A home security system is a great way to enhance the safety and security of your home and family. When you meet with your security consultant, you will be presented with quite a few options.

To help you make the selection process easy, there are 3 questions you need to answer before you meet. Is your home prewired, how many entrances are easily accessible and do you have any pets?


The first question you need to get answered, is if your home is prewired. Prewiring means that the contractor who built your home has wired your home for an alarm system. They have run the wiring for your door and window contacts, motion detectors, keypad, alarm panel, smoke detectors and other devices.

You will want to make sure you get a detailed inventory of all the devices that are installed in the system. This will save you quite a bit of money as most of the devices you will need are already in place.

If you are having problems determining if your home is prewired, you might want to ask your real estate agent or building contractor.

Number of entrances

The next question you need to ask, is how many entrances there are that are easily accessible from outside the home.

You want to start downstairs. Count the number of doors that are accessible from outside the home. Add the sliding doors and the side garage door. Then count all the windows that are accessible from outside.

Go upstairs and repeat the same process. Some of your windows upstairs will be 15 feet high, where it is not possible to gain access without a ladder. Do you really need to put contacts on those windows? To have complete peace of mind you might have to.

After this process, add up all the windows and doors and that number is the total number of contacts you will need. It might seem like a lot, but remember you are only going to do this once and it will not affect your monthly monitoring costs.

Indoor pets

The last question to ask is whether you have indoor pets and how active they are. If you have indoor pets, you want to make sure your system is compatible with them.

When you leave your home, you will arm your system in the away mode. This is telling the system that you are not at home. In this mode the system will arm your motion detectors. The motion detector is designed to detect someone in the home, who has gained entry by a means other than a door or window.

The problem with motion detectors however, is that they are not able to tell the difference between a person and a large pet. If you have a large pet or a very active pet, you should discuss other alternatives with your security consultant.

When you finish this exercise you will have determined, if your system is prewired and what devices there are, the number of contacts you will need and if you have indoor pets which devices to avoid. With the information you have now put together you are ready to meet with your security consultant to determine what equipment you will need.

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