Most people think that security systems are a set-it-and-forget-it type of system. While it’s easy to neglect your security system after installation, inspecting on a regular basis ensures that there are zero gaps in your home security. From checking the batteries to inspecting the condition of the wiring, security systems need the occasional testing and maintenance to further reduce your risk of burglary.
In this article, we’ll go over when you should inspect your security system, which parts you should test, and what upgrades you should do to ensure your safety and peace of mind.
When to test your security system
There are a couple of instances where testing your security system is a good idea. Here are a couple of examples:
- The security system has been serviced – If a technician has serviced your security system, make sure to test out each component to see if they’re functioning properly. This is especially true if you’re using a wired system which can sometimes come loose and cause sensors to malfunction.
- Your home has undergone a remodelling – If you recently had a home remodelling or renovation, it’s good practice to test out your security system. During construction, it is possible that your cameras may be knocked out of position. You may also want to consider relocating your other devices like smoke detectors and motion sensors after a major renovation has been done.
- You switched to a new internet/phone service – This applies to homeowners who use a wireless security system. Any changes made to your internet/phone service will impact connectivity between the router and your security system components. Make sure to update the password and check if all the devices are connected to the internet.
- After a power outage – Most security systems come equipped with backup battery power to ensure your home is still protected even in a power outage. But sometimes these batteries can drain if the power outage lasts for more than 24 hours. Check the condition of your batteries after a power outage to see if they can still hold enough charge for your security system.
Which parts of the security system should you test?
To make sure your security system is operating at peak level, you may want to test and inspect the following components:
- Sensors – The sensors in your security system play a huge role in alerting you of forced entry. You want to calibrate your door/window sensors, smoke detectors, and glass break sensors so that they activate the exact moment you need them to. While you’re at it, double-check the batteries and replace them if they discharge quickly.
- Control panel – The control panel serves as the brain of your security system and is connected to each component including the cameras, detectors, and sensors. Test out the alarm by activating a sensor and disarm it using your passcode. If you notice any issues, contact your security system provider immediately for repairs.
- Motion detectors – You can calibrate your motion detectors by adjusting the sensitivity of the infrared sensor. Get help from a family member and have them walk through the zones where the motion detectors are monitoring. If you have pets around the house and they’re causing the device to trigger, then you may want to invest in a pet-friendly motion detector.
- Security cameras – Check the positioning of your security cameras. The lens should be pointed directly towards the area you want to record and should be free of any obstructions (i.e. tree branches, walls, etc.) While you’re at it, clean the lens using a microfibre cloth so the images stay nice and clear.
When to upgrade your security system
Inspecting your security system gives you an opportunity to identify any components that you may need to repair or upgrade. Considering how technology moves fast today, you may want to upgrade your whole system if it’s 7-10 years old. Modern security systems nowadays come with advanced features like remote access/monitoring, AI integration, smart home integration, and more.
If you’re still using a wired security system, then you may want to go completely wireless. Aside from the convenience, a wireless security system is less prone to being disabled/disarmed by would-be burglars. You also benefit from regular software updates to help make your whole system more secure.