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.
Updated Oct 13, 2020
Written By
Emily Ferron | Written by your home security expert
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Best Home Security Systems for Deaf and Blind

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 to 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. Door sensors sound alerts every time a door is opened for the blind. Those hard of hearing or deaf can receive instant mobile alerts specifying which door or window is opened so they’ll always know when someone’s entering or leaving their home.

  • 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. Most security providers install strobe lights for customers hard of hearing to signal an emergency from professional monitoring specialists. You’ll also receive mobile alerts. 

  • 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 the best home security systems for deaf individuals look for one with 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. Deaf and blind customers will get in-person assistance to show them how to use their security system and special features before the technician leaves so they’re comfortable.

  • 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.  Those that are blind will benefit from the voice assistant giving verbal alerts and responding. Those that are deaf can use their mobile app to read Amazon Alexa responses and receive alerts.

  • Sirens

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

Compare Home Security Systems

Best Choice

Frontpoint Security

SimpliSafe Security


Protect America


Sensors available
55553
Siren type
Audio - strobe light upon requestAudioAudioInternalAudio
24/7 professional monitoring
YesYesYesYesYes
Mobile app
YesYesYesYesYes
Professional installation
YesYesNoYesNo
Voice control
Amazon AlexaAmazon AlexaAmazon Alexa & Google AssistantAmazon Alexa & Google AssistantAmazon Alexa
  • Best home security for industry experience

    ADT Home Security

    Our rating
    9.7
    Starting at
    $45.99/mo

    Our Take on ADT Home Security

    ADT Home Security is a well-known name in the home security industry. It offers traditional security that requires professional installation and monitoring at a steep price.

    Pros

    • 6-month money-back guarantee
    • $500 theft protection guarantee
    • High-quality equipment

    Cons

    • Must pay for an extended warranty
    • Lengthy contracts
    • More expensive than competitors

    Research ADT

  • Best smart home security

    Vivint Home Security

    Our rating
    9.7
    Starting at
    $29.99/mo

    Our Take on Vivint Home Security

    Vivint is our top choice for smart home security with an extensive line of equipment filled with smart features. The control panel also doubles as a smart hub. The only downside is that Vivint requires a long-term contract if you finance the equipment. Professional monitoring and installation are also required. 

    Pros

    • Smart Hub to connect and control smart home and security devices
    • Extensive smart features for security equipment including package detection and Smart Deter
    • Wide range of security and smart home equipment

    Cons

    • Contract required for service and financed equipment.
    • Professional monitoring and installation required
    • Expensive equipment compared to other providers

    Research Vivint

  • Best pet-friendly home security

    Frontpoint Home Security

    Our rating
    9.4
    Starting at
    $44.99/mo
    1-888-688-5779

    - or -

    View Packages

    Our Take on Frontpoint Home Security

    Frontpoint Security lets you choose both your package and monitoring plan to help build the best home security system for renters and homeowners alike. Monitoring can be costly, but free DIY installation helps lower costs without reducing reliability or protection.

    Pros

    • No lengthy contracts
    • Excellent customer service
    • Variety of equipment to choose from

    Cons

    • Monitoring fees are relatively expensive
    • Short trial period (30 days)
    • No professional installation option

    Research Frontpoint

  • Best overall DIY security system

    SimpliSafe Home Security

    Our rating
    9.9
    Starting at
    $14.99/mo

    Our take on SimpliSafe Home Security:

    SimpliSafe Home Security is our top pick for inexpensive monitoring, durable equipment, and reliable services that simplify home security. You’ll have all the right devices and features to give you peace of mind — even when the unexpected happens.

     

    Pros

    • Inexpensive professional monitoring
    • Wireless equipment
    • Cellular monitoring

    Cons

    • Mobile alerts not available in the basic monitoring plan
    • No selection of smart home devices
    • Smart home capabilities not available in the basic monitoring plan

    Research SimpliSafe

  • Best landline monitoring

    Protect America Home Security

    Our rating
    7.2
    Starting at
    $19.99/mo

    Our take on Protect America Home Security

    Protect America stands out for its low-cost landline monitoring and great coverage for rural areas. Its professional monitoring has over 25 years of award-winning service and monitoring plans based on connectivity type. If you’re looking for a capable no-frills home security system you can install yourself, Protect America is a good choice for your family.

    Pros

    • Price match guarantee
    • Smart home devices and features
    • Mobile app access & control

    Cons

    • Contract required
    • Must upgrade to get video surveillance, smart features, and smoke detection
    • Cellular monitoring is the most expensive plan

    Research Protect America

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).

It’s best to have your security cameras professionally installed so they’re placed legally, securely and hassle-free. Some professional technicians can show you special features to meet your personal and security needs. 

Best Security Camera Features for Deaf

For maximum impact, the best home security systems for the deaf should include cameras with artificially intelligent (A.I.) 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.

Best Security Camera Features for Blind

It might sound counterintuitive, but the best security systems for the blind should include security cameras as well. Today’s best wireless cameras have mobile apps that make it easy to grant access to someone you trust. It’s also best to check with your security provider to see if their app supports voice alerts for easier monitoring. 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.

Consider Remote Security Camera Monitoring

Some security companies offer remote camera monitoring to issue verbal warnings or alert authorities of suspicious activity. “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.

  • Video Doorbells

    Oftentimes, video doorbells are not included but can be added to any system at the upfront cost. Many let you listen clearly to what’s happening outside of your home using your doorbell’s mobile app without going to the door. You’ll hear a chime or get a notification on your smartphone if your doorbell notices someone at your door. And, you’ll also be able to save videos for your family to review later. The American Foundation for the Blind recommends that when shopping for a video doorbell make sure it is screen-reader accessible like Ring and SkyBell.

  • Smart Lock

    Those that are visually impaired could benefit from having a keyless smart lock to easily open the door without looking for keys or fidgeting with the lock. Look for a smart lock with a keypad instead of a touchscreen to make locking and unlocking easier. And they’ll never have to worry about being locked out with keyless entry. Just enter the custom code or use your phone to unlock your door. Keep in mind that most smart locks aren’t included in home security packages, but can be added.

What is the best home security package for you?

Use our Package Finder to find the right package based on your home security needs!


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.

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