Does Your Home Security System Have a Plan B?May 9th, 2013 | Posted by in Home Security General | Home Security Systems
Most of us don’t usually think about having a backup plan until it’s too late. It’s human nature to feel comfortable in our routines and optimistically assume that everything will be fine. There are important times when we do come up with a “Plan B”, but few of us do it on a day-to-day basis. It’s virtually impossible to have a backup plan in place for every moment of our lives, but there is something we can do in case the worst case scenario happens. We can choose to buy technology that comes with built-in redundancy.
Home security systems are an example of where multiple backups are imperative. When homeowners get alarm systems, 99% of the time there are no threats to their homes. It’s that other 1% of the time, when a burglar tries to break-in, or a fire breaks out, when the system absolutely has to work no matter what. Historically, security systems used only standard phone lines to communicate with the central monitoring center. Since these systems didn’t have any type of backup or redundancy, burglars could easily disable the systems by snipping phone wires, smashing the keypad, or taking advantage of a power outage.
Even fire monitoring isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Inexpensive smoke detectors save lives when they work properly – but only if homeowners are home and can call the fire department directly. If no one is at home, smoke detectors burn and melt within minutes due to the extreme heat. Professional fire monitoring doesn’t work either, if the home security system keypad is on fire, phone lines are down, or even if wiring inside the home is on fire and incapable of sending a signal out. There are so many variables that can render the system useless, if there isn’t a backup in place.
When researching and buying a new high-tech home security system, redundancy is one of the most important factors every homeowner must have. Safe alarm systems today have dual backups for every possible scenario. The system itself can be designed to have multiple communication methods, including broadband internet, cellular, and standard phone line. The chances of all 3 of these methods going down are highly unlikely. On the power front, if the electricity goes out, every single component of the system should have long-lasting batter backups to keep working. On top of that, the system should be designed to have multiple controllers. If the keypad next to the front door is smashed, it won’t disable the entire system. Wireless technology ensures that sensors can’t be disabled with the snip of a wire, and that smoke detectors can always call for help in the seconds before they are engulfed in flames. The system should even have multiple loud alarms so if one is disabled, it doesn’t quiet the system.
With a well designed, thoughtfully engineered system like this, the system will always work, even during the worst case scenario. If the house is broken into and the power is out and the phone lines are down, the system will still get the signal out to the monitoring station, and help will be on the way. Surprisingly, these systems are affordable and look identical to every other security system, because it’s the technology behind the scenes that handles most of the backup protection. It just takes a little bit of research to discover which security systems offer this protection and which don’t. When you take a little time to find an alarm system with redundancy built in, you don’t have to worry about having a Plan B.