DIY Home Security

DIY home security doesn’t mean rigging your own system from fishing line, duct tape, and other odds ends around the house.  It simply entails installing products yourself that make your home safer.  There are many different choices depending on what you’re looking for and your budget.  Here is what you need to know about each.

Deterrents

One of the least expensive and most often overlooked DIY home security choices are deterrents.  Fake security cameras for example usually only cost a few dollars but can make the difference between a criminal targeted your house or deciding to move on to a less protected one.  That’s because most cameras look so real that they can even sometimes fool security experts.  A large number even use the shell of a real camera but without the components inside to record of course.

DIY Home Security

They are meant to be obvious and placed somewhere they can easily be seen by would-be criminals.  And as even the dumbest of them know, getting caught on camera is a bad thing.  In addition to being extremely realistic looking, some also include a red light to indicate to anyone checking it out that it is recording.  Others may have a motion detector sensor that starts the camera swiveling when someone approaches.

Fake security cameras can be installed in a matter of minutes and are often used to make an existing real camera system  look like it has more eyes watching than it really does.  Adding yard signs which clearly say your property has a surveillance system along with your cameras can also be an extremely effective and cheap combination that most criminals will avoid like the plague.

Security Cameras

Outdoors

For those who require a real camera there are many DIY home security cameras to choose from both indoors and out.  When placed outside at strategic locations like the front and back doors, on the side of the house, near basement access, or close to off-street windows you can not only deter crime but catch someone in the act if they actually do try and break in or damage your property.

DIY Home Security

 

Outdoor security cameras and their components can be bought individually but the best deals can be found in purchasing entire systems.  Virtually all of these can be installed by the average person which can save you even more cash.  Just be sure to choose one that is weatherproof and has an effective range that is suitable for your needs.  Having LED’s for night vision is also very important too.  Today many systems are wireless and can record video to your DVR.

Indoors

For use indoors there are even more options since they don’t have to be durable enough to deal with the weather.  The majority don’t look nearly as obtrusive as the ones used outside.  In fact many look just like webcams and have a base so they can be simply placed down on any counter top, table, or desk where they will have an unobstructed view of the room and don’t require you to put any holes in your walls.  Others can be mounted on the wall or give you the option of both.

DIY Home Security

Many consumers use their DIY home security camera not just for surveillance but to keep an eye the kids and pets when in another room or from outside the house via a smart phone or computer. A few models even have two way radios so you can have a conversation with your family if you need to, or talk to your pet if it’s looking lonely or getting into something it shouldn’t.

Motion detector cameras or ones which have a motion detector setting are very popular because they only record when the sensor is triggered. That means if you were to need to watch the footage later on, it would take much less time to do so. While some DIY home security camera systems record to an SD card, other models may save to a DVR.  There are also many IP cameras that will keep your footage in the cloud as opposed to physically in your home.

DIY Home Security

Motion Sensors  

One of the least expensive DIY options are motion sensors. These are also both a cinch to use and set up, and you can often have them up and running within a few minutes of taking them out of the box. While some units use a reflective beam, the majority use a sensor with infrared technology that detects changes in heat, and therefore picks up movement by humans and animals. When the sensor is triggered it sends a signal to a receiver and either an alert or alarm is sounded.  They can do a phenomenal job of letting you know anytime someone or something has entered your property.

You can choose to go with just one sensor or many manufacturers offer models which can be used with multiple sensors for each receiver.  By using more than one sensor in different locations you can create a simple yet effective DIY home security system.  Some but not all units can also be set up so that different sensors can have their own alert tones allowing you to instantly know where someone has entered your property by the unique sound.  Motions sensors can also be used indoors and ones which are battery operated can be portable for use when camping along with a wide range of other applications.

DIY Home Security

Driveway Alarms

DIY home security systems don’t just target people but vehicles too.  A driveway alarm can be used to alert you whenever a car or truck has entered your driveway.  A large number of these are actually infrared motion detector systems that are meant to be installed with the sensors near your driveway. If that is the case they will be triggered by humans too.  Other units may actually only be set off by vehicles. This type is known as a magnetic driveway alarm as it will go off only when something large and metal passes through its electromagnetic field. Normally sensors of this type are buried under the ground requiring you to simply dig a hole. Driveway alarms are a great way to add to an existing alarm system or can be used on their own.

DIY Home Security

Window and Door Alarms

Another low-cost DIY option are window and door alarms.  Both function in the same way and many units can be on the door or window.  Each alarm comes in two parts. One is attached to the window frame or door frame while the other is mounted on the window or door itself.  When the window or door is in the closed position the two pieces are parallel to each other.  But when either is opened the alarm will recognize that the pieces are separated and be triggered.

Using both of these can help you to make sure all entry points that a thief could use to get in your home are being monitored.  Some models have different modes so that if you know you will be opening your doors or windows frequently you can set them to only make an audible alert when opened as opposed to an actual alarm.  This can also be very helpful for letting you know when young children are going in and out.

DIY Home Security

 

***All-In-One DIY Home Security System Packages***

One of the biggest sellers in recent years are all inclusive packages or kits.  These are entire systems that conveniently come in one box and are very appealing for many reasons.  One of the biggest incentives is price.  In the past your only option was to pay a private security company a hefty installation fee and then also every month for monitoring it.   This can really add up to a lot of cash spent especially over time, and is the most common reason the majority of homeowners do not choose to purchase one in the first place.  DIY home security systems are a game changer.  They are affordable, usually not more than a few hundred dollars, and offer a tremendous value for what they provide.

Basically it is fairly simple concept. You purchase a system which means that you personally own all of the components not a company.  Those components are then installed by you, which is designed to be as effortless a process as possible. If you want a system which is monitored by a security company many brands offer this service with their products for a greatly reduced monthly fee.  A lot of consumers prefer this knowing that if there is an emergency the company will contact the police or fire department for them.

DIY Home Security

The other option is an unmonitored system which is monitored by you and costs nothing every month.  Typically if there if there is a break in you will get a text message or phone call to alert you and a loud siren will sound to let others know something is wrong.  Some unmonitored systems have a direct-dial feature which will automatically call emergency services.

Each individual system is different in what it includes which is really great because when shopping it allows you to choose the best DIY home security system for your unique needs and budget.  In general they will usually have multiple motion detectors, window alarms, a siren, and a console where everything is controlled. Remotes that can be used to arm and disarm your alarm are pretty standard as well. Some remotes may also have a panic button which can instantly let your security company know you are in serious trouble.

DIY Home Security

 

An intercom that allows you to speak with people in the house can be very handy feature, as can one that just lets you secretly listen in on what’s being said in the house.  A few kits include security cameras too which can allow you to see inside your home when at the office, on vacation, or even in another country from a computer, tablet, or smart phone.  Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can also be something to look for, if you want a truly all-in-one system.

Because it makes installation much easier for the average consumer, the majority of kits are not hardwired, meaning they aren’t physically wired into the house’s electrical power supply. Instead sensors usually run on battery power while consoles and sirens may need to be plugged in but have a backup battery just in case of a power outage.  That is why you will see them advertised as, “DIY wireless home security systems”.  And, they may operate using a cell connection, land line, or a combination of the two in order to help guarantee that if one were not to work the alarm system would not be affected.

DIY Home Security

When shopping for one, the best place to look is online.  That’s because unlike in local shops, or even some of the really big home stores, you’ll not only be able to find the biggest discount but also accessories and add-ons for the system you want that are not always available where you live.  Being able to check out the latest DIY home security system reviews is always a plus too.

Home security is one type of Do It Yourself project that often times requires little or no skill yet that can pay huge dividends in safety, peace of mind, and protection from theft.  Consider what area you would like to keep safe and what level of protection you need to make deciding on an option easy.  In the end like all DIY projects, when it’s completed you’ll feel a little extra bit of pride every time you use it, knowing you installed it by yourself.

DIY Home Security

 Extra DIY Home Security Tips

-One of the most important yet overlooked things you can do to help ensure the security of your home is to not skimp out when it comes to quality.  While this may seem like common sense and it is, many consumers love DIY projects because they save money, however it is very important that you always purchase high quality products.  While it’s smart to buy on sale and take advantage of good deals, even if it costs a little more, by sticking with the top brands you can greatly increase the chances of protecting your home.

– If you will be installing motion detectors and also own pets, it’s very important to place your sensors where they won’t be set off by your animals.  You can achieve this either by setting them at a height taller than your pets or at an upward facing angle.  When using them outdoors you may also want to be careful there are no shrubs or tree branches in the field of view of your motion detector that are likely to sway back and forth in strong winds and cause a false alarm.

DIY Home Security

– Even though most DIY options are made to be easy for the average person to install, some may require a little more skill than others.  Also, not everyone has the same physical abilities, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from someone who is handy if you need it. Even the best DIY home security systems can’t be expected to function properly if they are not installed correctly from the start.

-Criminals are often surprising good climbers, especially when motivated by your valuables.  To keep your home from being a target be sure to cut down any tree branches that could help a thief gain access to the upper floors of your house.

-Any shrubs or bushes that could also provide cover for a criminal while breaking into the lower floor windows or even doors should be trimmed down or removed. If you insist on having plants in these locations stick to ones with thorns that would make any attempt to hide behind them extremely painful.

-Making it seem like you’re home when you’re not can also be a huge deterrent.  Something as simple as setting timers for lights or just leaving the TV on can often times prevent a break in.

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