More home protection

November 2010 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

Five tiers of protection is required for full home security.

Given the nationwide high incidence of break-ins, burglaries, and violent attacks against people in their homes, it is almost impossible to overstate the dangers facing South African homeowners and their family members.

Perimeter protection provided by outdoor motion detectors and other devices has also become increasingly common. Often, a loud alarm triggered by an outdoor detector will deter intruders before they even approach the house. But, if the intruder is not deterred, and is able to enter the house, the consequences can be disastrous.

An effective home security system must provide five tiers of protection. All components across these five tiers should be wireless – which means wire-free, quick and easy installation that preserves the home décor, as well as easy upgrades and expansion as the homeowner’s needs change. The tiers must also be connected to an armed response service to ensure help is summoned in the event any one of the tiers is breached.

Tier 1 – Outdoor protection

Tier 1 perimeter and outdoor protection is provided by a detector mounted or installed on the main fence gate which alerts residents to unauthorised openings of the gate and by outdoor motion detectors installed in strategic places around the property. The ability to accurately discriminate between unauthorised motion caused by a human being and motion caused by animals, bushes and trees swaying in the breeze, rain and sprinklers and other legitimate phenomena is crucial. Frequent false alarms are costly to armed response services.

Tier 2 – Indoor protection

Magnetic contacts, curtain detectors and motion sensors provide the second tier of protection. They can be installed throughout the house, wherever there are openings, such as doors and windows, and in key strategic places that the intruder can enter. They can be set and controlled so as to enable the homeowner and family members to walk freely in the house even when the system is armed.

This second tier of protection is very important since residents can distinguish between Tier 1 and Tier 2 alarms. If the intruder is outside the house, the threat needs to be treated in one way; and if the intruder is detected by one of the Tier 2 detectors, the residents know to be aware of imminent danger, and to move quickly to the safest area while alerting the authorities.

Tier 3 – Safe alarm

Many homes have a safe in which important papers, jewellery, cash money and other objects of value are kept. Often the safe is the primary goal of an intruder, so it is important to add an additional layer of protection – a safe alarm. This provides a third tier of protection for the home, making it even more likely that a burglary will be thwarted and the intruder apprehended.

Tier 4 – Personal emergency response

In the event of an emergency, people can be reassured that help is literally only a button-click away. These small, wearable devices enable any child or adult to press a button and immediately alert the armed response or other security services.

Tier 5 – Personal and home safety

In addition to the threats posed by an intruder, people and property are subject to other dangers in the home, such as fires, gas and carbon monoxide (CO) leaks, and floods. Some of these can even be triggered with malicious intent, making effective detection and response crucial to home and personal safety. The fifth tier of protection is a range of safety detectors, which can activate an alarm for smoke, flood or gas leaks.

Regardless of how many tiers there are, the entire home security system, including all components, needs to perform with absolute reliability. Detection must be accurate, false alarms minimal, anti-tampering needs to be built-in, and installers and residents need to be able to use all devices easily and correctly.

For more information contact Visonic, +972-3-6456751,,

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