Are Home Security Systems Effective?

Yes. When installed correctly a home security system is the best chance you have of preventing an intruder entering your home.

If the intruder does enter your home, a properly installed, quality system will almost guarantee that he leaves within 60 seconds.

How can I possibly say that?

I’ve been designing installing and repairing alarm systems since 1981. I’ve seen just about everything in that time. If you spend 30 seconds reading the next paragraph, you’ll see that I’m right!

Why Are Security Systems Effective?

Because the intruder know INSTANTLY that his crime has been detected.

Once an intruder opens a protected door or window 3 things happen immediately:

1 – The loud internal sirens activate( the volume from these siren is around 110 decibels each – (that’s loud!)

2 – The external siren and strobe light activate

3 – You and your ‘security circle’ receive an instant notification that the security alarm, has been triggered.

This is all very bad for the intruder…..Why?

He KNOWs he has been detected

He KNOWS he’s attracting unwanted attention due to the internal and external sirens

He KNOWS that if a neighbour or passer-by is going to investigate, they will probably do so within 90 seconds.

(You and I know that it’s highly unlikely that a neighbor or passer-by is going to investigate. The burglar HAS TO assume that someone will investigate. He doesn’t want to be caught and risk going to jail for the sake of the $100.00 he’ll make selling your jewelry.

The sirens will prevent him hearing the neighbor entering the house to investigate

That means he’s got 45-60 seconds to get to the master bedroom, tip the two top dresser drawers out on the bed and scoop up any jewelry that he can find


It’s very unpleasant being inside a home with those super-loud sirens blaring!

What Happens When There Is No Home Security System?

Once the intruder is inside your house, he’ll immediately plan an escape route.

This usually means opening the back door and checking that he can jump the back fence to escape if he hears you coming home through the front door.

Next, he’ll head to the master bedroom and find your jewellry

If your clever and don’t keep your jewelry in the bedroom, he will use his experience to go to all the other places that homeowners hide valuables:

  • The toybox
  • Microwave oven
  • Fridge
  • Pantry

There are only so many places that you can hide valuables in a house. He knows them all and he’ll find them if he’s not disturbed.

He has as long as he needs because there is no sirens preventing him from hearing you coming home

Remember, he’s working in complete silence (no super-loud sirens inside) so he can hear you arriving home (garage door opening or keys jingling in the front door lock) or a neighbor approaching the house very easily. He has plenty of time to escape though the back door and jump the fence with your goodies

There’s Not Much To Steal…

No one buys second-hand TVs, laptops, i-Pads or smartphones so burglars don’t steal those things anymore – they can’t sell them.

You might have paid $5,000 for the latest 4K frameless flat screen TV but the intruder can’t sell it TODAY.

He wants cash, not ‘stuff’.

His ‘job’ is to make a few hundred dollars each day.

That means he’s only going to steal stuff he can sell immediately.

And typically that means jewelry

Security Cameras Versus Security Systems

If you’re tossing up between installing CCTV and having a home security system the choice should be obvious:


Cameras used to offer an excellent visual deterrent to crime

A potential intruder didn’t want to risk being filmed while breaking into a house so he’d move on to the next one.

But now cameras are EVERYWHERE.

An intruder these days would be more surprised if a house didn’t have cameras. He’s expecting them.

And what happens when an intruder breaks into a home that only has security cameras?


Just sweet silence!

Of course the intruder will assume you’ve received a notification on your smartphone from your cameras. Perhaps someone might turn up to investigate. but as I mentioned before, he’ll hear them coming long before they enter the house.

And the recorded footage you get of the break-in from your cameras?……USELESS!

The intruder will have a cap or a scarf that prevents you getting a good look at his face.

If he arrived by car, he won’t have parked anywhere near your home so don’t expect to get any information about the vehicle

**If you also have cameras inside your house you stand a better chance of getting some useful footage

Factors That Influence The Effectiveness Of a Home Security System

You’ve got to have a smart security system that’s reliable and NEVER false alarms.

The equipment that is available today is so reliable that this is easily achievable.

But the system has to be installed correctly.

If you’re doing the installation yourself, spend 5 minutes reading the installation guidelines that the manufacturer recommends and follow them to the letter!

DIY systems are reliable and have more features than traditional alarm systems.

If the system is being installed by an alarm company make sure they are using licensed and qualified installers with at least 5 years of professional installation experience.

Use window and door sensors on all vulnerable doors and windows.

Install enough motion sensors to ensure an intruder is detected within 5 steps, no matter where he enters the home

Always have at least two super-loud internal sirens inside the house.

I have 8 in my medium sized 3 bedroom home. It’s impossible to stay inside when the alarm is tripped.

If your budget will allow, use a door/window switch with a built-in vibration detector.

That way, the alarm will activate if the intruder attempts to break the window as well.

This gives you the advantage of having the alarm trigger before the intruder is inside

Don’t forget to protect your garage if you have one. Lots of intruders use this ‘weak-spot’ to enter a home

If you’re going to use the system when you’re sleeping (ie ‘Stay’ mode or ‘Night’ mode) get your installer to configure the system so that only the external siren(s) activate when a sensor is triggered. Otherwise you’ll be jolted from a deep sleep by those super-loud internal sirens. You’ll be groggy and confused and won’t respond intelligently to the alarm. This is overlooked by most installers but is really important

Security System Maintenance and Testing

This is easy.

Once a month give the motion sensors a quick flick with a duster to keep the lens free of spider webs and dirt.

If the home is going to be empty for more than 3 days, spray some insect surface spray around the motion detectors. For some reason, corner-mounted motion detection sensors attract spiders and other creepy-crawlies. If they walk across the front of a sensor, it may trigger the alarm. The surface spray will prevent them getting too close to the sensor.

Test the system every month to make sure the sirens are and smoke alarms are working and that you’re getting notifications on your phone.

Modern systems automatically test the back-up battery and the sensor batteries. You’ll get an alert on your app or codepad when the batteries are low, or of the system loses mains power.

Are Monitored Home Security Systems Worth the Cost?


A professional monitoring service will ring you if your alarm is triggered.

They’ll tell you which zone was triggered and ask for further instructions.

If you don’t answer they’ll send a private security guard to investigate.

It could take an hour for the patrolman to arrive.

If you have locked gates or a locked side gate, he won’t jump over them (he’s not allowed to) so he’ll do his best to look for signs of a break-in from the street.

He won’t find any signs of a break-in because even the dumbest burglar won’t break in at the front of the house.

Why would he?

If his intention is to kick a door in or break a window, he’ll go around the back, out of sight.

So you’re paying a monthly fee to have the monitoring company ring you to let you know that you security system has been triggered!

That seemed like a good deal in 1975.

But today, modern home security systems have an app to do that much quicker than the control room operator at the monitoring center.

And some of the best apps are FREE.

Of course there are situations where a professional monitoring service is invaluable.

If you have a medical condition and need a guaranteed response if you press your medical alarm button for example.

Or if you have a house full of valuable art and antiques, your insurance company will force you to have professional monitoring services.

But for the rest of us, it’s a job that modern technology can do cheaper and faster than an expensive monitoring service.

Self monitoring is free, quick and reliable

Well, that’s my opinion anyway!

What Are the Most Important Home Security System Features?

Your alarm system should have these as a minimum:

At least 2 x internal screamer sirens (I have 8 in my medium sized 3 bedroom home)

An external siren with blue strobe light

Window sensors on vulnerable windows – preferably with a built-in vibration sensor

Enough motion sensors to ensure an intruder is detected within 4 steps – no matter where he enters the home.

An app that sends you notifications and lets you arm and disarm the system from your phone

If you have a security camera system consider adding at least one camera inside your home. Read this article to ensure privacy when you’re home.

That’s It

Now you know as much about home security as I do!!

Home security systems definitely are the way to go when it comes to keeping your home safe and sound.

To summarise: an intruder tries to sneak in, but before they can even think of touching your prized possessions, BAM! Blaring sirens go off, startling them and letting them know they’ve been caught and that they have maybe 60 seconds before someone shows up to investigate

And remember, a security system beats plain old CCTV any day – it drives the intruders out while the security cameras just silently record the scene.

We’ve covered the important features that make a security system effective, like motion sensors, door/window sensors, and self-monitoring. These elements combine to create a fortress-like defense against potential threats. But remember, it’s not all set-it-and-forget-it. Regular system maintenance is key to keeping everything running smoothly and ensuring your security system is always on top of its game.

So, folks, remember this: investing in a reliable home security system and giving it some TLC through regular maintenance is like having your own personal superhero watching over your home. It’s not just about feeling safe; it’s about making those burglars think twice before even attempting anything. Stay one step ahead, secure your home with a top-notch security system today, and let those troublemakers know you mean business!”

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