Protecting Your Home: Door Alarm Installation

Adding a home door alarm can be a simple yet effective way to give added protection to your home, family, and valuables.

Step 1 – Decide On a Single Alarm Or a System

There are a multitude of different types of security systems, from simple to elaborate.  These may range from a full home system with an offsite monitoring service to simple alarms mounted on the door or window (connected to a wall alarm).

Whichever system you choose, additional security for your home is one of the greatest deterrents to basic robbery.

Step 2 – Choose an Alarm Type

Door alarms and door/window alarm systems come in two basic types. The first is a wired system that requires wires from each sensor on a door or window to the central control box, or a relay box that then connects to the central box.

The other basic type of home door alarms uses infrared technology for a wireless connection. The door or window sensors don’t need physical wiring to a control box, but instead function in the same way that a television remote operates.

Step 3 – Install the Control Panel

Choose a good location for the control unit. It should be in a central area in the home where it can be easily heard if it goes off at any time of the day or night. It should be accessible from any of the sensors on the perimeter of the home.

Following the directions from the manufacturer, and install the control panel on the wall. If it is a wireless unit, the control box will generally require batteries. These don’t need to be changed often, but they should be tested frequently to be sure they are functional.

If you have a larger home, you will need to install more than one control box.

Step 4 – Install Individual Sensors

If you are installing a hard wired system, this step will be more complex than it is with a wireless system.

With a wireless home door alarm, you will take the sensor and install one side on the door frame and the other on the door itself.  If the control panel is functional, the alarm is now set.  When the door opens, the connection between the sides of the sensor is broken, and the alarm goes off.

You will repeat the installation for each door you want on your alarm system.

Hard wired systems work on the principle of closed circuits. You will install the same type of two part sensor on each door, but the part on the door frame has the wire connected to it that goes to the control panel. The bottom part of the sensor has a strong magnet in it.

When the magnet is in the reach of the electrical part of the sensor, it completes the circuit and the alarm stays off. When the circuit is broken, the alarm rings. Careful placement of the sensors is crucial to correct operation of a hard wired system.

You’ll also want to make some accommodation for the wires, either running them through walls, along baseboards, or behind channel molding.

Step 5 – Test the System

After you have installed all the sensors you’d like for your home door alarm and window alarms, arm the system and test it by opening a door.

If the alarm does not sound, you will need to carry out troubleshooting procedures until the alarm works.

Step 6 – Program the Controls

Many home door alarm systems have a variety of programming options. Some include having the system arm and disarm on a schedule so that it arms after you leave the home in the morning and disarms when you come home at night.

You may be able to program it to turn on lights in the home when you are out of town, and some have the option of off-site monitoring.