ADT Security Systems is one of the country’s largest providers of commercial and residential security services. As such, they offer both types of customers a wide array of options when designing a security system. These options range from the very basic to the very technologically advanced. Your security system can consist of detection of unwanted entry attempts, or it can add entry control and monitoring, and video surveillance, among other things. We’re going to concentrate our efforts here on home security.
Basic Options with ADT Security Systems
A very bare bones, basic home security system consists of a central processing unit, a control panel, and a few sensors on exterior doors and maybe lower level and accessible upper level windows. Door sensors can be mounted inside the frame and hidden from view, or they can, for various reasons (ease of installation for one) be mounted on the exterior of the inner frame. Magnetic window sensors can be mounted the same way.
Another type of window sensor that’s normally used to protect/monitor larger windows that don’t open and close are sensors called glass breakage detectors. This type of sensor has a microphone inside that detects the sound of the glass breaking and, when detected, completes the circuit to the control panel, triggering the alarm. There are also glass tampering sensors that operate by detecting vibrations in the glass.
The types of sensors that I’ve mentioned above can be wired or wireless and which type is used depends on a number of factors. As a certified alarm installer, if I’m installing a security system in a house that is under construction or being renovated, I will recommend wired sensors, since they are normally more reliable and don’t require either a battery or power cord. However, if I am installing a system in a house that isn’t undergoing any type of construction, I will still recommend going the wired route, but most homeowners don’t want the added expense this entails, so they choose the wireless route.
Advanced Options ADT Offers
The bare bones type of system mentioned above can have a number of other options added to it in order to increase your level of control and security. For large open areas in the home, motion detectors that either detect the presence of heat in the covered area (infrared sensors) or that detect motion (ultrasonic detectors that detect air flow changes or that detect changes in mass inside the covered area) are options that most homeowners choose.
Homeowners can also choose health and safety add-ons to their home security system. These include sensors that will sound an alarm when carbon monoxide levels in the home begin to approach levels that represent a hazard to human health. There are also smoke detectors that can be tied into the main system to sound the alarm when fire conditions are detected.
ADT security systems also offer the option of what is known as an auto-dialer. This is a piece of equipment that will dial a preset number and deliver a prerecorded message to summon emergency help when the alarm is triggered, with no human intervention required. More advanced auto-dialer modules can almost interact with emergency services to let them know the exact nature of the emergency is, like a break-in, carbon monoxide alarm, fire alarm, etc.
Keep an Eye on What and Who Is Important to You
Home security no longer means just keeping unwanted people out and being notified when those you don’t want in try to get in. Now it means being able to keep an eye on your house and everything and everyone inside of it. ADT security systems can also include a full array of video surveillance options. You can choose the very basic with just a few cameras and a monitor to watch them on, or you can go full bore and choose a surveillance option that includes motion detection and video recording, as well as presets that, when reached, cause the alarm to be triggered.
To Monitor or Not to Monitor
ADT customers can also choose to have their system monitored at a central office. Depending on the level of monitoring chosen, this can simply mean that a trained professional will call the person listed in the contract to determine the nature of the emergency and, if necessary, summon the required help.
It can also mean that the monitoring station actually monitors your main control panel, the main processor, for faults. When a problem occurs, such as communications between a sensor and the processor is lost, the monitoring station can notify you and dispatch a technician to correct the problem.
Home Security No Longer Solely Entails Entry Control
Image via ADT
ADT has come to realize that home automation and integration is the wave of the future and they have begun to address this with their offerings. With their Pulse® System and a smartphone, you can monitor and control your security system from afar. Integrate the system with the available electronic door locks and you can let the grandparents into the house while you’re stuck in traffic. The smartphone app also gives you access to your video cameras in and around the house so you can check up on your kids while you’re out celebrating that big promotion or your anniversary.
ADT has come quite a long way over the years and they continue to look into the future to harness and take advantage of new technologies. Even better, all of their technology and the security it offers is very competitively priced.
Photo Credit: Francois Maillot