Retrofitting an Old Home Security System on Budget

In House Stuff, Household Repair and Decor | |

Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels

Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte studied the decision-making processes and methods of convicted burglars to understand the factors that motivate them to invade a certain home. The findings showed that about 83% of burglars would try to determine if an alarm system is installed, and 60% said they would seek another target if there was an alarm. Sadly, not all households find the need to tighten their home security system. There are many that still use decals in hopes that potential criminals will not call their bluff.

One of the reasons why some households would rather use warnings about a non-existent surveillance camera is the cost of installing an actual home security system. You don’t need to spend a fortune to secure your home and your family. You can retrofit an existing alarm system. You’re in luck because the market has an almost limitless selection of alarms, cameras, motion detectors, and other equipment that can fit any budget.

Here are a few helpful tips on how to upgrade your existing alarm system on a budget.

Run a diagnostic test

A home security system, like your computer anti-virus software, needs to be updated as often as necessary. Remember that while technology advances, criminals are getting smarter and more equipped. Burglars may not need to forcibly open your front door to gain access; they may hack their way through your alarms.

Run a diagnostic test on your security system. Do you have alarms in entryways, and are these all working? Do you have enough lighting in your home? Do you have window sensors? Are your cameras still in working condition? The existing system may still be working and may need just a bit of upgrade. If you’re using a hardwired system, you may want to consider adding a wireless system in case burglars cut the landline. Installing a wireless security system will make it easier for you to add new equipment such as motion and glass break detectors – no need to bore new holes, run wires, and pay for installation service.

Secure all entryways in your home

Photo courtesy of George Becker via Pexels

Part of retrofitting your alarm system is making sure the basic security in your home is fully functional. Many criminals still use the front door and large windows to gain access. Don’t wait for a home invasion attempt before changing the old knob and locks on your doors. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) introduces three door-lock grades to help you decide the right locks to install. Grade 1, the highest grade, is used in commercial buildings but may also be used in homes. These commercial lever handles can withstand 800,000 cycles, six-door strikes, and a 360-pound weight test. Grade 2 exceeds the standards for residential security. Grade 2 deadbolts must withstand a five-door strike hammer test. Grade 3 offers minimal security and typically used for residential purposes. You may have screen doors installed on your property, which will need to be made secure as well. There are security screen doors that can be put into place to make you feel safer and less vulnerable to any attacks.

Consider changing your locks into single-cylinder deadbolts with are operated with a key from the outside and a turn button on the inside. A Grade 2 deadbolt, which is recommended for your front door, must withstand 150,000 cycles and five-door strikes.

Consider your monitoring service options

Photo courtesy of bruce mars via Pexels

A home burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the US. More households are signing up for a security monitoring system for the peace of mind it offers. When an alarm is triggered, it sends a notification to the monitoring center that will confirm the threat. Once the threat is confirmed, the center notifies the appropriate authorities for immediate action. A monitoring system serves as a 24/7 guard with direct contact to the police, firemen, and other authorities.

A monitoring system requires a monthly service fee for a 2- to 3-year renewable contract. If this expense isn’t within your budget, you can opt for a self-monitoring system. You can link your wireless security camera to an app which allows you to check on your home offsite. You can also receive motion detection trigger alerts from your smartphone and other handheld devices.


Upgrade your security camera

Photo courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels

Can you still identify the images in your security camera? It may be time to upgrade it. There’s a wide selection of multi-functional security cameras in the market that record and stream high-definition videos, record sounds, accessible via smartphones, and stores recordings in the cloud.

CNET listed down the best security cameras for 2018. The Amazon Cloud Cam features 1080p HD resolution, a 120-degree field of view, cloud storage, motion alerts, and two-way audio. Records may be viewed via a mobile app. CNET ranked Netgear Arlo Pro as this year’s best outdoor camera. Aside from the standard features (high-res, wide field of view, two-way audio, cloud storage, among others), this top-rated camera includes a built-in loud siren, live streaming, and compatibility with IFTTT and Samsung SmartThings. These cameras are a must-have if you’re planning of gradually shifting to home automation.

Some pointers…

Photo courtesy of LinkedIn Sales Navigator via Pexels

Here’s a rundown of essential tips on how to retrofit alarm system and update your home security system:

  1. Change the codes of your alarm system as often as necessary
  2. Change the batteries in the detectors, cameras, and other battery-operated equipment
  3. If you’re keeping your old devices, you can simply upgrade the control panel board
  4. Consider installing a new keypad with more features
  5. Link the outdoor lighting to your home security system, which will enable it to turn on automatically when triggered with motion

The security of your home and your loved ones is non-negotiable. The impact of home invasion is beyond the financial; it can be a truly traumatic experience for your family. Install a reliable alarm system or retrofit an existing system. You can research for DIY home security systems if you’re running on a tight budget. You’ll be surprised with the wide array of options. Stop putting up fake warnings on your lawn. Burglars are smarter than you might think. Beef up your home security system today.