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How to Build a DIY Alarm System For Any Budget

In today’s world, it is no longer enough to just lock your doors and windows. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there were around 8,277,829 property crimes reported last year. Theft and burglary victims suffered an estimated total of $14.3 billion in losses.

It will definitely pay off to start beefing up your home security as soon as possible. If the high costs and the inconvenience of installing and maintaining alarm security systems keep you from having one, fret not because there are so many systems available in the market today. Whatever your needs are, you are bound to find one that will not only fit your budget but will also be well worth your time. Here is your easy step-by-step guide on how to build an affordable DIY security system.

Think about What You Need and Want in an Alarm System

thinking what alarm system to purchase

Photo Courtesy of Sebastiaan ter Burq via Flickr, Creative Commons

Your home alarm security system should effectively have your bases covered and only you can tell what will work best given your unique circumstances. Start with prioritizing what you consider as your basic and non-negotiable requirements. Afterwards, make a list of the additional features that would be nice to have.


14 Things To Include In Your Alarm System Toolbox

Installing a DIY alarm system is a good and inexpensive way to safeguard your home. A home alarm system can protect your belongings, thus giving you total peace of mind. Alarm systems can be categorized into three types: hardwired alarm system, wireless alarm system, and hybrid alarm systems. The cable of the hardwired alarm system is normally concealed in conduit or ceiling cavities. Whereas the wireless alarm system lacks wiring. The hybrid systems will have wires in parts, but not to all components of the system. Whether you prefer a hardwired alarm system or a wireless one, using the right wire installation tools and supplies is important. Thus, having a DIY alarm installation toolbox of your own makes alarm system installation simpler and faster.

alarm system toolbox

Photo from Lenore Edman, Flickr, Creative Commons

DIY alarm installation tools range from simple tools to specialized electronic tools. To help you out, here are 14 alarm installation toolbox must-haves:


Most Common Questions about Honeywell L5200

For an entry-level touchscreen wireless alarm, the Honeywell Security’s Lynx Touch 5200 comes with an array of advanced features that are perfect for homes and businesses. This system is very easy to navigate. It can accommodate up to 80 zones. Automate your devices with its Z-wave capabilities. Moreover, its 4.7-inch high-resolution screen can display 16.7 million colors and videos from Honeywell IP cameras. Learn more about this user-friendly alarm system. Here are 10 of the frequently asked questions on the Honeywell L5200.



In-House and Third-Party Alarm Monitoring: Pros & Cons

Alarms connected to a monitoring system provide a higher level of security because you are alerted once something triggers your alarm. This leads to a quicker response to that trigger, making it an important reason why you should monitor your home. While there are home alarm systems that can be monitored by homeowners themselves, many people opt to have their alarms monitored by a trusted security company. While you have to pay monthly or annual fees, entrusting your alarm system to a security company assures you that they will be monitoring your home 24/7.


How to Avoid Problems Brought About by False Alarms

Alarm systems bring a sense of security and peace of mind in a multitude of homes in America. After all, you are assured of emergency responders should your alarm sound off. However, false alarms — those that are triggered when there is in fact no burglary or emergency — make up a huge percentage of the calls that the police receive, exhausting their limited resources. To reduce false alarms, measures have been put in place to register alarm systems and to charge alarm service providers. For instance, the police in Seattle used to receive 25,000 calls a year with 97 percent false alarm rate. But now, the false alarms significantly dropped to less than 11,000 a year.

More than avoiding the false alarm fees that your alarm company may pass onto you, learning how to prevent false alarms help the authorities quickly respond to real and urgent emergencies. These eight tips will walk you through how to tackle the problems that cause false alarms.



Monitor Your Home Alarm System with Just $8.95

You need to protect everything that you’ve got and have worked hard for — your family, your home, your business, and your valuables. And so, to make sure that you secure all of these, you install an alarm system and regularly maintain or upgrade it. However, what happens when actual cases of emergencies occur, triggering your alarm, but having no one — not even you — to respond to it? Will you just let such emergencies pass by without immediate action and aggravate the situation?

alarm system monitoring

An alarm system with monitoring service helps put out fires before they can burn your house down. Photo Courtesy of The National Guard via Flickr, Creative Commons

Disasters, whether natural or manmade, can strike anytime especially when you are not at home to monitor your alarm signals. Having an unmonitored alarm system is almost the same as having no such system at all. With this, it is urgent that everyone, especially those having second thoughts, to connect their security system to an alarm monitoring service. Finding one that will suit you is easy and convenient, whether you need phone, IP or cellular-based monitoring. Moreover, a monthly fee of as low as $8.95 is a small price to secure everything that matters the most to you. (more…)


How to Easily Add, Delete, and Change DSC Alarm Codes

There is nothing like having faith in your alarm security system like 80 percent of the homeowners surveyed by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. After all, you paid for your alarm system so it should be effective. Now, to further boost your alarm’s reliability, you need to take control of it, especially the security codes, which maintain the integrity of the alarm. Knowing how to program your security codes on your own spells a world of difference in cases of moving into a new home, being hacked or simply starting anew.

Whether you need to add, change or delete alarm codes on your DSC PowerSeries alarm system, the procedures needed for these three follow a basic pattern. For a fast and fuss-free resetting of your DSC system, remember the acronym SAFE Check, which this article devised so that DIYers can easily remember the basic pattern.

alarm systems

Photo Courtesy of Rafael Castillo via Flickr, Creative Commons

The Start in SAFE Check
The SAFE in SAFE Check stands for Start, Act on it, For some: repeat and Exit. The first step is Start where the process of adding, deleting or overwriting your alarm codes begins. To do that, press *5 on your keypad followed by the Master Code. If you have a new alarm model, the lock should show a red light. As for the older models, the armed light should go red and the word Program should flash. (more…)


Smartphones for Smarter Homes: Honeywell Total Connect

To say that smartphones are becoming pervasive in today’s world would be an understatement. According to the Informate Mobile Intelligence, Americans spend a daily average of 4.7 hours on their smartphones, indicating a huge dependence on these nifty gadgets. It is not hard to see why. After all, smartphones offer almost everyone utmost convenience and mobility to satisfy every need — from communication to entertainment to home security and home automation.

With this, use your smartphone for a smarter home with smartphone apps for your DIY security system. Get more mileage from your Honeywell alarm system by using the Honeywell Total Connect so you can monitor your home security through your smartphone.


Stay on top of your home security and home automation with the Total Connect app on your smartphone.  Photo Courtesy of Phil Campbell via Flickr, Creative Commons

What are the benefits of pairing my Honeywell Security with my mobile device?
Taking your home security with you on your mobile device will allow you to take charge of your home anytime, anywhere. Protect your loved ones and secure your property. Stay connected. Run an energy-efficient home and save on costs. Do these and more with just a few taps on your phone.  (more…)


9 Reasons Why Homeowners Must Own Honeywell Tuxedo

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2013 report, residential break-ins comprise 74% of burglaries, with an average loss of $2,322. On top of that, burglaries rob victims of a sense of security in the very place where families are supposed to feel safe. If you are shopping around for a new home security system, look no further as the topnotch Tuxedo Touch™ from Honeywell Security is out to get you the most value for your hard-earned money. With its effortless combination of function and convenience, this no-nonsense and easy to use alarm system will please even the least technically-inclined people.

For more mileage out of this excellent alarm system, it is highly recommended that you use a top-quality Tuxedo touch keypad. One such keypad is the Honeywell Tuxedo 6280i Talking Touch Screen Keypad, which works great with the Vista series. This Honeywell Tuxedo review will show you why this home security system, especially when coupled with the 6280i Touch Screen Keypad, is a great investment that every homeowner should definitely have.

honeywell easy installation

Be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to use the highly-functional Honeywell Tuxedo Touch. Photo Courtesy of Philippe Put via Flickr, Creative Commons



Achieve A Sustainable Home with Smart Home Security

In this age when going green is increasingly becoming more than just a trend, efficient and eco-friendly technologies play a crucial role towards home sustainability. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s report this year, energy efficiency has significantly decreased energy consumption in homes that it offsets more than 70% of the growth in both the number of households and the size of dwellings since 1980. This paints a picture of sustainable homes made possible by integrating efficient technology into people’s everyday living.

One of the latest — and best — such technologies to hit the market is home automation as it marries utmost sustainability and convenience in any home. Make the best out of your Honeywell security alarm and enjoy the comfort of Honeywell home automation. You will be reaping the benefits of sustainability with an efficient and smart home security system.

smart home automation

Make the most out of your smart home automation for a sustainable home. Photo Courtesy of woodleywonderworks via Flickr, Creative Common