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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In-house Services

Several types of security and surveillance services are available to residential users that have been previously used only in larger commercial business systems. Smaller, scaled-down types of home video surveillance and monitoring systems provide an economical option for homeowners. Two types of systems that provide internal services to residential users are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Video Surveillance and Monitoring Services

Video surveillance and monitoring is a type of service that allows viewing of selected areas on the exterior and interior of the home to be made available to the residents. Identification of visitors can be verified using video cameras and monitors before opening a gate or front door.

Interior video surveillance and monitoring cameras can be used to observe infants in a nursery or small children in a playroom area. Hidden cameras can be linked to a VHS recorder to record the identity of any intruder who might have eluded the security system sensors.

Alarm Types

Alarm sounders not only attract the attention of others outside the home, but also create a sufficiently high level of sound to discourage an intruder. Various types of sirens, horns, buzzers, klaxons, and bells are used to attract attention when an alarm condition is activated. Different types have varying levels of volume for various locations. Older alarm systems used bells typically mounted on an outside wall. Today bells are rarely used except in commercial buildings for fire alarms. They have been replaced in home security systems by solid-state electronic sirens, such as those shown in Figure 3.10. These sirens provide a higher level of sound output as well as a variety of tones and sound pitch.

Figure 3.10Figure 3.10 Electronic siren.


Interior sounders installed in concealed areas in the home operating at maximum sound levels are designed to frighten an intruder into making a fast exit because the sound masks any opportunity to hear an outside approaching police siren. Interior sirens are available from several vendors that operate at sound levels in the 110dB–120dB range, which is near the threshold of pain.

Smoke Alarms

A smoke alarm is designed to alert the residents of a home that a fire is either in progress or in the initial stage.

Smoke alarms have built-in sounders designed to awaken the occupants of a home and alert them of the danger. Many areas now have building codes that require all smoke alarms installed in the home to sound the alarm if any single unit is activated. Most smoke alarms have a test button that checks the sounder as well as verifies that the battery is operational.

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