For many Americans, a home is the largest investment of a lifetime. Protecting this investment is paramount, though protection is often overshadowed by larger, more pressing expenses. Fortunately, an array of inexpensive but effective home alarm systems can provide basic protection on a budget. This article will explore some of the types of cheap, wireless alarm systems, their benefits, misconceptions, and considerations to keep in mind when purchasing such a system.
The benefits of a cheap wireless house alarm system are readily apparent: by definition, they are inexpensive, freeing up money to cover other critical expenses. Wireless systems are especially convenient, too, because installation does not require running wires, drilling holes, or making permanent fixtures. Finally, cheap wireless home alarms are easy to find, available at home security shops and standard discount retailers alike.
The types of inexpensive, wireless home security systems vary widely, ranging from very simple alarms all the way up to complex, monitored security systems. Among the most basic of house alarms are the type intended to monitor and alarm a single door or window; designed to affix directly to the entryway they monitor, these alarms contain simple electronics that measure motion; when tha alarm is "armed" and motion occurs, a siren is sounded to alert the homeowner of a potential intrusion. In addition to being simple, these baisc alarms are also very inexpensive; they can be found online or in many major retailers for as little as $10. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the professionally installed and monitored wireless home security systems. These systems often dedicate a sensor for each doorway and window in the home, and all of these sensors are supervised by a central control panel. When triggered, these systems have the capability to sound an alarm and notify a monitoring company who, in turn, notifies the police and homeowner. While complex systems such as these may be considerably more expensive, they are often available for very little money (or even for free) with the purchase of a monitoring agreement.
Most wireless home alarm systems sport a basic set of features, not the least of which is the ability to monitor an entryway for unauthorized access. In addition to this basic monitoring, some systems also scan for unauthroized presence using an infrared motion sensors, while others provide added fire protection with smoke and carbon dioxide detectors. When a dangerous situation is detected, alarms may respond by simply sounding an alarm (as is the case on the most basic models), notifying the homeowner (a standard feature on some slightly more expensive alarms) or even notifying a monitoring agency (a feature typical of professionally installed house security systems).
One of the largest complaints homeowners have about cheape house alarm systems is the inconvenience associated with constantly arming and disarming the alarm. If an alarm is armed, for example, and the homeowner wants to open the door, steps must first be taken to deactivate the alarm's sensors (often by entering a code on a keypad) before proceding. Using home alarm systems do not have to lead to such frustration, though; with only a minor lifestyle adjustment, many homeowners have sucessfully used wireless house alarm systems for years with only minimal false alarms.
Without a doubt, protecting a home with a cheap, wireless house alarm is certainly better than leaving the home completely unprotected. For those serious about home security, however, a simple and cheap solution may not be the best answer. Many professional monitoring companies such as ADT, Brinks, and Monitronics offer cheap (and even wireless) home security systems for little or no upfront money if the homeowner agrees to a two- or three-year monitoring contract. While cheap, wireless house alarm systems may be an attractive option with very little hassle, a professionally monitored system may be a more effective--and just as cheap--choice.