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What Are the Problems in a Home Alarm System?

Increasing numbers of crime and terrorist incidents around the globe have made governments and organisations take preventive actions to preclude the occurrence of such incidents. It is not just governments or businesses that are choosing to wear a defensive posture; people at the individual level as well are concerned about personal as well as home security. 

More and more people are increasingly leveraging technology for personal security and the security of their homes. Increasing concerns about business and home security have given manufacturers and vendors of this equipment a chance to sell security systems by leveraging the fear. Sales figures of security systems are skyrocketing as more and more people believe that these systems can add a layer of security and safeguard their business, homes and possessions in case of an incident. 

Security equipment like Surveillance Cameras, Monitored and Unmonitored Intruder Alarm Systems, Motion Detectors, Automatic Fire Systems, etc., are commonly seen in any medium to large facility and need no more introduction. These devices have been primarily adopted and installed across public places, homes and business organisations.

Security incidents can be brutal, and they can cost a fortune and even human lives. Installing security systems to encounter potential security threats seems like a solution, but like most other systems, current security systems have common shortcomings associated with them. These shortcomings include anything from price, installation, performance to the maintenance of these systems.

Typical Home Security System Problems

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Home security systems are a must for every homeowner these days. Not only do they protect you and your family, but they also make residential colonies and neighbourhoods much safer. But no matter how good your home security system is, problems can still crop up and must be dealt with so that the house can be made safe again. The following is a list of the most common home security system problems as well as some of their solutions and fixes:

Compatibility Issues With Home Security Systems

The most common problem that can come up with your security system is compatibility issues. Sometimes when you purchase different security products from different manufacturers, then the devices may prove incompatible with each other. They may thus not work correctly. In such a situation, you may either have to purchase additional devices to club them together or contact a professional who can help you connect them.

Incomplete Alarm Cover From Security Cameras

Another common issue that may arise with a security camera is that its alarm coverage may be incomplete. The limited area of surveillance may prove annoying. Since in that case, a few places around your house may not be fully protected. In such a situation, you must either purchase broad-angle security cameras or install them at such locations where you can get maximum coverage. The idea is to be careful and think smartly during the installation process itself.

Home Security Camera Giving False Alarms

Many people who have got home security cameras installed around their house with sensors may experience false alarms, and this too can be pretty irritating. False alarms usually go off during bad weather conditions or when birds fly past etc. This can be due to extra sensitive sensors, wrong installation and manufacturing defects etc. The solution to this problem is to lower down the sensitivity level of the sensors or get the wiring etc., checked by a professional. You can also get a mask feature created to prevent motion detection in a few parts of the house.

Vulnerable Security Systems

In some cases, it may be easy for hackers to hack into your system due to its vulnerable nature. Hackers can steal the camera videos and thus monitor your activities and life from a remote destination. To prevent this, you must opt for a security system that is redundant, encrypted, wireless and wired in nature.

So now that you know some of the most common problems that arise with home security systems and their easy solutions, you must try to solve the issues yourself and make your residence as safe as possible. Home security system problems must not be taken lightly. If you are unable to resolve the issue yourself, you must contact a professional. Look for a security camera or system repair service either online or through your friends or family.

Expensive Hardware And Total Cost Of Ownership

Despite the widespread adoption and growing numbers of installations across the globe, the prices of security systems are still not very affordable. Expensive hardware is what most buyers notice during their first encounter with a security system. Variation in pricing is also huge.

Some DIY home security alarming systems offer starting prices as little as $50. However, these products will have comparatively lower quality in performance and durability. 

They may require more frequent maintenance calls than high quality security systems. However, high quality security systems will not be cheap. Advertisements of home security systems often show starting price to be surprisingly low. However, pricing can also be tricky. The cost of some fundamental systems is kept very low to publish it with the advertisements. This basic standard price system will not serve many purposes and will be largely inadequate for efficient security implementation. Existing systems that will help your goal can be way more expensive than the advertised starting price.

The cost of ownership will again be way more than the purchase price, including maintenance charges, monitoring subscription fee if it is a monitored system, price of parts, battery replacement cost, contract termination fee, etc. Sometimes a system claimed as DIY installable equipment may not be the one, despite the claim; on the other hand, some customers may not be able to install it even if it is a Do It Yourself type of equipment. For example, in the case of elderly or challenged people, DIY is not much use; they will require external help to install it. If the security system is a monitored one, you may have to pay monthly monitoring subscription fees that may range from $150 to $1500 per year.

No Guaranty Of Threat Prevention

Installing a security system is not a guarantee of protection from the potential threats or occurrence of security incidents. Criminals have also become more competent, and they are aware that security systems are commonly found in homes and businesses these days. They come prepared. They already know the common locations these systems are installed at and understand the methods to disarm them. Sometimes even security equipment gets stolen. 

Security systems like surveillance cameras will only record the incident and cannot do anything to prevent it. Sometimes the intensity of the incident will cause a security system to fail. For example, a fire security system will fail if a fire breaks out due to an explosion or massive volume of highly flammable material. The same way an armed robbery, in which people are taken hostage, will expose people to threat when they start searching for the reason for the security alarm.

Falsely Triggered Alarms

This is where security systems’ promise of ‘peace of mind’ gets broken. Siren of your home security system breaks at midnight and wakes your entire family up, only to find out that it was a false alarm caused by your beloved cat for an unknown reason. Security systems make use of available technologies like sensors to detect motions and sense the environment. False triggers are one of the significant shortcomings of current security systems. Same frequency interference is also a fatal weakness of wireless alarm systems. The whole system will be disabled, and if you press any of the buttons of the wireless keyfob to emit the same frequency, it will cause the alarm not to receive the signal from the triggered wireless detector. 

Some manufacturers adopt interference identification alarm methods to conquer this problem. Motion detection alarm systems only recognise movements; they sometimes trigger in the case of pets if the pet jumps above their threshold height. Nobody would appreciate a noisy siren in the middle of midnight, especially after spending money on an expensive security system. Repetitive false triggers also make people less reactive when an actual incident takes place.

Maintenance

Maintenance not only increases the cost of ownership, but it can also leave homes insecure if the equipment had to be uninstalled to fix it. Maintenance may cost more if a security system is being used beyond its recommended limits, for example, in extreme environments.

Failure To Precisely Sense The Surrounding

Security systems like motion sensors cover specified areas; if the site is more significant than the sensor coverage, or the sensors are not properly installed to cover the area, it may leave some insecure patches. Some construction designs may require more sensors, while installing fewer sensors will leave some areas uncertain.

Wired Vs. Wireless Systems

Hardwired systems are considered more reliable than their wireless counterparts. However, wireless systems offer more flexibility and can be installed where wired systems cannot be. A fully wireless system uses individual sensors throughout the home which communicate wirelessly to the central control panel, typically using radio frequency technology. The chief potential drawback of wireless is reliability. 

Just like Wi-Fi routers or cell phones, wireless security systems are subject to various types of interference, which can cause your sensor to fail to respond or to respond unpredictably (such as triggering a false alarm). While these things can happen, these instances are rare. Electromagnetic interference can come from many other devices, including baby monitors, remote controls, power lines, microwave ovens and fluorescent lighting. Structural interference comes from walls, floors, ceilings, or things like metal filing cabinets.

Dependence On Electricity

Each wireless sensor contains a battery, which supplies power in case of a power outage. Inadequate battery performance in case of a power outage can put home security at risk.

Security Of Security Systems

If the security of wireless systems is not configured correctly and enforced, they can be accessed by outsiders. It has particularly become a threat with the inception of IoT for smart home security systems, in which this equipment can be accessed and controlled via the internet. A loophole can compromise security systems and, eventually, security of your home or business. 

Radiofrequency interference is also one of the weaknesses of a wireless alarm system. It can disable the whole system if some other equipment emits the same frequency as the security equipment. It will cause the alarm systems not to receive the wireless signal from the triggered wireless detector. In another scenario, signal interference can also trigger alarms as an alarming system can take this signal for intrusion.

Proprietary Hardware

Each home security monitoring company requires you to utilise their specific hardware. It has been designed and programmed to work with their systems properly. Most offer varying types of security hardware, including window and door sensors, motion detectors and video cameras. This hinders competition and induces monopoly, and due to trust, prices cannot stay competitive.

Security systems carry the responsibility of protecting property and possessions, and problems or inadequacies in these systems can make them unreliable for the job. As the world is increasingly dependent on technology, the implementation of technology-powered security systems has also gained momentum. With the rise of IoT and smart devices, smart security solutions are also penetrating the market and attracting customers.

Troubleshooting And Maintaining A Home Security System

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For a home security system to function correctly, it must be appropriately maintained. Even more than most other home systems, a security system is one that the homeowner must depend upon. For the most part, a security system is rarely activated, and most homeowners hope it is never needed. However, if or when an intruder attempts to access a home, the security system must function correctly.

How To Fix A Home Security Alarm System

If your alarm system is beeping, showing an error message or failing to arm, there are many possible causes. You can resolve some of these issues at home, while others require contacting your security company. Some potential alarm problems include:

Low Or Faulty Battery

Just like your phone or laptop, your alarm system runs on a battery. If you’ve had your system up and running for a reasonable amount of time, the battery might be running low. That frequent beeping may be the alarm alerting you about a standard battery message or warning light so you can switch it out.

If you’ve recently changed your battery or installed your system, the battery may be faulty. If your system isn’t working at all after a battery replacement, make sure you’ve loaded it correctly. After you’ve verified that the battery placement is correct, the alarm should function normally — if not, it’s time to look at a new unit.

Disrupted Telephone Connection

Home alarm systems typically run through a telephone line to stay in contact with your security company’s call centre. If you’ve recently changed phone providers or taken damage to your phone lines, the system might be struggling to connect. Make sure your phone line is in good shape, and call your security company to verify that they’re connected to your device.

Improper Programming

If you recently had your security system installed and it’s failing to arm or constantly beeping, it may have been improperly programmed. This issue can sometimes happen with technology and wiring. Problems that occur shortly after installation are a sign that you should get in touch with your security company so they can reprogram or replace your system.

Wear And Tear

When you have a home alarm system for a long time, especially with sensors outside, the wiring and casing are bound to wear down. If your system fails to arm or functions inconsistently, the wires may be fraying. There’s also a chance that the tamper strips on the sensors could be damaged. Talk to your security company to replace your system.

Misaligned Magnets

Some alarm systems feature open-close sensors on the windows. These sensors include a transmitter and a magnet. When a window is shut improperly, your alarm system may trip, thinking the open-close sensor is active. If your alarm is beeping and you can’t find the reason, check all of your windows and doors to ensure everything is closed correctly.

Animals Tripping The Alarm

If you have a lower-grade alarm system with no immune sensors for animals, your pets may be tripping your alarm. Some house pets, such as large dogs, may also register as an intruder. If you have a lower-grade system, consider an upgrade — and if you have a large dog that’s tripping your sensors, you may want to exclude motion sensors from your security setup.

Loose Sensor

You likely have sensors set up throughout your home to trigger the alarm when there’s an intruder. If any of your sensors are loosely attached to walls or windows, they may trigger a false alarm. Check all your sensors to make sure they’re firmly attached to their respective spots.

Preventive Maintenance

A regular periodic preventive maintenance program can assure the homeowners that their security system is properly functioning and reliable. The frequency of the preventative maintenance program should never be less than at least once annually, with quarterly or semi-annual programs at the homeowners' discretion. However, the more complex the security system, the more frequently it should be checked.

While there aren’t any disadvantages to frequent preventive maintenance checks to a homeowner, other than perhaps the cost, the advantages are

  • Prevention of false alarms
  • Fewer service or problem calls
  • Desired changes implemented when needed
  • Reliability of the system
  • Manufacturer’s upgrades applied regularly
  • Developing or potentials problems corrected before they cause the system to fail
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