Programming a home security system is the second stepping stone to securing your home after you choose a suitable one for yourself. Although most advanced security systems require professional installation, the popularity of DIY home security systems has increased multifold in the past few years and its compound annual growth rate is predicted to be 19.6% by 2027.
Each security system is unique except for a few basic premises that are common to all. Setting or programming it may be daunting but is not impossible. These systems were created with the intention of allowing a layperson to program them.
What does a typical home security system consist of?
Here are a few components that are common to all home security systems.
*Control Panel *- The entire security system of your house is controlled via this small device. It arms or disarms security systems, connects each component with each other, sends alerts on detecting intrusion, and communicates with the alarm monitoring company.
It features a touch panel or a keypad, and may or may not have an LCD screen. You can easily program and control all the security devices via the control panel.
Door and Window Sensors - Sensors for doors and windows are made up of two elements that are installed next to each other. The gadget has two parts: one that goes on the door or window and the other that goes on the door framing or window ledge. The two sections of the sensor are connected when a door or window is closed, forming a security circuit.
These sensors interact with the control panel when the security system is activated by notifying that the entry point is secured. The security circuit is broken if a monitored door or window is swung open, and the control panel perceives this as a violation of a secured zone. A loud alarm is heard, and in most cases, the alarm monitoring provider is notified.
**Motion Sensors - **Motion sensors work by sounding an alarm when it detects motion. The best way to make the most of motion sensors is to cover the blind spots of the security camera so that you are assured of the security of your home.
**Surveillance camera - **These cameras are available in both wireless and wired configurations. They are used to monitor hard-to-see areas or remote buildings like your garage, or even the entry and exit points of your home.
The best part about these cameras is that you can access the footage remotely through an app. These are mostly used by homeowners who travel frequently and want to keep their abode safe.
- **High-decibel alarms - **Most security alarms sound a 130-decibel alarm that can reach a long distance and can easily be heard by your neighbors, even if they are in a deep sleep. They are the best way to prevent a robbery by scaring them away.
*How to program a home security system? *
One of the most important things that you must know before you begin, is that the manuals given by the security companies are not complete programming manuals. The complete manuals are complex to read and involve setup that a typical homeowner cannot do. Most installation/programming guidelines assume that you already know a few basic things about home security systems.
Programming is done from the keypad given in the control panel of the system. It is helpful if the keypad has an LCD display because it is much easier to comprehend than the one that has just lights. The LCD screen makes it more convenient for you to verify the mode you want and what you are typing.
The main panel is simply a computer that stores data in Boolean format. A boolean format consists of just ones and zeros. Whenever you configure the settings of the security system, you are simply altering these ones and zeroes. Computers usually represent 4 bits as a single hexadecimal number.
The alarm panel's setup data is kept in non-volatile memory, which means it will not be lost if the device goes offline. Consider it as a USB flash drive. An address or location identifies this memory. To program the alarm panel, you must first indicate the address or segment you wish to alter, followed by a new value for that address.
Here are the steps you must follow to program your home security system:
- Enter the installer code. It differs for each manufacturer so read its manual for more information.
- Enter the section you want to change. Having an LCD screen is helpful here because it will display “_ _ _” to indicate the number of digits it is waiting for.
- Check the manual for the number that represents the change you want to make, like making the alarm beep for 20 seconds on activation.
- Enter the number.
- Press Exit.
However, not all programming consists of activating or deactivating a function. You can also change passwords using the above method. These are common steps for most security systems, but you must read the instruction manual thoroughly before proceeding to install it, lest you make a blunder.
Things to look for when programming your home security system
- **Codes - **You must always change pre-programmed passwords and codes when you install the security system.
- **Date/Time - **You can change them using the Master Code by the homeowner alone.
- **Phone numbers - **Note down the contact number of your security company to call in an emergency situation.
- **Advanced customization - **Some security systems offer advanced programming like turning all the lights on detecting motion while also sounding an alarm. Therefore, read the instruction manual to design the right security system for your home.
Whatever be the function you desire your security system to perform, it all comes down to reading its instruction manual first. It contains vital programming information along with specific codes for different functions. Therefore, you must always keep it safe because you may need it in the future.
Although it is not difficult to program the security system on your own, you can always call for professional installation if you find it complex to understand. Home security systems are fantastic for general home protection, but having a piece of self-defense equipment on hands, such as pepper spray or a taser gun, will come in handy if an intruder succeeds in breaking in. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments section.