Installing your own home security system can be a good option – if you’re hoping to save some money. The fact is that a professional home security system, one that’s both installed and monitored by a security company, provides a greater deal of protection. That being said, many people will find a sufficient amount of comfort and peace of mind with a basic do-it-yourself system. The key to making it worth your time and money, however, is to do it right the first time.
Accordingly, there are some common mistakes people often make when installing do-it-yourself home security systems. Here are some of the most common pitfalls, and what you can do to avoid them:
- Incomplete coverage. This is perhaps the most common home security blunder. Leaving just one point of entry unmonitored becomes an invitation to the creative burglar. This might include upstairs windows, or even a cellar door. Make sure every point of entry is covered. Don’t skimp on sensors; you’re already saving enough money by doing it yourself instead of having the system installed professionally.
- Unsecure mounting of hardware. This isn’t a problem for everyone, but it is for some. Make sure all cameras, sensors and other devices are securely attached, so that they won’t come loose on their own and so that burglars can’t manipulate them.
- Dead batteries. Wireless home security systems (as well as most other systems) require batteries to function. While many systems have battery life detectors in the control panel to verify that a signal is still coming through, it can be easy to miss those alerts. If you don’t have power to your components, they won’t function.
- Incorrect configuration. Most do-it-yourself home security systems are fairly straightforward in terms of their configuration. That doesn’t mean you can’t make mistakes, however. When you configure your system, make sure you double-check the settings and then record those settings in case you ever need to reinstall the system.
- Signal barriers. Before you install your control panel, you’ll want to test the connection to each and every sensor in the system. Sometimes, even interior walls can block the signal, depending on the construction of your home. Test everything before you choose a permanent location for the control panel so that you don’t wind up being unable to connect to some of the sensors.