In ancient Egypt, people had to dig moats around their castles as a first line of defense against intrusion. Luckily for you, this isn’t 3150 BC, and thanks to a nifty little invention called the home security system, you’ve got it a little easier. But keep in mind — a security system can help automate safety, but it can’t completely do its job without your support.
Here are a few ways to make sure that your system is always operational, and that your home remains as protected as possible.
Do a weekly walk-through.
We know, we know — you walk through your house all the time. But you probably don’t inspect all the locks on every single door and window, right? And how about the door and window frames — are they intact? Look for signs of rotting, warping or any other indication of structural weakness that could allow for an easy breach. Also, be sure to check all alarm sensors to ensure that they are securely mounted.
Test your control panel.
The control panel is the heart of your system. Every one of your sensor’s signals passes through it and tells the panel when to activate the alarm. Most panels have a “test” mode — run it to confirm that everything is functioning properly. And unless you also want the local police to test out their burglary-in-progress training, be sure to notify your monitoring service of the test beforehand.
Inspect all cameras.
Make sure they all have power, are focused properly and have not been tampered with.
Once a year, call the pros.
Your own system checks can help prevent the big malfunctions, but a yearly inspection from a trained technician can minimize the hidden malfunction risks. A tech will perform a thorough check of wiring, power supplies, sensors and other behind-the-scenes components — usually at little or no cost to you through your existing monitoring contract — and repair any issues.
While it’s almost impossible to fully automate home safety, you can certainly make things run smoothly by doing your part to maintain your home’s security.