The Ultimate Home Security Guide

Nothing can guarantee the safety of your home from burglars or vandals – a disheartening reflection of the state of the world. But there are things you can do to deter a crime from occurring on your property. On our website, you’ll find several home security tips from experts in the field.

There are so many different types of security systems out there today; some standard, some bordering on futuristic. You have to admit that the market for security systems is huge and complicated. So how do you decide which system is right for you? Without a personal consultation and a look at your house and locality, it would be pretty tough to advise you on that. However, this website will give you all the information you need about the hundreds of different kinds of security systems on the market today so you can decide for yourself. After all, as an educated consumer, you will make wiser purchases that not only meet your needs but also your budget.

Home Security Tips Quick Navigation

  • Home Security
  • CCTV
  • Security Cameras
  • Alarm Systems
  • Door Security
  • Fire Safety
  • Garden Security
  • Security Systems

Security professionals like cops, guards, developers of security systems and home security companies have often warned that the easier your home is to break into, the higher the probability that it will be broken into. So even if you cannot really afford a security system, you can take steps to make it difficult for an intruder to enter your home. In fact, statistics show that if it takes longer than two minutes for someone to a break in, it is very likely that he will abandon the attempt because the risk of detection is just too great. So at the very least, you can make those first couple of minutes a pain in the neck using the invaluable tips below and elsewhere throughout our website.

Before we get tucked into the tips below, they say a video is worth a 1000 words. Thus, here is a video to get you started on the basics. Take a quick look, we will still be here when you get back.

Increasing your home security is an investment not just in the safety of your home but also in the protection of your family and belongings, and in bringing you peace of mind.

Home Security

Home security is a term that involves multiple aspects. You cannot just install some fancy home security equipment and think that your work is done. In other words, there is no ONE answer to securing your home. Instead, the security of your home and family will depend on not just the wise use of the home security systems available in the market but a touch of common sense as well.

The first consideration is obviously the basic security of your home and neighborhood, minus any security tools. It is only by honestly assessing the current situation that you will be able to identify the weaknesses in your security. Do you have locks on all the entrances to your home? Are your windows secured with proper locks or do they just have flimsy latches? Is there a neighborhood watch? What are the statistics of crime in your area? Answering these questions will help you decide on the kind of system that is right for you.

One of the main ways of preventing entry to your home is to make it look like it’s difficult to break into. This can be accomplished by installing garden lights, motion sensors, fake or real CCTV cameras, and other wireless home security tools in plain sight. High walls and tough gates will further give the impression that your home is an impenetrable fortress. Not something the average opportunist burglar wants to mess with.

A reliable alarm system is a must in any home today. The alarm can be triggered by motion detection or if certain pre-set parameters are breached. It can also be connected to an offsite monitoring center that will call for help on your behalf. Today’s alarm systems are designed not only to detect intruders but also to detect the presence of smoke in case of a fire, harmful chemicals, and radiation.

In addition to all the above, you might consider getting a dog if you can afford its upkeep. Studies have shown that houses with guard dogs, especially large, ferocious-looking ones, are less likely to even be considered for a hit. In fact, it’s scarier than an alarm or a camera. At least with those two options, a burglar can try making a getaway. But a dog could very well bite a chunk right out of him!


CCTV cameras are fast catching on as a dependable and efficient tool for improved security. The cost of CCTV systems was prohibitive a few years ago. But rapidly developing technologies have made prices of CCTV drop considerably. The market is teeming with a range of systems that can serve every conceivable purpose.

While there are many sub-categories and technicalities of home video security, there are primarily two kinds of systems when it comes to CCTV security – hard-wired cameras and wireless systems. Each has its merits and drawbacks. There are affordable and hi-fi versions with both options. So eventually, it’s just a matter of preference and suitability.

Hard-wired systems have one major drawback. Installation is not a do-it-yourself option. The cameras have to be connected via cables to the central monitoring unit. The cables will either have to be hidden behind the walls, in which case you’re in for a major re-haul, or you can choose to leave them out in the open, in which case they will be an eyesore. But otherwise, hard-wired systems are very steady and able. If the area under surveillance is huge, then it would be in your best interests to go with a hard-wired system as it will give you better transmission and will be cost-effective as well.

If you want convenience, then wireless systems are your best bet. You can install it yourself right out of the box as long as you closely follow the instructions in the manual. No unsightly wires and no complicated setup. This plug-and-play approach is preferred by most customers. But all wireless systems are not compatible with each other. The CCTV software may not work when you upgrade your wireless system or switch to cameras outside the software brand.

You can install a CCTV camera anywhere on your property, not just in your house. It will give you a 24/7 view of the garden, back yard, garage, and sides of the house. The central unit will monitor and record all going-ons, and call either you or Emergency Services if suspicious activity is detected.

Security Cameras

When choosing security cameras for your home, the cost will be the least of your worries. You have to decide between hardwired and wireless, the location and positioning of the cameras, learn about lux ratings, CMOS, LOS, camera lenses, and a hundred other details that will be the difference between good security and great security. Before you choose a home security camera, you must first understand your requirements, what the market has to offer and then find a match.

Wireless security cameras are recommended for most homes. They are easy to set up, you can change the location as and when you please, and you can take them with you if you move. None of which is possible with hardwired cameras.

The cameras will record and save all video on the inbuilt memory card. If you do not want continuous footage, you can get cameras with motion sensors. Such cameras will only begin recording when they detect motion.

Worried about how the babysitter treats your kids when you’re out? Use hidden cameras to find out. Hidden security cameras, commonly known as nanny cams, are generally employed by concerned parents to keep an eye on the kids. But it can also be used to monitor a room or area for security purposes. They are very popular with consumers and you can find them today at any home security store.

If you cannot afford security camera systems, you can install fake cameras outside your home. Remember that if your home looks protected, it is less likely to be broken into. Dummy cameras look very like the real thing. In fact, some of them look so real that it’s hard to tell the difference even if you’re holding it in your hands.

Alarm Systems

Alarm systems for the home are a great way to increase not just the security of your home but also the safety of your family. There are hundreds of different types of home security alarm systems on the market with numerous applications.

Security alarm systems, as the name suggests, are mainly designed as crime deterrents or detectors. Burglars are terrified of noise as it attracts attention. So if you can have triggers set up on every entry point to your home, the alarm will go off when someone’s trying to get in. Usually, this is enough to scare away the intruder. But if you want to catch them in the act, then you can turn on the ‘silent alarm’ feature which will alert only you, or a central monitoring system that will, in turn, alert the police.

Alarms can work either on batteries or electricity. The battery-operated home security alarms have simple setup instructions that a child could follow. The ones that use electricity may require some hard-wiring depending on the model. Wireless alarm systems are the preferred choice as they are easy to install, use and maintain. If you rent or move around a lot, then it makes more sense to get a wireless alarm system so you can take it with you when you go.

Like most systems of security today, alarms too can be programmed to alert you directly when they go off. So if you are on holiday or spend most of your day away from home, you can receive the alert on your cell phone or laptop if something goes wrong at home.

There are simple alarm systems with limited applications, and then there are high-end home security alarms that offer a package deal. These systems combine the best of all safety and security tools. So they not only detect intruders or warn of a breach, they also detect the presence of smoke, carbon monoxide, and other harmful substances in the environment. Most alarm systems are quite affordable. So there’s no excuse to leave your home exposed to the whims of a criminal.

Door Security

It is natural to approach a door if you want to get into a place. The habit holds strong even with burglars. Their first instinct will be to try to gain entry to your home through the various doors. This includes your classy French windows, the practical sliding doors, and the ubiquitous garage doors. Statistics show that 80% of break-ins are attempted via the front door.

Doors have many potential weak spots. Some have flimsy hinges; others have shaky frames, while several others will have no security to speak of other than the usual single cylinder locks that an amateur could pick with his eyes closed. Your main challenge is identifying these weak spots. After that, taking remedial steps is easy.

Deadlocks can greatly increase your door security. It takes just a few minutes to install them. The two main types are cylinder deadlocks and tubular deadlocks. A cylinder deadlock is the minimum door security system you should have in place. Tubular deadlocks are a few notches above cylinder ones as you require a key to open them from inside and outside. Both these door security devices are simple to install and use, yet offer a decent level of protection.

For extra protection at night, you can make use of a door security bar. This is one of the simplest door security systems around, and yet highly effective in deterring and keeping out intruders. The bar is made of stainless steel; it has a u-shaped wedge on one end and a flat piece of steel on the other with rubber underneath. The wedge has to be tucked into your doorknob and the other end holds it firmly in place so that it cannot be manipulated. They come in various sizes and work great on all kinds of doors.

Your garage is another vulnerable point of entry to your home. Unfortunately, not many people realize this and they thus fail to boost their garage door security. There are many affordable garage security options right from garage locks to roller garage doors.

Fire Safety

Home fire safety is just as important as securing your home against burglars and intruders. You can have sophisticated CCTV cameras or wireless security equipment but they will be of no use if a fire breaks out because they are not designed for the purpose. So you should either install separate fire alarms or find a home security system that has an integrated component for detecting fire.

Fire is an unpredictable element that is very difficult to control. If snuffed out early on, there may be only minimal damage. But if undetected, it can spread at a rapid pace and leave unimaginable devastation in its wake. The idea is to not let it get to that point, which is why fire safety tools are so important.

Fire blankets and fire extinguishers are handy tools to have around the house. These are obviously not meant to put out big fires. But they are indispensable when it comes to quickly contain and extinguishing the small kitchen fire.

A fire alarm is crucial. Period. The type of alarm you install will depend mainly on your budget. You can get very affordable ones at any department store or you can visit a specialty alarm store for a more high-tech version of the basic design. Some alarms will directly connect to Emergency Services when they are set off – a great addition if you are away from home a lot.

Apart from installing working fire safety systems, you must also undergo fire safety training yourself so that you know what to do in case of an emergency. Check with your local fire department as they sometimes hold awareness programs and workshops on fire safety tips. If you have children, it is important that you impart some education on fire safety for kids.

Garden Security

Garden lighting is one of the most underestimated tools for deterring intruders. If you are serious about your overall home security, then make sure that you take steps to install efficient outdoor security lighting. Garden security is not about acquiring expensive security equipment.

Motion-sensitive security lighting is highly recommended by security experts. These are high beam lights that will come on when the sensors detect motion. You can even have a siren, bell or other warning sound accompany the lights if you wish. The combination of bright lights and loud noise will stop the intruder in his tracks and make him take to his heels.

Don’t leave your things lying around outside the house. Your brand new expensive barbecue or your kids’ high-end bikes are sure to attract the wrong kind of attention. So make sure you store your possessions out of sight. Also, make sure that there are no tall trees with wayward branches in your yard which can provide unwarranted access to the upper floors of your home. Similarly, try not to have bushes near the windows and doors. Although they give you privacy, they are also an excellent place for an intruder to hide.

Apart from security garden lighting though, a well-lit garden will also work wonders in keeping burglars away from your home. People with malicious intentions do not want to commit their crimes in a lit-up environment as they know they might be seen. This doesn’t mean that you should put up beacons or high-powered light bulbs. Just that the area surrounding your house should be visible to you or to passersby at night.

However, there may be certain areas of your property that are potential blind spots. These are the little nooks or natural architectural twists on the exterior of your home where the light from bulbs near the door or side of the house won’t reach. Such blind spots are potential hiding places for intruders. But this problem can be overcome with the use of lamp posts.

Security Systems

The home security system you install will depend on your preferences and constraints such as cost, size of the system, whether you want a perimeter or an interior system, whether you are comfortable with an elaborate or simple setup, etc. So it is only once you have decided on these factors that you will be able to make a decision. Otherwise, you will be swamped and overwhelmed by the barrage of security options available on the market today.

A perimeter home security system will alert you to the presence of an intruder when he is outside your home. The system will work off a network of door and window contacts. Once the system is activated, any contact with the door or window will set off the alarm. While this is a good way to keep someone from making any headway into your home, the cost can seem prohibitive depending on the size of your home and the number of doors and windows you have.

An interior system is just the opposite i.e. the alarm will go off when the intruder is in your home. Interior home security systems depend on motion detectors. This could be a drawback if you have pets who wander around at night. But modern motion detectors can be programmed to ignore motion below pre-set parameters.

Other factors to consider when installing security systems are the cost and the level of installation you are comfortable with. Hard-wired systems are cheaper, but you will have to pay a technician or electrician to install the system as it is too complicated to do this on your own. Wireless security systems are a little more expensive, but you can set them up yourself. Most people prefer to pay extra just for the convenience and ease of use offered by a wireless home security system.

The security system you choose can be very elaborate with the latest innovations monitoring your property, or it can be simple itself with a regular alarm system combined with stout locks and good lighting. Whatever you decide on, make sure that it is effective and offers plenty in the way of security.

Was That Enough Home Security Tips for Ya?

As you can see, there is a multitude of home security tips that you can implement no matter what your budget. But you have to know which one is right for you otherwise you will just be wasting your precious time, money and energy. The only way to understand what you want is to research. And we know that it is not possible to spend hours raking through dozens of websites; you never know which one to trust because there is so much conflicting information on the internet. You could visit a home security store and talk to a professional, but legwork takes time that most of us do not have.

The team at cool home security is dedicated to researching all the home security equipment out there so that it can bring you the latest in news, technology, and advice. We will give you the lowdown on everything from simple home security alarm systems to home video security. We also welcome any home security reviews from our readers, please see the video for more information.

You will get the 411 on the best and worst home security companies out there today all in one place. So once you decide on the type of system of security that will work best for you, you will know which brands are the most reliable and which ones are best avoided. Coolhomesecurity is your one-stop destination for all things related to the security of your home.