Home Security – How It Works

Home security systems are a mainstay in Houston residences. But many of us do not know how our home alarm works. You know that when someone breaks into your home, the security system calls your security company.

Unlike a movie or Houston’s recent ATM heists, it’s a rare event for thieves to crash through the walls of your home. A burglar access of choice is through a door or window. You know your security alarm will go off.

The components of your alarm – door/window contacts, motion detectors, glass break detectors, smoke/heat detectors – all contain electrical circuits. These circuits are broken by vibration, motion, or sensing heat or smoke. When the circuit is interrupted, the component will send a message to the systems control panel via wires or by radio signal if your system is wireless.

Home Security System Process After Alarm Activation

The signal arriving at the control panel contains information relating to which sensor has been triggered. When the signal is received, the control panel dials out. Dialing out can be done over an existing phone line or cellular. The control panel sends information to the monitoring center – the code for the emergency and your account number.

Home Security Monitoring Center Receives Information

The state-of-the-art computers at your alarm monitoring center receive the information sent by your control panel. The computers quickly identify the codes and translate the information.

  • Time and date the information was received
  • The type of home alarm code – burglar, smoke/heat, or medical
  • Your account number
  • Your name and phone number(s)
  • Your address and how to get there
  • Any additional people that have keys to your property
  • Special procedures to be followed
  • Responding authority names and phone numbers

Within seconds, all the information relevant to your emergency is sent to the monitoring center’s dispatchers.

Home Security Dispatchers Rapid Response

When the information is received by the dispatchers, they go into action. In an emergency, time is of the essence. A dispatcher immediately

  • Contacts you and/or the designated person having keys to your home.
  • Relays the information to the appropriate emergency responders – police, ambulance, and/or fire department. They will advise the emergency responders on the nature of the emergency and give them any specific procedures to follow.

When you are called by your security company’s dispatcher, be sure to remain calm. Have your home alarm codes – passcode, abort code, and password – ready to give the dispatcher. Make sure that you have the correct codes. At most Houston security companies, if you can’t be contacted or give an incorrect code, the dispatcher will initiate emergency response, even if you are trying to abort the call. In many municipalities, the city will charge you for responding to a false alarm.

The dispatchers don’t quit monitoring your situation after they’ve initiated emergency response. They remain in contact with emergency responders, only noting that your emergency has been closed when a satisfactory conclusion has been reached – the fire has been extinguished, the paramedics have checked you and administered aid or transported you to the hospital, and/or the police have arrived. Your well-being is what’s most important.

Safeguard Home Security, a locally-owned security company, protects Houston families with over 60 years of combined experience. If you have any questions about how your home security system works, give one of our highly trained security experts a call at 832-469-4054.