Best Home Security Systems for the Deaf and Blind

Home security systems and products are designed to extend your eyes and ears – so how do they work for people who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing? Start here for an introduction to the best home security products and protocols for the deaf and blind.

Best for Industry Experience

Best features

  • 140+ years in business
  • 6-month money back guarantee
  • $500 Theft Protection guarantee

Best for Smart Homes

Best features

  • Flexible equipment configuration
  • Flexible payment options
  • Variety of cutting-edge smart home devices and features

Best for Customer Service

Best features

  • Month-to-month contract
  • Renter-friendly services and equipment
  • Good customer service

Best for Easy Installation

Best features

  • Inexpensive professional monitoring
  • Wireless equipment
  • Cellular monitoring

Best Entry-Level Pricing

Best features

  • 25+ years of industry experience
  • Low prices on entry-level systems
  • No upfront equipment costs

Understanding Home Security Systems

To start, it helps to understand the standard components and functions of a home security system. At their most basic, they usually include a hub or keypad to arm, disarm and configure the system, in addition to a number of sensors depending on the provider and package. These can include door and window sensors, glass break sensors, smoke or carbon monoxide alarms and/or flood or water leak sensors. Most systems are scalable, so you can always add on more peripherals if necessary, such as additional sensor or cameras.

If the system is professionally monitored – which requires a subscription to a paid monitoring plan – then a triggered sensor issues a signal to a monitoring center. The monitoring center will then call the homeowner and/or emergency services depending on the nature of the alarm and whether or not the homeowner answers the call. If the system is self-monitored (i.e. you’re not paying for a monitoring service) then the homeowner is usually alerted via smartphone app.

Accessible Home Security Features

The components and configurations of home security systems vary greatly, and that’s a good thing: it allows people to cater their selections to their needs and priorities. Luckily, there are certain widely available features that may increase utility and peace of mind for those who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing. Here are the recommended features for a robust, effective home security system:

  • Door sensors

    Door sensors on all main entryways; flood/water detectors in bathrooms, kitchens and basements; and glass break detectors on windows, especially large ground-floor ones. The more sensor coverage you have, the better informed you can stay about your surroundings.

  • 24/7 professional monitoring

    With a monitoring plan, security professionals respond to triggered sensors in your home and call emergency services if you are unable to do so.

  • Mobile apps

    Mobile apps are available through all of the leading home security providers, but note that some basic monitored plans do not include mobile app access. Mobile notifications can be incredibly important because they instantly alert you about changes in your surroundings without needing to see or hear them yourself. For those who are deaf, a vibrating mobile notification and text alert can convey emergency information much more quickly than phone calls. People who are blind can also benefit from mobile apps with the help of screen reading software, which is built into the operating systems of most smartphones.

  • Professional installation

    Why wonder if your system is set up correctly? Let a trained technician handle it. It won’t be necessary for all circumstances, but it’s good to have the option.

  • Voice control

    Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Siri (with their current technology) don’t provide much value to the deaf community, but they can be game changers for people who are blind. If you’re already using a voice assistant, a home security system that’s compatible with your other devices will likely be the easiest to use.

  • Sirens

    Most systems have a built-in audio alarm that sounds when the system is triggered. This can scare away intruders, but a light is better for alerting homeowners who are deaf or hard of hearing. Some companies have optional strobe light configurations.

Compare Home Security Systems

SimpliSafe Security

Learn more about
Sensors available 5 5 5 3
Siren type Audio Audio Internal Audio
24/7 professional monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes
Mobile app Yes Yes Yes Yes
Professional installation Yes No Yes No
Voice control Amazon Alexa Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant Amazon Alexa

Smart & Remotely Monitored Security Cameras

Security cameras are more popular than ever, but they have limitations, especially for people who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing. First of all, most home security cameras work on a self-monitored basis, meaning that it’s up to the owner to watch them. These cameras provide footage to help find and prosecute criminals or intruders after the fact, but they don’t do much to prevent incidents in the first place (apart from their presence deterring would-be intruders).

For maximum impact, deaf people should select cameras with artificially intelligent features like motion detection, people detection and even facial recognition. Wireless cameras with these features issue smartphone alerts via their accompanying apps. Even if you can’t hear a bang on the door or someone rummaging in the garage, the camera will detect activity and you’ll receive a notification on your phone. Then, you can tune into the live feed to see exactly what’s going on. Here is a roundup of several great cameras to choose from.

It might sound counterintuitive, but it’s possible for people who are blind to benefit from security cameras as well. Today’s best wireless cameras have mobile apps that make it easy to grant access to someone you trust. You set up a camera or video doorbell, allow a trusted friend or loved one to opt into mobile alerts, and then they can tune in if there’s activity detected. Thanks to motion detection and person detection features, a camera can also help you independently determine details like when cleaners, dog walkers, maintenance people or other service professionals arrive and leave, or if someone is intruding in your yard. It also may gather evidence of crimes. Even if you miss the alerts or can’t see the activity, the camera will catch it, and law enforcement or loved ones will be able to review what happened after the fact.

It’s also possible to outsource this task to a security company that provides remote monitoring of security cameras. Install a camera on the outside of your home, and trained professionals respond to any activity by issuing verbal warnings or calling the authorities. “Remote CCTV monitoring technology features a PA system that allows for verbal warnings to ward off criminals that may be stepping onto the property,” explains John MacMahon, Managing Director of the UK-based remote monitoring company Re:Sure. “With this, the operators assigned to your home will be able to call the police as soon as there’s a threat.”

There is a privacy concern here – after all, a remote professional will be able to check in and see the outside of your house. For this reason, we only suggest remote camera monitoring for the external, non-private parts of your home.

Note that camera monitoring is different than the 24/7 system monitoring described earlier in the discussion of home security systems. Home security monitoring centers receive signals from the system’s collections of sensors, but do not have access to your video feed. This helps protect your privacy, but it does mean that your cameras have to be self-monitored (or monitored by a loved one) even if you have a monitored home security system.

Smart Home Security Products

Additional ideas for products that can aid home security for the deaf and blind:

Smart speakers

For people who are blind, these handy voice-controlled speakers can integrate with smart home products to set home automation configurations that dramatically enhance safety and convenience.

Smart lighting

Lighting is a major burglary deterrent. With a few strategically installed smart lights, you can set your lights to automatically turn on and off according to a schedule, which signals that the home is occupied and helps convince intruders to find an easier target.

Driveway alarms

These devices provide early notice when people are approaching your house. Unfortunately, most of them only have audio alarms, so they’ll better serve those who are blind than deaf.

Emily Ferron

Written by your home security expert

Emily Ferron

Emily is an experienced writer passionate about covering topics at the intersection of tech, health, safety and humanity.