.

Additional Resources

Boyd & Associates specializes in a variety of systems and services to improve home security and automation. Customers in Southern California depend on us for quality:

Contact Boyd & Associates

We have been providing full security and alarm services in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, and Riverside County since 1967. Our business has specialized in advanced surveillance systems since the 1990s and has been at the forefront of home security automation. Today, we offer state-of-the-art products installed and serviced by trained professionals. To learn more and enjoy the advantages of home automation, plus the security and other benefits it has, call our sales team at 888-478-1543 or request a quote online today.

 

Sources:
  1. https://www.pcmag.com/news/367137/the-us-is-the-undisputed-leader-in-smart-homes / https://www.statista.com/outlook/279/100/smart-home/worldwide
  2. https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/

SimpliSafe’s home security system can be compromised with $2 wireless emitter

Before you buy a cheap security system check out this article. A professionally installed security system has sophisticated encryption and provides the best protection for your home or business.

This flaw means you won’t be notified of a break-in.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2019/8/7/20758529/simplisafe-home-security-system-flaw-compromise-lockpickinglawyer

 

Bugle Summer 2019 Issue