How Do Home Security Systems Work

Over the past decade, home security technology has evolved significantly. Almost all home security systems now are wireless, and many of them also serve as home automation systems. This means that you get more for your money. They’re also much easier to operate, thanks to touch-screen panels and smartphones. How do home security systems work?

This guide will help you to understand the workings of security systems and what they can do. We will explore the differences between wireless and wired systems, delve into the crucial features of security alarms, and examine how these advanced technologies work together to ensure your safety.

How Do Home Security Systems Work?

A home security system‘s main goal is to protect your family and property. The harm can come from a home invasion, a fire, a flood, or any other type of environmental disaster. All of these are monitored by most home security systems. 

These systems are based on a network of sensors that communicate via radio frequency or wires. The central hub then communicates the information to the outside world through a cellular or landline connection. The hub can be a small, touch-screen mounted on your wall or placed in a cabinet or counter.


Sensors are strategically placed around your home, at entry points like doors and windows on the first floor. They can also be found in hallways and other high-traffic zones. The sensors detect when doors or windows are opened or closed or when people move around your home. The hub receives an alert when a sensor triggers the system. The hub will then sound an audible alert, send you a message (via text, phone call, or mobile app), and notify a monitoring center if you are using professional monitoring.

Professional Monitoring

Professional monitoring allows trained employees of a security company to track signals coming from your system. They will then attempt to contact both you and any relevant authorities in the event that a threat is detected. All professionally installed security systems are subject to professional monitoring contracts lasting up to three years. Most DIY security systems allow you to choose professional monitoring without a long-term contract.

Most home security systems today are wireless and do not require electrical or landline work for installation. The following is an overview of common alarm features, and what they do:

Control Panel or Hub

The heart of any security system is this device. Radio signals are used to communicate between your security sensors, yourself, and the monitoring center. The majority of systems have a keypad built-in or some other way to arm and disarm manually.

Key fob and/or Keypad

Is there a simpler way to arm and disarm your home security system? Absolutely! If the hub of your system doesn’t have a keypad, you can buy extra keypads to make the process easier. This is especially handy if you want to arm or disarm multiple doors. Another convenient option is to control your alarm system using a smartphone app with a wireless smart security system. It’s as simple as tapping a few buttons on your phone!

Contact Sensors

The small plastic devices in home security systems operate on battery power and are composed of a magnet and a sensor. To install them, the sensor is positioned on one side of the door or window, while the magnet is placed on the opposite side. When the door or window is opened, the connection between the magnet and the sensor is disrupted, triggering a signal that is sent to the central hub.

Motion Sensors

These battery-powered, slightly larger plastic devices are usually placed high in order to cover the areas that people must pass through to enter your home. These devices rely on a technology known as passive infrared, which detects motion by sensing the body heat.

Glass Break Sensors

Glass-break sensors listen to the sound of breaking glass which usually has a range of 25 feet. These sensors are a great option for homes that have large dogs that could trigger the motion sensor. A glass-break sensor for sliding glass doors and windows is an excellent secondary measure because a burglar can bypass a contact sensor by smashing a window and then climbing through it to gain entry.

Environmental Sensors

Sensors that detect heat, smoke, carbon monoxide, and water temperature can protect your home and you from fires, frozen pipes, and gas poisoning. However, these sensors are not included in many security systems. Some DIY systems do not offer professional monitoring for environmental sensors. Be sure to check this if you are interested. Call SafeHouse Security Consultants today for more information!

High-Decibel Sirens

Even though wireless technology offers many sophisticated ways to deter burglars, nothing beats a good ol’ fashioned piercing sound alarm to alert both you and your neighbors of potential danger. All home security systems come with an interior siren. Many are integrated into the hub and some have an option to add an external siren. These emit noises between 80 and 120 decibels.

Yard Signs and Stickers

Signs in bright colors promoting your home security system should be standard equipment. They are your first line. When burglars see these signs, they will often not even try to break in. Professor Joe Kuhns of UNC Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology conducted a study with incarcerated criminals to determine what motivated and deterred them. Kuhns explains that the burglars told him that they would leave if they noticed any signs of an alarm system.


Surveillance cameras are a popular add-on product that comes in many different types.

No matter what type of security camera you buy or where it is placed, the majority of cameras will detect motion and send an alert. Some cameras can recognize people and some even have facial recognition capabilities. To save space, cameras can record continuously or only when motion is detected. The video can be stored on a disk or cloud.

Do You Need a Permit for a Home Security System?

You may need a permit if you plan to install and monitor a home alarm system. Check local ordinances to see if this is required. You may not require a permit for an alarm system that is self-monitored, but if your siren is loud enough to cause someone to call the police, then you could be liable for a false alert if you do not have a license. 

If you need a permit to install a self-monitored home security system, contact your alarm company to give them the permit number. Some police departments will only respond to alarms if the monitoring station provides them with the permit number.

Do Home Security Systems Really Work?

Studies have consistently shown that installing a home security system significantly reduces the risk of burglary. In fact, a recent study found that as more security systems were implemented, the number of burglaries decreased. Alarms were credited for not only reducing burglaries but also contributing to a decline in the overall crime rate of the city. Technological advancements in home security systems, including improved sensors and signaling technologies, have greatly enhanced their reliability.

Looking for Reliable Home Security Services in LA?

Keep your home safe and secure with SafeHouse Security Consultants. Our team of experts specializes in providing top-notch home security solutions tailored to meet your specific needs. From state-of-the-art alarm systems to 24/7 monitoring, we offer comprehensive security services to give you peace of mind. 

Contact SafeHouse Security Consultants today and take the first step towards protecting your home and loved ones.

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