Home Security 101: Wireless Home Alarm System Design Explained

Posted by , , at 9:00 am

After explaining all the various wireless sensors, and the way home alarm systems provide peace of mind, it’s now time to talk about designing the level of protection that is right for your home. We’re ready, and we’ve been looking to forward to this post for months! And of course, we are focusing on wireless alarm technology.

It’s All About You

The most important thing to remember is that your system should be designed with you in mind, and that means consideration of the following:

  • Do you have pets? Where are they allowed to go in the home, and when?
  • Do you have children? How old are they, and what issues will you face integrating a residential security system into their lives?
  • Will you arm your system when you are at home? Many people do so (growing numbers, in fact), and that can impact your choice and placement of sensors.
  • Are there areas of the home where you don’t go at night? A basement is a great example, and that can influence the sensors you use there.

There are other questions, of course, and a reputable alarm company can help you work through all of them. But the main point is that every system should be customized: not just for how your home is laid out, but also for your lifestyle. This is no time for a “one–size-fits-most” approach!

“Stay” vs. “Away” System Arming

One thing we want to address up front is that most alarm systems can be armed in either of two modes: “Stay” and “Away.”

In the “Stay” mode, often used when you are home at night, only the perimeter is armed, and you can move about freely in your home without triggering an alarm.

In the “Away” mode, used when you leave your home, there are interior sensors that are also armed – so that any movement within the home will also trigger an alarm.

Start with the Perimeter

Since doors are the most common place for an intruder to enter your home, we start there. You should have a wireless door sensor on every exterior door, including the door from the garage into the home. This is the foundation of your perimeter protection.

Next come the windows you want to protect – with the same unobtrusive wireless sensor. It’s best to focus on the windows on the sides and back of the house first, since they are less visible, and are therefore more attractive to a burglar. And as for those upstairs windows, you may decide to pass on those – unless a burglar can find an easy way to reach them.

For rooms with lots of windows, the wireless glass break sensor is a great solution. This device has a range of 20 feet in any direction (as long as there is line of sight), and that makes the glassbreak sensor an efficient and cost-effective component of your perimeter protection.

Interior Protection

When you arm in the “Away” mode, then you bring into play your interior protection detection device – the wireless motion sensor. You’ll seldom see an alarm system without at least one of these, and they are designed for backing up your perimeter devices. This sensor is generally placed in high traffic areas, and detects movement.

Additional Intrusion Devices

There are a few more devices that you can add to your intrusion system:

Additional Peace of Mind

Once you get your arms around the intrusion component of your system, then you can consider the other devices that work in conjunction with your system s-o you can feel protected and connected.

  • Wireless smoke & heat sensor – we recommend at least one with every system
  • Carbon monoxide sensor
  • Water/flood sensor

Get the Help You Need

Remember, you should never be on your own when it comes to designing the right level of protection for your home. The advice above is just a good starting point, so you’ll want to have an in-depth conversation with a trained security professional to make sure your solution is the right one for you.

Beware Kits, “Teasers,” and Pressure Tactics

In other words, don’t fall for the non-customized “kit” approach, or the seemingly affordable “teaser” system that does not provide what you need – and when you add the missing pieces, the price goes through the roof!

And just as bad, avoid the companies who use pressure tactics to sell: if they are not willing to give you time to do your research, then they don’t deserve your attention.

Lastly, read all the alarm company reviews you can get your hands on.

The End of the Series

This Monday series on wireless home alarm technology has been a lot of fun to write – and based on the feedback we’ve received, it’s been an interesting and educational experience for our readers.

You have plenty of choices when it comes to protecting your home and family, so make sure your decision is based on the things that really matter: the right type of system, customized for your home and the way you will use it, provided by a company you can trust.

And if you want to give FrontPoint a call, we’ll be more than happy to answer any and all your questions. Thanks for reading! 

Comments (12)

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  1. Holus

    Great post and great information.. I guess I should start taking advantage. With your great tips I will have a great idea of how to use it. Thanks.

  2. Vedard

    A great informative post. Many points educated people to customize their own home security solution with suitable alarm systems.

  3. Alex Jennings

    In this century, it’s very important to ensure your home’s safety. I cannot bare the thought of having something happen to my family, because I didn’t have the proper security system. Although some of these systems may be expensive, it’s more important to think of the longevity and fruition of your family.

    Alex Jennings |

  4. Brandon Roberts

    I am starting to build a new gardening business, and I want to make sure my building is secure. I was worried about someone breaking in through the windows, until I heard about security glass. You said that a lot of businesses are using this now to protect their building. I think I am going to do the same. Thanks a ton for the information and incite.

  5. Alex Jennings

    You’ve mentioned how alarm security systems work. If I have an animal who’s staying in the house (while I’m gone) will that trigger an interior sensor? I haven’t had a security alarm system, but my wife thinks it would be a good idea to invest in one—we’re expecting our baby soon!

    Alex Jennings |

    • Valerie Saponara

      First off, congratulations! Second, we generally tell everyone that motion sensors are great to have as long as your pet is under 40 lbs or doesn’t jump up onto furniture. If you do have a large pet or a little one that loves your comfy couch, we have other sensors/setup options that can still protect your family! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  6. Jenn Davies

    I’ve heard that a lot of people leave their security systems in the “stay” mode even when they’re away. In some cases, it disables the motion sensor. It can be dangerous to arm your house incorrectly, though. If you’re worried about something setting off your motion sensor accidentally, maybe you should invest in a security camera so you can check.

  7. Deanna R. Jones

    Thanks for the information! It’s interesting how wireless alarm system work. I agree, any home security system should be designed with the customer in mind. It’s good to know that I can also have other features installed with my home security system so that I can have additional peace of mind. Having a home security system with sensors that detect smoke, heat, carbon monoxide, and water in my home would help me feel a lot more safe in my house.

  8. Donna DiFalco

    I’ve been a Front Point Security customer for 2 yrs. and your customer service is exceptional. My next door neighbor uses Vivint security their yard signage has a small solar light attached to the top to illuminate the sign at night. It would be wonderful if the Front Point would provide the same so the their signage could be seen from the street after dark.

  9. Nik Cannon

    Great series of articles about wireless home security. What about sliding patio doors? Are these equipped with just a normal sensor and a glass-break sensor. What is the best way to secure one of these doors?

    • Jamie Botzer

      Thanks Nik! And great question. Since some intruders will break the glass and never open the door, the ideal protection for a sliding patio door is both a “normal” Door Window Sensor and a Glass Break Sensor. There are also various methods for keeping a slider from being forced open — like a wooden dowel laid in the track — to back up the lock> These provide an extra layer of protection, which is worth mentioning.