Burglar alarms are still useful if you don’t want cameras all round your house. Even if you do have security cameras it’s better to be safe than sorry. Cameras are great for home security, but they’re no good if the burglars are covering their faces. If you really want to be alerted if there’s somebody in your house then here are some ideas.
Home security has come a long way in the last 20 or so years, and wireless technology has made installing home security systems a breeze. Smartphone apps and cloud based systems make it possible for us to be alerted when we’re out of the house. Even when we’re on holiday. Sirens can be solar powered, and systems can be set to arm at scheduled times. What’s really cool is that you can use a fob when you enter the house instead of remembering codes.
There are many companies out there that offer full home security. The big tech giants like Google are now offering systems like their Nest Detect. It’s a home security system with groundbreaking tiny sensors, that are less intrusive. You don’t always need the latest and greatest new fangled gadgets though. Companies like Yale and ERA, that have been around for years, are still offering the best systems around.
There are many systems out there to choose from but we’ve opted for the HomeGuard Pro Smart Home Alarm System. It is a good brand and is easy to install with quality components at a decent price. This kit will suit a 4 bedroom house. You can add on extra sensors and IP cameras if you need to. I’s compatible with Alexa and Google home ,as well as Lightwave smart gadgets.
The first thing the manual advises you to do is to download the ERA HomeGuard Pro app for your phone. Register, and once signed in you need to add your HomeGuard hub to your account using the QR code on the back, or by connecting to the WiFi hotspot provided by the hub. Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your Hub with your account.
Now let’s give it a test. When you press ‘Arm’ on the fob the button with the closed lock on it the light on the hub will be Red for instance. While the system is armed, test the door/window sensor (EMAG) by separating the magnet from the main body of the sensor. The button on the back of the sensor is a tamper button and not to be used for pairing with the hub at this point. To test the PIR sensors (EPIR) press the button on the back a couple of times to test the connection.
Once you are happy that the system is working and all the sensors are communicating with the hub. You can now install everything else. Position the Hub somewhere that’s central to the house but also near to the WiFi router.
Mounting the sensors
Mount the door sensors high up out of the way and make sure the triangles on each section align. They must be less than 1cm apart otherwise the LED on the transmitter will blink once. If you are mounting on to a metal door there needs to be some padding underneath the sensor and the magnet to prevent interference. A plastic spacer would do.
Take care to mount the PIR movement sensors somewhere where there’s not a lot of movement from extraneous sources such as facing a window. Also heat and light can throw the sensor out so keep away from the air conditioning and direct sunlight. Don’t worry about letting pets loose around the house as the sensors are smart enough to ignore animals. Mount the sensors in the corner of a room at about 2.5 meters high so the detection field has no blind spots. You can see that the sensor has detected movement when the sensor blinks once. Mount the sensor securely to the wall with a mounting plate.
One of the great things about this system is that by adding a SIM card to the hub you can control it from your cell phone by sending it instructions over GPRS. This means that if the WiFi goes down for any reason in the house, you won’t be able to control the system remotely. This is where the GPRS function comes into play, just add a SIM to your Hub and set it all up via the app on your phone. You may need to sort out the APNs though as these differ for each country.
Now feel a whole lot safer in your protected house. If you want to add further protection then there are smoke and water detectors as well as ceiling mounted sensors and cameras. You can fit solar powered sirens to your house and dummy siren boxes too to scare off potential burglars.
Home security is piece of mind and it’s not as expensive as you might’ve thought, and it’s an easy job to get done yourself. You can get a starter pack and then add sensors later so you can start small; so if you’ve been thinking about it for a while, there’s no excuse not to get started.
*Nest detect. Even smarter smaller systems from Nest. US only at the moment.