When you installed your home security system, you expected it would last forever, right?
You were partially correct. The infrastructure behind your system doesn’t change much. If well-maintained, your equipment may not last forever, but you should still get several years out of it.
Technology is what changes.
Like most home security system owners, you want the most up-to-date technology protecting you and your family.
Here are a few guidelines to help you understand home alarm systems and how often they should get an update.
You Have an Aging System
Whether you installed the system yourself or you moved into a home with a system in place, age is one of the deciding factors when considering an alarm systems update.
Unlike fine wine, a security system doesn’t get better with age. In the home security industry, 10-15 years is old. It’s not that the system itself is bad, but it’s likely restricted by outdated technology.
Old technology limits your system’s capabilities. Further, older systems often have few, if any options for upgrades.
Home security systems are like computers. Over time they become obsolete and repairing them is more difficult, sometimes impossible.
If your system is over 15 years of age, it’s time for a chat with an alarm systems specialist.
Still Using a Landline?
If your current system operates through a landline, don’t panic. Using a landline is still a viable option but it does present a few disadvantages.
First, a landline uses wires. A burglar could cut the wires and disable your entire system. Second, you don’t have as much versatility with a landline monitoring system.
Modern alarm systems rely on cellular networks. That said, landlines are still useful because you can use them for back-up.
The point is if you’re relying 100% on landline monitoring, consider updating your security system.
Lack of Routine Maintenance
Over time, all electronic devices operate less efficiently. One way you can extend the life of your alarm systems is by applying a little TLC.
Owners who never clean or inspect the physical parts of their security system miss the opportunity for early detection of problems. An inspection usually reveals loose wires and signs of damage.
If your system includes video surveillance cameras, those also need regular maintenance. Dusting the camera and cleaning the lens ensures clear images and uninterrupted feed.
Unfortunately, when you buy a home with a system already installed, you can’t guarantee the level of care given by the previous owner. If you’ve purchased a home within the last several years and don’t have maintenance records for the security system, it’s time for an update.
You’re Ready to Go Smart
Today’s home security systems are so much more than fire or intruder alarms.
Using smart technology home security systems can monitor water leaks. They can also tell you if your furnace or heating system breaks down.
What would life be like if you used your smartphone to control your alarm systems? Check with your security company and ask about updating to allow control of your HVAC system, turning lights on and off, and activating locks on your doors.
Another popular feature of modern alarm systems is the smart doorbell. This doorbell lets you see who’s at your door and talk to them without opening the door. Upgrading to smart video surveillance means you know what’s going on at home even if you’re miles away.
When your security system triggers an alarm, it's sent to your smartphone. This gives you control over your system and allows you to determine whether you have a real emergency.
With the popularity of smart home products, why not upgrade an existing home security system to a smart system?
Your Lifestyle Changes
It’s not uncommon for a homeowner’s security needs to change over time.
For example, you’ve recently changed from a work-at-home job to a position where you commute every day. Updating your security system ensures your home and personal property remain safe while you’re away.
Many families today have elderly parents living with them. Updating your alarm systems can mean less stress for you when you leave a loved one with mobility issues at home alone.
A change in lifestyle doesn’t mean you should give up your peace of mind. In fact, it's the ideal time for an update.
Can’t I Just Change the Battery?
Battery changes are a critical part of your home security system. When your system isn’t performing as well as it should, replacing batteries may solve the problem.
Check with your manufacturer about how often you should change system batteries. Most older system batteries last between 3-5 years. If your system is relatively new, you may get up to 7 years from your battery.
If you’ve purchased a home with an existing security system and you don’t have a record of service dates, replacing the battery is a good place to start.
Your system should give you clues about low battery levels. Yours may use a combination of beeping noises, error messages on the control panel, and false alarms.
Replacing batteries may restore your system to good working order. If not, schedule an appointment with your security system service team so that you can discuss whether an update is appropriate.
Ready to Update Your Alarm Systems?
Now that you’ve learned more about how often you should update a home security system, you can take a few minutes and consider your current alarm systems and how well they work for you.
You may have an older system or you may have one that hasn’t had routine maintenance. It’s also possible your security needs have changed over time. Perhaps you're interested in how smart technology can help keep your home safe.
Whatever your situation, we’re here to help. Contact us today so we can help you with your home security.