If you’re shopping for a home security system, obviously your first priority is the safety of your home and family. You might assume that all alarm systems are fairly equal in this regard. Well, that may have been true ten years ago. But in the last few years, the best home security providers have embraced new technology to make significant advances in alarm system safety and reliability.
A home security system must be reliable to effectively keep you safe. You depend on the system to keep working, even under adverse conditions. Unfortunately many common occurrences like bad weather or power outages can disable traditional security systems. Burglars have also learned a few simple tricks that can quickly render your system useless.
Communication – Critical to Safe Home Security
To understand the missing safety link in some home security systems – and the safer solution – let’s take a look at basic alarm system functionality:
- Security sensors placed around the home detect potential threats (i.e. window breaking)
- The sensor triggers an alert to the system’s control unit
- The control unit sends an alert to the central monitoring station
- Monitoring personnel at the station send help, if needed
Obviously a failure at any point in this chain of events could disrupt the alarm system’s ability to do its job. But in many home security systems, the common point of failure occurs in Step 3 – when the system’s control unit fails to send an alert to the central monitoring station. If this line of communication is broken, your alarm system will be unable to signal for help when you need it.
Why Wireless Home Security is Safer
If communication between the alarm system and the monitoring station is so basic, why do many home security companies fail to deliver this mission-critical safety feature? The root of the problem is a basic vulnerability in their architecture. Traditional home security systems rely on hard-wired connections within the home – phone, cable or internet – to maintain communication with the monitoring center. The weakness is in the wires themselves. A burglar can disable a traditional alarm system by locating the phone line outside your house and snipping the wires before he breaks in. A downed tree limb, miles away, can cause a similar disruption. Home security systems that connect via the internet are the least reliable of all. Anyone with an internet connection knows how easily and often that connection goes down.
Fortunately, wireless technology has finally taken hold in the home security industry. A wireless system is easier to set up and operate, as well as safer. Obviously, a wireless solution eliminates the problem described above. Your wireless home security system will keep working, even under conditions that would bring most systems down – like an intruder with wire-cutters. The wireless functionality is virtually tamper-proof.
But there are two separate facets of wireless functionality in a home security system. The first element is the wireless equipment, such as wireless sensors or security cameras, which connect wirelessly to the alarm system controls. The second element is known as cellular monitoring, meaning the alarm system’s control panel uses a cellular connection to communicate with the monitoring station. We recommend that you look for both wireless and cellular functionality when shopping for a home security system. “Wireless” is the new trend in home security technology, but just because a company claims to be wireless, doesn’t necessarily mean the provide the all-important cellular monitoring that can keep your home safe.
If you purchase a safe home security system with cellular monitoring, the cellular signaling device will come built into the control unit. You do not need to own a cell phone. You do not even need to have great cellular coverage in your area. While a voice conversation requires a fairly strong cellular signal, the signal strength required to transmit an alarm system alert is very low. The home security company will test out your signal in advance, to assure a safe connection with the monitoring station. The cellular monitoring system works well in most regions of the U.S., even in rural areas. In fact, cellular monitoring is the perfect solution for people who don’t have landline phones at home.
Finding a Safe Home Security Solution
As mentioned above, many home security companies have responded to consumer demand for safe, simple wireless technology by offering some wireless components with their systems. Again, however, these systems are not necessarily created equal. Some companies offer wireless equipment, but not cellular monitoring. Some offer wireless sensors, but their control panel is still hard-wired into the customer’s wall. These companies usually rely on the old-fashioned telephone connection for communication. Some may offer cellular monitoring as an option, but they charge extra for it, and consider it “back-up.” If their original system is safe, why do they need back-up?
FrontPoint Security, a pioneer in safer security technology, has deployed 100% wireless and 100% cellular monitoring since the day they opened for business. With this singular focus on offering the safest option, FrontPoint is a true expert in the field of wireless home security. But expertise isn’t the only benefit. FrontPoint also offers cost savings, providing their cellular monitoring at no extra charge.
Another innovative safety feature of FrontPoint’s is called “Crash-and-Smash.” This patented technology addresses the scenario in which a burglar attempts to disable an alarm system by smashing the Control Panel. Most security systems delay before sending an alert, to avoid false alarms. In that time, a burglar can easily find and destroy the Control Panel, which renders most alarm systems useless. FrontPoint’s Control Panel, however, sends a “pending alarm” as soon as a sensor detects intrusion. Unless the customer signals “all’s clear,” the FrontPoint’s monitoring team takes action.
If you’re in the market for safe home security, look for a company like FrontPoint, which puts wireless and cellular technology on your side.