How Does Home Security Work?

Curious to know how does home security work? we got you!

All home security systems have the same fundamental premise of guarding entrance points such as doors and windows and interior space housing valuables such as firearms, computers, art, and coin collections.

The security components deployed throughout the home and monitored by the control panel is the only significant change, irrespective of your house size, the number of doors and windows, or the number of interior rooms a homeowner wishes to secure.

There are many different ways how home security works, and that is what we will try to explain in this article.

How Does Home Security Work

Key Takeaways

  • A home security system is a collection of physical and electrical components that work together to keep a house safe.
  • Home security systems work by safeguarding access points in a home using sensors that communicate with the command center.
  • To safeguard your house, motion sensors and intrusion sensors are planted at the entry point of your house, and upon intrusion, they alert you.

What Does a Home Security System Consist of?

A home security system is a collection of physical and electrical components that work together to keep a house safe.

Read our SimpliSafe, ADT, or Vivint reviews if you want to see actual systems. A home security system has many different objects.

Security Camera

Security Camera

Smart security cameras connect to Wi-Fi, allowing us to remotely livestream images of our system and receive alerts when our cameras detect movement, persons, or parcels.

Motion Sensor

Motion Sensor

Motion sensors should install in a major doorway or hallway on the ground level of a property to detect motion and notify us when our security system is activated.

Because certain motion sensors are pet-sensitive, they do not go off every time our dog goes by.

Entry Sensor

Entry Sensor

Entry sensors, also known as contact sensors, have two parts: one for the window or door and one for the frame.

When one of these openings is open or closed, these sensors employ magnets to detect it. The sensor will notify us if it believes an entrance point is open.

On the other hand, we recommend installing entry sensors on windows or doors.

The majority of them are battery-operated, and many of them come with adhesive backings for simple installation.

Glass Break Sensor

Glass Break Sensor

Intruders will sometimes smash windows open instead of opening them the traditional method to avoid setting off the entry sensors.

On the other hand, a glass break sensor detects the sound of glass breaking and sends us a text message.

Control Hub or Panel

Control Hub or Panel

A control panel is the heart or the main part of the security system, which uses radio signals to communicate with other security devices along with the monitoring system and helps in arming & disarming the security system.

You can control it using a built-in keypad or using your phone or even voice command, given that your control panel supports it.

High-decibel sirens

High-decibel sirens

There is nothing better than old-fashioned sirens, and even the most advanced home security companies offer them.

A high-decibel siren comes built-in into the hub and can be added even externally. These sirens make noise of 80-115 decibels which is great for scaring away burglars.

Key Pad or Key Fob

Key Pad or Key Fob

A keypad or key fob comes in handy for controlling the security system. You can often find this built-in into your security system, and if not, then you can get it added externally.

Some home security system also allows wireless control from a dedicated app to manage the alarm.

Yard Signs & Stickers

Bold & flashy yard signs & stickers can be used as the first line of defense to scare away burglars.

In fact, according to a study by the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, burglars have agreed not to break into a house that has yard stickers or signs on them.

Read: What Is Motion Sensor & How Do They Work?

Read: What Is Smart Home Security Solution?

How Does It Work?

Home security systems have the basic notion of safeguarding access points in a home using sensors that communicate with the command center in a convenient place within the home.

The sensors are often in front and back doors and easily accessible windows, especially those that open, especially those at ground level.

You can use motion sensors to safeguard open spaces within homes. Depending on what kind of sensor or security system you have in place, the way of work could significantly change.

For example, the most common way is the control panel. The control panel is a computer that arms and disarms security systems, connect with all installed components, sounds an alert when a security zone is broken and communicates with an alarm monitoring provider.

They usually have a touchpad for interaction and simple programming, a passcode entry area for arming and disarming the system, the ability to function with voice commands, and the ability to work with wireless remote devices called key fobs.

How Does Home Security Systems Work?

What Happens During An Intrusion?

What Happens During An Intrusion

When there is a breach in the secure zone of the security system, the system undertakes specific duties.

The kind of security system you have determines what happens in the case of an incursion.

If an alarm provider professionally monitors your security system, the monitoring firm gets notified in addition to the high-decibel alarm.

If the control panel has 2-Way Voice communication, a certified security professional may attempt to connect with the homeowner via the control panel or phone the emergency contact number given on the account.

The monitoring firm will alert the proper emergency response people in your region in the case of a real emergency.

Police, firefighters, and paramedics are all on this alert. Until emergency response personnel arrive at your house, the monitoring firm will endeavor to keep in touch with you.

If you have a DIY security system, things are a bit different. Today, there are several DIY security systems available that do not require expert monitoring.

When you have this sort of security system, a high-decibel alert rings in the case of a house invasion (if you already have one).

The homeowner must start contact with police, fire, or other emergency response professionals by dialing the correct number, often 911.

Read: How To Find A Suitable Home Security Company?

How Does a Wireless Security System Works?

Wireless Security System works by using protocols like Z-wave, Zigbee, etc., which makes wireless communication possible.

So these protocols send radio waves to the various security gadgets planted around the house and communicate through this central panel.

Wired security systems may cost more due to professional installation, electrical and other expenses.

In fact, most security companies these days use either wireless protocols or their own technology to provide you wireless security system. And it is very hard to find wired home security companies these days.

Many security companies use Z-wave, which is the most popular choice.

These consume less power and are very powerful. And because they are battery-operated, they last for months.

Also, Z-wave devices come with a good range of up to 600 feet and can work together with all your gadgets to provide the utmost safety.

Things To Look For In a Home Security System

Things To Look For In a Home Security System

While looking for a home security system, it is important to check the monitoring systems’ compatibility with your home.

The first thing to look for is the type of connectivity the security system requires, and the second most important thing is the home automation feature. Let us discuss both these factors one by one.

Home Compatibility

There are three types of connectivity options, and you can choose the one that is compatible with your home.

  1. Wi-Fi: This is the most common and modern connection network to choose from. If you live in the main city, then Wi-Fi must be easily accessible to you. So you can choose a security system that is compatible with Wi-Fi. Just make sure your broadband connection is reliable and runs 24×7.
  2. Landline: If Wi-Fi is an issue for you, then you can choose wired landline connectivity. This is the cheapest of all options, but it is not very safe. A burglar can simply cut the landline wire and disable the alarm system.
  3. Cellular Network: Cellular network is the most expensive, but it cannot tamper with that easily. Just make sure your area has a reliable cellular network, and you are good to go.

Home Automation

A lot of home security companies are offering gadgets that can be paired with voice assistants and smart phones.

If you want more flexibility of use or simply want to integrate your home security system with your other smart home devices, then look for a security system that is compatible with the same.

Is It Possible To Install Home Security System in Apartments?

Whether you live in a bungalow or in a building apartment, you should have the means to protect your house.

Thanks to a wireless security system with the help of which you can protect your apartment from burglars.

However, before drilling or making holes while installing the devices, ensure that your building or apartment owner allows it.

DIY security systems are largely popular among apartment owners, and you can plant most sensors and gadgets using tape.

Does Installing a Home Security System Require Permit?

The need for having a permit to install a home security system depends from state to state.

For most DIY security systems, you may not need any permit. But for a professionally monitored security system, you may need to apply for a permit.

Also, if you are installing a high-pitched siren that may disturb your neighbors, then you might need it.

You can simply go to your local police or discuss the same with your home security company to know more.

Monitored Alarm Systems Vs. DIY Alarm Systems

Pros & Cons Of DIY Vs. Professionally Installed Home Security System

You have decided to go for home security system, but people often get confused as to which type of system should they go for?

Here are a few pros and cons of Professionally Installed Home Security System that will help you in making a decision.

DIY Home Security System Pros & Cons


  • Homeowners can choose to do self-monitoring
  • No installation cost
  • Many equipments are wireless


  • Some gadgets may be difficult to install
  • High ufront equipment cost

Professional Home Security System Pros & Cons


  • Offers peace of mind
  • Security assessment is often included
  • Good for complex installations


  • Installation cost
  • Might be contract-based

The Verdict

Home security systems have many different ways and objects that work together to provide the best security possible, and depending on what kind of home security you have at your home, the response to intruders could be different.

However, typically, a home security system either automatically alerts the emergency personnel when an intruder comes in, or you get a text or a call from your security system alerting you about the intrusion, and you call 911 yourself.

The biggest difference here is one of the systems is professionally monitored, and people do the work for you, and the other one is a DIY system where you install everything and follow through with any kind of alarm that your security system runs in case of an intrusion at your home.

The latter is a bit more dangerous as you need to do all the work, but it costs less.

Read: FrontPoint Reviews 


How do I make sure I know how my home security system works?

When you install your security system, you will have certain guidelines talking you through the system and how it works.

If you want, you can try it yourself without alerting the emergency personnel to see how it works.

How can I get detailed information about how does my home security works?

Whether it is a DIY installation or a professional installation, there are guidelines available when you purchase a security system that talks about how the system works in detail, and you can read through those guidelines and learn about every little detail about your security system.

Are Wireless Security Systems Even Reliable?

Yes, as mentioned above, most security companies use a wireless security system, and their demand is ever-increasing which proofs that wireless security system is very reliable.

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