Magazine article Sunset

Security Sampler

Magazine article Sunset

Security Sampler

Article excerpt


* The facts are frightening: in the United States a residential burglary occurs about every 12 seconds; nearly half of all burglaries are committed through unlocked doors and windows; burglars usually go straight to the master bedroom. What can you do? Take common sense precautions and look for security devices that fit your needs and budget. A dog can also offer some protection. Remember that, in the words of Los Angeles police officer Jim Cypert, "alarms make sense as long as there is someone to hear them and pay attention, whether it's a paid monitoring company or your neighbor."

According to experts, the optimal home security device is a perimeter defense with a monitoring system. The basic components of such a security system are a controller that can handle eight or more zones (such as a room, hallway, door, or window); sensors (magnetic sensors and motion detectors using passive infrared-or heat-detecting-and microwave technology); responders (a siren and an autodialer set to call a monitoring station, which then investigates the call and notifies the police); and a remote control for arming the system.

Larry Williams, officer in charge of alarms at the Los Angeles Police Commission Alarms Unit, notes, "The average 2,000-square-foot house will cost $1,000 to do a complete setup, exclusive of monitoring." Monitoring services typically run $20 to $30 a month. The system should be tested monthly, and everyone who'll be using it should be trained.

Here's a selection of home security products you can install yourself, representing the broad range of devices now on the market.

Package protection. With Magnavox's wireless HST403MS Home Security setup, users need only plug its components into electrical outlets and mount the sensors on doors and windows. No hardwiring is necessary. The system includes a central controller, two lamp units, a hand-held remote that can control as many as 16 zones, a light sensor, three door or window sensors, and a key-chain remote with a panic button. …

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