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General Home Alarm System
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For many people, having a home alarm system provides a level of security that they might not otherwise have. For example, home alarm systems are perfect for the elderly, disabled persons, people that live in high crime areas, or simply families looking for an added way of protecting their family.

It used to be that people could leave a key hidden above the door or under a rock but in today�s society, this is a major no-no! Intruders are very smart and willing to take risks. They know all the great hiding places and will locate your key in no time. Therefore, forget about leaving a key where someone could get hold of it, and consider a home alarm system. Other recommendations that go along with a home alarm system include the following:
  • Make sure you keep your windows and doors closed, especially at night and when not at home. Do not be fooled in thinking that because you live in a safe area, secure housing development/apartment, or out in the country that you are safe when you leave these things unlocked and opened.

  • When you go to bed to sleep at night, leave a light on. This might be a light over the stove, a small light in the bedroom, or a soft hallway light. The reason this is important is that intruders want to break into dark homes. If you are going to be gone, overnight or for several days/weeks invest in a timer for your lights. These timers can be set to come on at dusk, as though you were home and then shut off when the sun rises.

  • Add deadbolt locks to your doors and consider putting latches on the windows that will help keep them closed should someone try to break in. Both of these items are inexpensive and can be purchased from your local hardware store. If you live in a higher crime area, you might even consider having shatterproof glass installed in your windows.

  • Always make sure you smoke/carbon monoxide detectors have new batteries and are in good working condition.

  • When someone comes to your door, even in the daytime, do not automatically open it. Instead, install a view window that you can see out of and they cannot see you. If you do not know the person, simply do not answer the door. If you do open the door to a stranger, NEVER allow them into your home. For instance, if you have a woman, man, or a teenager that says he/she is having car trouble, lost, or injured, have them sit down and you call 911 for them.

  • If you have a screen door and want to keep the front door open to allow in air or light, lock the screen door, which would give you an opportunity to shut the door should someone try to get in.

  • If you have someone come to your door that represents him/herself as a police office or some other official, always ask for identification. If you do not see a car to support their role, then you should refuse them entry into your home and call 911 for verification. If the person gets upset that, you do not believe them, that is even more reason to call for verification.
  • If you do have a home alarm system or if you are adding one, be sure you test it on a monthly basis.
A home alarm system is not just for nighttime use. You can set your alarm when you are home alone during the day or anytime you have concerns. The nice thing about a home alarm system is that most will come with a panic button. This button is usually no larger than a cigarette lighter and can be carried in your pocket. Therefore, if you were downstairs working in the laundry room and someone were to break a glass upstairs, you could simply push the panic button, lock the door, and help is on its way.

The typical home alarm system has a control panel and a keypad where you can set the alarm. Some systems cover only the exterior where some have internal options. For example, the exterior only system would go off if someone were to try to break into a window or door. With the internal options, you would still have the external security but in addition to that, you would have indoor sensors. Therefore, if someone were to stop the alarm from going off and broke in, the sensors would pick up their movement and set the alarm off. Finally, many home alarm systems are also connected to the local fire department so if you were to have a fire in your home, the system will automatically dial the fire department.
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