One of the characteristics of an effective security system is that it consists of multiple layers. Take the White House, for example. Security starts with barriers that prevent people from getting too close to the grounds. They are followed by a fence around the entire property, guards to monitor the fence, and then a full array of extra defenses that include everything from snipers on the roof to bulletproof glass in the windows. Multiple layers make it hard for someone to penetrate the system. It turns out that wireless security works in a similar fashion.
A typical wireless security system offers at least two layers of protection; the best offer three. These three layers all relate to unauthorized intrusion; additional layers can be added for fire and carbon monoxide monitoring. With that said, let us take a look at the three layers of an effective wireless security system.
Layer #1 – Window and Door Sensors
The first layer of protection in any security system is designed to address the most common points of entry. In a residential burglary or home invasion scenario, that means first-floor windows and doors. Crime statistics routinely show that the front door is consistently the first choice of entry for burglars. Front doors can be compromised quickly and quietly by anyone with enough experience.
Window and door sensors are based on the principle of creating an electronic seal that will sound an alarm if broken. The sensor is a two-part component that creates that electronic seal when the window or door is closed. Should either be opened, the seal is broken, and the alarm is sounded.
Layer #2 – Motion Sensors
The second layer of protection in a wireless security system are motion detectors placed in strategic locations around the home. Should an intruder enter through the basement or the second floor, where window and door sensors have not been deployed, motion sensors can still make the homeowner aware of the intrusion.
The key to this layer is to place motion sensors at the right locations. For example, did you know that most burglars immediately head for the master bedroom upon entry? They know the master bedroom is the most likely place to find cash, valuables, and small electronics that are easily pawned or sold on the street. This suggests that the master bedroom or its doorway is a key location for a motion sensor. Other key locations include the family room and children’s bedrooms.
Layer #3 – Wireless Video Cameras
Strategically placed wireless video cameras are the third layer of an effective wireless security system. Burglars are not fond of video cameras because these provide evidence that can be used for investigation and prosecution. Burglars also know that modern video cameras can be monitored remotely by homeowners 24 hours a day.
Again, location is crucial here. Most experts suggest placing at least one camera to provide a good sweeping view of the front door (either interior or exterior) and additional cameras indoors capable of tracking the movements of an intruder. A camera at the top of the stairs would be a good example.
Employing a three-layer strategy makes a wireless security system as effective as it can be. Of course, no security system can never be 100% effective at stopping those who are intent on committing property crimes. But a well-designed system acts as a very good deterrent by keeping intruders second-guessing themselves. The more work they have to do to prevent getting caught, the more likely they are to avoid a house with a home security system.