Home Security System Features – What Features Are Important In Your Home Security Systems

Apr 30, 2023 | Home Security, Home Security Cameras, Security and Fire Protection, Security Systems Monitoring

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One place where we all need to have a great sense of safety and feel secure is our home. It ought to be our sanctuary and we all need to be comfortable there. Installing a home security system is one thing that usually helps a lot of people to get this assurance of safety and the comfortable feel in their homes.

Home security systems help to prevent us from being victims of certain crimes. Studies have shown that the amount of crime in a neighborhood decreases as the number of home security systems installed in that neighborhood increases. This shows how beneficial a home security system is. The benefits of a home security system are many and varied. Let us review some of these.

Benefits of Home Security Systems

Emergency Response

A home security system can be connected to an emergency response center. This means that any alarms or alerts triggered by the system will alert authorities and paramedics in case of medical emergencies, fire, burglary or other threats.

Peace of Mind

Having a home security system installed helps to give you peace of mind knowing that your family and property are protected from potential burglars and other threats. Knowing that your home security system is armed with the latest technology gives you added reassurance.

Crime Protection – Home Invasions – Burglary – Theft

A home security system provides protection against intruders and other criminal activity. Burglary, also sometimes referred to as home invasion, is the act of entering someone’s home illegally, either forcibly or without force with the intention of committing a felony crime, usually theft. Burglary is of three types – Unlawful entry without force, forcible entry and attempted forcible entry. A residential security system can help to deter potential burglars by making it more difficult for them to enter your home without being detected. The system also helps to alert authorities in the event of a break-in or other suspicious activity, allowing them to respond quickly and take necessary action.

Most people without a home security system not only fall victim to burglary thefts but also to larceny thefts. Larceny theft is the act of directly stealing someone else’s belongings from them. In order to not fall victim to these crimes or catch these criminals in the act, it is important that you install a good home security system.


Vandalism is the act of deliberately and maliciously destroying a property that doesn’t belong to you. It includes smashed doors and windows, graffiti, broken walls or fences, etc. Most people without home security systems end up being victims of vandalism. Home security systems can provide round-the-clock monitoring and surveillance, allowing authorities to quickly respond if a vandal is spotted. It also helps to deter potential vandals from targeting your property in the first place.


How Home Security Systems Work

A home security system works by connecting various sensors, such as motion detectors and door/window sensors, to a monitoring device. This device will then send an alert to the authorities or whoever is responsible for responding in the case of an emergency. Most systems also come with cameras that allow you to monitor your property remotely.

The components of most home security systems are connected to a base station which is in turn connected (via Bluetooth, wi-fi, cellular network, etc.) to a control system or mobile application that allows you to remotely control and monitor everything.

Homeowners arm their security system when they are asleep or out of the house and when armed, the home security systems have sensors that send a signal to the control panel when triggered and immediately, the control panel also sends a signal to the alarm system which sounds to alert people of the intrusion. [1]

Home Security Systems Vary For Different Needs

Home Security Systems For Individual and Family needs

Many home security systems can be modified to suit your needs whether as a family or an individual. This means that you can add more panic buttons, sensors, etc to the system to suit your needs. For homes with families, they usually want all members of the household to have access to the security system. In this case, it may be necessary to get a system, for example, with multiple app users as a feature. You can then register each member of the household as a user to allow them easy access to the security system. When the system is to protect a private individual, the needs are different . In this case, you may want to get a system with smart home features such as lights, locks and smoke alarms that can be remotely turned on or off via the app. There are also sensors for motion detection and window/door contacts which will alert you should any unusual activity take place. [2]


Home Security Systems That Fit The Needs of A House, Apartment or Business

Getting a home security system for a house, apartment or business all differ as they all have their separate needs and requirements based on the layout of the building. For a house, you may need a system that can work on multiple levels, such as using a combination of cameras to monitor both the exterior and interior areas. You could also get an alarm system or sensors for any windows or doors which will create an alert when they are opened or disturbed in any way.

For apartments, it’s best to get an alarm system that can be attached to the walls of each room and is triggered when it detects unusual activity. This will help to alert you or your neighbors in case of any emergency or if someone has broken into the building.

Businesses, on the other hand, typically need more advanced security solutions such as CCTV cameras and access control systems. Cameras should be installed in all areas of the premises, while access control can be used to restrict personnel movements and ensure only authorized personnel can move throughout the building.

For added protection, you may want to consider adding motion detectors or infrared sensors around your property which will alert you when someone is moving around the area. Hence, it is important that you map out a list of the things you need in the security of your building, be it a house, apartment or business, before getting the security system. This will help you avoid getting unnecessary items and also help you cover all bases. For every building though, using entry sensors on all doors and windows on the building’s ground level is advisable. This will help set off an alarm should any unauthorized person try to enter the building.


Security System With Professional Monitoring vs. Self-Monitored Security Systems

Most security systems come with the option of self-monitoring or professional monitoring. It is then left to the owner to decide which monitoring system based on needs and preferences. For security systems that don’t come with this option, you will also get to decide whether to buy a self-monitored security system or a professionally monitored one.

For self-monitored security systems, everything is controlled by you. You get to receive the alert from your alarm system on your mobile app when an intrusion, fire or any other problem has been detected and it’s all up to you to respond to it.

For professional home security monitoring, the alert from your security system alarm is received by the monitoring center when the security system detects an intrusion, fire or other issues. It’s the duty of the staff of the monitoring center to notify the proper authorities if necessary or help you sort out the problem.

You should know that both options, whether professional monitoring or self monitoring, are good and can keep your home safe. However, the best choice from both options is dependent on how regularly your security system app is checked by you and how well your response is in emergency situations.

Home Security Systems for Indoor Installation And For Outdoor Installation

The features required for a home security system will vary when the installation is primarily indoors as compared to when it is outdoors. If you choose to install a home security system indoors then it is important to make sure that the sensors installed are not easily visible.

For outdoor installation, it is important to have a good mix of motion and contact sensors as well as cameras. Motion sensors will detect any movement in your yard or driveway while contact sensors will notify you if someone has opened an exterior door or window. Cameras are also important to have in outdoor locations as they can act as a deterrent and provide you with evidence of any suspicious activities that may occur.

It is important to select the right security system for your needs, depending on whether it is being used indoors or outdoors. Most people usually get confused as to whether it is best to install the security cameras outdoors to prevent the crimes from happening or install them indoors to capture crimes as they occur. Well, the good news is that you can do both outdoor and indoor installations. For example, there are outdoor cameras and video doorbells that can help prevent the crime from happening and there are indoor cameras that can capture the crimes as they occur in situations where the outdoor cameras did not stop the criminal from entering.


Features of a Good Home Security System

There are certain features you should look out for when getting a good home security system. These include:

  • Inbuilt redundant power supply
  • Highly reliable parts
  • High IP rating
  • Recording and reporting capabilities
  • Wireless system
  • Remote accessibility, and
  • Home automation integration

Inbuilt Redundant Power Supply

A good home security system should be able to still function properly in situations where there are power failures. Most criminals kill the power to enable them to easily break in. In this situation a security system with redundant power supply will still function effectively and detect the criminal.  Redundant power supply is typically achieved in good home security systems by having a battery back-up system or access to solar energy.

Highly Reliable Components

Another important feature of a good home security system is that every of its parts or components should be dependable and highly reliable. It is advisable that you ensure the devices and parts of your home security system are certified by the security industry. This is where it is important to have an experienced and professional security company build the system as they would know who are the best security system manufacturers and what are the most reliable security devices in the market today.

High IP Rating

The efficiency of a home security system is usually measured by IP ratings. They measure the resistance of sensors and security cameras to dust, water, etc. Hence, a home security system with a high IP rating is the best for you to get. It is advisable that the IP rating of your security systems should either be IP67 or higher.

Recording & Reporting Capabilities

The alarm systems of your home security systems should not only record, but they should also have reporting capabilities that allow them to automatically report their activities regularly. This has proven to be of immense help where there are security breaches.  Automated reporting helps authorities catch culprits faster and also calms down anxious homeowners.


Remote Accessibility

Being able to access your security system remotely is a key feature of a good home security system. A security system that is not connected to a mobile app or some other remote access platform will not be able to provide you with adequate protection in case of an emergency. Therefore, make sure that the security system chosen by you is compatible with a remote access application or a mobile app so that you can keep a watch on your home while away.

Wireless Home Security System

A wired home security system can be easily disarmed by an intruder. All they need to do is cut it off. Disarming is however very difficult when you use a wireless home security system. It is also more difficult to use a wired home security system remotely like a wireless security system that is connected to your remote access platform that allow access from anywhere. Wireless security systems also have panic buttons to protect you in emergencies. Wireless capability also allows for more sophisticated features such as motion sensors, security cameras and even remote door locks. These features can be controlled with your mobile device which makes it easier to keep a watch on your home while away.

Home Automation

Home automation is a great feature your home security system should have. It is this smart home automation feature that allows you to monitor and control most parts of your home security system using a smart device. With home automation, you can control the temperature, lightning, alarm systems, locks, and can monitor all parts of your home with the use of a smart device. Advances in security system technology have made home automation more available and easier to use than ever before.

A great benefit of smart home security systems is that they can be integrated with other parts of your home such as lighting, locks, thermostats, and even appliances.

Robust System With Adequate Components

And most importantly, a well-designed robust security system will have adequate component parts. We will discuss the component part features of a robust building security system in the next section.


Component Features of Robust Building Security Systems

Key Fob and/or Keypad

Primary Function of Keypads and Key Fobs

For a robust building security system, one of the most important components is access control. This includes key fobs and/or keypads that provide secure entry into the building or specific areas. Key Fob – Key fobs are small devices that are used to grant access by swiping over an electronic reader. Key fobs are a secure form of authentication and can be programmed to limit access to specific areas.

Keypads – Keypads are used for basic access control, such as entering security codes or using a PIN number. They also allow users to change the code when needed, providing additional levels of security.

Basic Principle of Operation – How They Work

Keypads require a user to enter a code through the use of buttons or keys. A key fob requires that its correct remote device be close enough to the sensors or detectors so as to authorize access. If a correct code or device is not detected, then the system will not activate and entry into the building will be denied.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

When used for access control, keypads allow users to enter customized codes that can be changed or reset as needed. Keypads may also come with additional features such as backlit screens and vandal-resistant design. Some systems even have the ability to monitor entry and exit points using biometric recognition technology, providing an extra layer of security.

Motion sensors

Primary Function

Motion sensors are a component of home security systems that alert you with an alarm sound when they detect movement. Once they have been armed, they create a zone that is invisible and cannot be crossed without alerting the owner by sounding an alarm. These sensors are used to protect open floor plan areas, hallways, and rooms with multiple entry points. [3]

Basic Principle of Operation – How They Work

Motion sensors rely on the principle of detecting something is moving in its field of view. The sensor emits infrared or ultrasonic waves that detect changes in reflected light. When a person, animal, or large object moves through the zone, it triggers an alarm sound which alerts you to potential danger. Motion sensors are also known as Passive Infrared (PIR) sensors.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

Motion sensors come in a variety of sizes and can be used both indoors and outdoors. They are commonly used to detect movement within a certain range, usually 15 to 30 feet (4.5 to 8 meters). Some motion detectors have adjustable sensitivity settings that allow you to customize the range in which they can detect movement.

Motion sensors come with a variety of features and add-ons, such as pet immunity, adjustable sensitivity settings, night vision mode, audible alarms, and more. Some motion sensors can be integrated with other alarm systems such as video surveillance cameras or smart home automation systems. This allows you to customize your security system to better suit your needs.

Door and window sensors

Primary Function

Door and window sensors otherwise known as entry sensors or contact sensors when armed, alert homeowners whenever their closed doors or window is opened. They usually consist of two sensors – one installed on the closed entryway (doors or windows) and one installed on the frame of the entryway. A closed circuit is formed by both sensors when the entryway is closed. This circuit breaks when it is opened and alerts the owner immediately with an alarm sound or text.

Basic Principle of Operation – How They Work

Door and window sensors use a magnetic field to detect if an entryway has been opened. When the entryway is closed, a magnet in one sensor attracts its corresponding piece in the other sensor, completing the circuit. Upon opening of the door or window, the magnet falls away from its corresponding piece and therefore breaks the circuit resulting in an alarm.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

Most systems also come with a delay timer that can be set to sound the alarm after a certain length of time has passed since the circuit was broken, allowing for the user to enter without triggering it. Additionally, some door and window sensors are designed to remain in a low-power state until motion is detected nearby, at which point they will “wake up” and give a response.

Integrations with home automation systems are also possible, allowing for the user to receive notifications on their phone or other device when motion is detected, as well as being able to control the lights, locks, and other devices in their home from one central hub. Additionally, if an intruder is detected, the system could be set up to trigger an alarm or contact a security service for assistance.


Glass-break sensors

Primary Function

Glass break sensors are home security components that detect the sound frequency made by shattering glass.  Once they sense the sound or vibration of a shattering glass, they alert the homeowner by setting off an alarm. These sensors are useful when an intruder is attempting to enter your house by breaking the glass doors or windows. However, they can only be used where there’s a glass door, glass window, or any other glass possession.

Basic Principle of Operation – How They Work

Glass break sensors use a microphone to detect the specific sound frequency of shattering glass. Most models also have dual-technology capability, which means they can sense both vibration and sound. This ensures that the sensor detects any attempt at breaking in even if it is done stealthily or through an opening in the window frame. Once they detect the sound, they will instantly trigger an alarm and alert the home security system.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

Glass break sensors are typically used in conjunction with other types of sensors such as motion detectors, door/window contacts, and video cameras. This ensures that your home is better protected against any type of intruder. For the highest level of protection, these devices should be placed near all potential entry points such as windows, doors, and vents.

In addition to the alarm they trigger, glass break sensors can also be integrated with a home automation system which allows you to control your security system remotely. This is especially useful if you are away from home and want to ensure that your property is secure. Furthermore, many modern models of glass break sensors are equipped with advanced features such as automatic arming and disarming, real-time alerts, and even the ability to control other home automation devices.

Panic Buttons

Primary Function

Panic buttons are a component of home security systems that allows homeowners to alert emergency services quickly and easily. These emergency services can either be police, fire department or even hospital. The panic button connects you directly to them. Hence, it is important to always have one around you.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

Panic buttons come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be as small as a key fob or as large as a wall mounted alarm system. Many modern models also have advanced features such as built-in GPS, remote control, and even integration with other home automation systems. Additionally, some panic buttons even feature a two-way communication system which allows the user to talk to emergency services directly.

High-Decibel Sirens

Primary Function

High-decibel sirens are additional alarm sounds in home security systems which can come on their own and also as part of other devices in the home security system. Their function is to alert people where there’s an intruder trying to break into your home. Most times they sound at the same time other alarms in the security system are set off and scare away intruders while alerting homeowners and their neighbors.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

High-decibel sirens typically come as part of a home security system and can be integrated with other alarm components such as smoke detectors, motion sensors, glass break sensors and more. They are usually powered by the electricity mains but some models come with battery backups for added security in case of power outages. They come with adjustable levels of sound to ensure that they are loud enough to scare away intruders but not too loud as to bother the neighbors.In addition, some sirens come with add-ons such as flashing lights and strobes which serve as a visual deterrent.

Yard Signs and Stickers

Primary Function

As basic as these are, these components are sometimes overlooked and their importance underestimated. However, they are equally important components of home security systems because these yard signs and window stickers discourage intruders intending on breaking into your property from doing so for the fear of being caught when the alarm sounds. Hence, it is advisable to boldly paste these signs and stickers on your yard and windows respectively. Signs display information such as “Protected by a Home Security System” and the stickers display the logo of your home security provider.


Primary Function

Floodlights in home security systems have similar functions as motion sensors and sirens. The only difference between them is that in place of sounding an alarm when a motion is detected, they flood the entire area with very bright lights. This alerts the homeowner, also giving them a clear view of the area. The sudden flood of bright light also scares off the intruder and deters them from breaking in.

Basic Principle of Operation – How They Work

Floodlights work by being triggered when motion is detected in the area of coverage. This triggers a switch that causes the floodlights to turn on and remain on for a set period of time, providing illumination across the entire covered area. The duration for which the lights stay on can be adjusted according to your specific security needs.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

Modern floodlights come with a range of features that can be added to enhance their performance. These include adjustable sensors, adjustable lighting duration and light brightness levels, as well as the ability to integrate with other security systems such as home automation and remote surveillance.


Surveillance Cameras

Primary Function

These are very important components of home security systems. They record footage of their various coverage areas and this footage can be viewed live at any time and from anywhere as they are connected to your smartphone. Security cameras have both wireless and wired configurations. The footage is also stored on a memory card or in the cloud and can be accessed anytime.

Basic Principle of Operation – How They Work

Residential surveillance security cameras are connected to the home security system and monitor areas inside or outside of your home. Depending on their specifications, these cameras can be triggered by motion detectors, an alarm system, or other external events. When triggered, they will start recording footage either through a DVR (digital video recorder) connected to the camera itself or cloud-based storage. The recorded footage can then be viewed from a remote location or on a smartphone app.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

Most security cameras have night vision capabilities, meaning they are able to capture images in low-light conditions and even total darkness. They also come with built-in microphones for audio recordings as well as infrared sensors that allow the user to determine whether an area is occupied or not. Additionally, many CCTV systems come with features such as facial recognition, motion tracking and even the ability to detect license plates.



Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Primary Function

This is another important component of a home security system that you should have. They act as environmental sensors to detect the presence of smoke and carbon monoxide in the air and in turn alert us that the air is unsafe to breathe. They are very important in cases of fire outbreaks and gas pollution.

Basic Principle of Operation – How They Work

The basic principle of operation for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is quite simple. Smoke detectors are typically equipped with a sensitive photoelectric sensor which detects the presence of smoke in the air and sets off an alarm to alert us. Carbon monoxide detectors work by detecting the presence of CO in the air through a series of highly sensitive electrochemical sensors.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

Modern smoke and carbon monoxide detectors come with a range of features such as automatic alarms, wireless communication, tamper proof sensors, low battery indicators and self-testing capabilities. They can also be linked to other security systems and monitored remotely through an app or control panel.

Control panel

Primary Function

The control panel is the center of communication in every home security system. The command of arming and disarming of the security system, sounding alarms, flooding the area with lights, alerting homeowners, neighbors and alarm monitoring company are all done through the control panel. It communicates with every other component of the home security system that is installed.

Basic Principle of Operation – How They Work

Control panels are the interface between homeowners and security systems. They come pre-programmed with a variety of options that allow homeowners to customize their system to meet their specific needs. The control panel is usually installed near an entryway, allowing quick access in case of emergency. By using the control panel’s keypad or touchscreen, users can arm and disarm their security system, view current sensor readings and control other systems such as automated lighting.

Control panels are connected to sensors throughout the home that monitor for unauthorized movement or activity.

Key Features, Add-ons and Integrations

Most control panels also feature a panic button that will sound an alarm if pressed in case of emergency. In addition, some control panels can be integrated with other smart home systems, allowing users to control their air conditioning and lighting remotely.

Finally, many security systems now include a smartphone app that allows users to control and monitor the system from anywhere with an internet connection. Through the app, users have access to the same features as they would through the control panel, while also being able to view live camera feeds, receive alerts, and arm and disarm the system remotely. Additionally, many control panels are compatible with third-party add-ons such as doorbell cameras and security lights. This allows users to customize their system according to their needs. Furthermore, a number of home automation systems can also be integrated with security panels to allow for further features such as voice commands, remote locks, thermostat control, and energy management.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of a home security system?

The main purpose of a home security system is protection of your home and ensuring the safety of your family. A home security system not only detects burglary and vandalism, but also detects other safety threats like gas poisoning, smoke, water damage, fire, etc.

Is it worth it to get a home security system?

If your goal is safety and protection, having peace of mind, and reducing the amount of loss from burglary, vandalism and theft, then yes, a home security system is definitely worth it.

What features should I look for in a home security system?

There are certain features you should look out for when getting a good home security system and they include redundant power supply, high reliable parts, high IP rating, recording and reporting capabilities, wireless system, remote accessibility, and home automation. A robust home security system should also incorporate the principal components we have discussed in this article.

What is included in a home security system?

A good home security system usually includes cameras, sensors, control panels, floodlights, and alarm systems. These components, when combined, function together to ensure your safety and protection.

What is the feature of an alarm system?

The main feature of an alarm system is alerting the homeowners whenever it detects intrusion, fire, carbon monoxide presence and other safety related threats. They usually use a loud beeping sound and bright flashing lights to alert the homeowners.



  1. How Does a Home Security System Work? https://www.usnews.com/360-reviews/services/home-security/how-does-a-home-security-system-work
  2. What Is A Home Security System? Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/home-improvement/home-security/what-is-a-home-security-system/
  3. Best Home Security System of 2023 – CNET. https://www.cnet.com/home/security/best-home-security-system/


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