You’ve probably heard that to get a home security system right, you need to pay a professional installer. Salespeople who work for installers are convinced it’s the only way to go.

They’re only concerned with your well-being, of course!

Self-install is easy

Take their pitches with a grain of salt. If you’re comfortable setting up simple computer equipment, you can install your own wireless system and save money. An extra benefit is that you understand the system. Once you’ve installed it yourself, you can change it when you need to.

The New York Times praised the advantages of do-it-yourself installation back in 2010. Since then, it’s only gotten easier. You know your home better than any installer does. With the money you save, you can get a few extra components. You win all around.

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Step-by-step

The first step: RTFM. (Read the friendly manual.) Go through the instructions in the manual, CD, website, or whatever, and make sure you know how it works. (If there aren’t any instructions, or they look like machine-translated Chinese, send the whole thing back and look for a better system.) Take an inventory of the components. Generally the installation procedure will go like this:

  • Set up the base and console. They should be in a place that’s convenient for you, but where burglars won’t find it right away. If required, connect it to your Internet router or phone line. Get familiar with its operation.

  • Set a good PIN or password. It’s easy to remember “1234,” but a smart burglar will deactivate your system on the first try. Use a password that means something special to you and no one else.

  • Check that the components work before taking the trouble of mounting them.

  • Install the sensors. You should have one at each outside door, at least. You can put additional sensors on windows and closets. Many sensors have stick-on bases, so you don’t even need to drill holes.

  • Install cameras and other components. Position your cameras so they cover as much area as possible, especially entrances. Cameras generally need external power, so consider where you can plug them in. Keep everything out of the reach of pets and small children.

  • Test everything. Check that all components are within the base’s range. Be sure everyone in your household knows how to activate and deactivate the system. Treat it as if it’s live, so you develop habits that won’t turn in false alarms.

  • Go live. After you’ve gotten familiar with the system and worked out any issues, you can activate the monitoring service. (Your system has a monitoring service, right?)

  • Set a schedule for replacing batteries. Let your computer or phone remind you when it’s time.

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Safety and peace of mind

A monitored home security system pays for itself. As Consumers Advocate puts it:

The simple presence of a home security system has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of burglary by up to 60%. The resultant peace-of-mind, additionally, can be of incalculable benefit.

Want to find out more about monitored security for your home? Get in touch with Protect America today for a free quote.