Home Alarm Kit
by Erin Raub | Last Updated Feb. 2nd, 2013
One of the greatest things about home security is how easy things have become. Twenty years ago, installing a home security system was a complicated job that could only be tacked by the pros, but today’s evolving technologies make it possible for almost anyone to secure their home. And home alarm kits make security even easier.
A home alarm kit is a DIY security system that bundles some of the most important and popular features into one purchase. You can also buy add-ons to your kit, so you can fully customize your system to your home’s specifications. The benefit of a kit over a piecemeal DIY system is in usability: instead of researching every, last component of a potential system, a kit lays the basic groundwork.
Remember, a home alarm kit is a DIY security system. It is not connected to an alarm company, so in the event of a break-in, no third party will be notified to call the police. Furthermore, these systems typically do not offer extras like flood monitoring or fire protection. They are economical, however, typically costing $50-$200 for the basic kit. And since you are not linked to a professional security system, there is no monthly fee.
Guide to Your Home Alarm Kit
Basic Starter Package
Out of the box, your kit typically includes the following:
- Keypad: Even the most inexpensive system will have a keypad, which is used to arm and disarm your system.
- Door Sensors: Door sensors are the most basic security component but one of the most important, as a home’s exterior doors are the most common method of entry for burglars. If there are not enough sensors to cover each of your exterior doors, you’ll want to purchase add-ons.
- Window Sensors: Some security kits also come with window sensors (typically, one to three). Windows are the second most common point of entry, and it’s a good idea to arm each of your ground-level windows with a sensor. Extras are almost always available for individual purchase from your kit company.
With most systems, you can order additional door and window sensors to complete your system. Be aware that your alarm kit has a maximum number of sensors it can accommodate (usually 15-20, but more expensive systems may have greater capacity), so if you need more, you’ll need to buy an additional kit with keypad.
Depending on the alarm kit you choose, you’ll have a wide range of accessories to add. Choose wisely, as these components can really add to your bottom line – doubling, tripling, quadrupling or more the original purchase price of your kit. Here are some of the most common extras:
- Wireless keyfob (keychain remote)
- Motion detectors
- Vibration sensors
- Wireless transmitters
- Pet immune sensors
- Glass break sensors
- Silent alarms
- Panic buttons
- Computer locks
- Shock sensors
- Wireless sirens
- Wireless emergency transmitters
Most home security kits do not include video surveillance (CCTV). However, video security systems are widely available online and in home improvement or electronic stores. The most basic system costs about $150 and includes only one monitor and one camera, while sophisticated systems can run $1,000+, have multiple cameras, backup video online, and offer other value-added features.