Upgrade Existing Home Security System: Everything You Need To Know
I think you’ll agree with me that in this modern era, just having a home security system isn’t enough. You need a whole lot more than that. In fact, from security cameras to keypads, there’s no end with these things.
And turns out that you can upgrade existing home security system without replacing it altogether!
If you’re interested in knowing more, consider this post your one-stop guide to solving all your queries.
We’re going to go through when you should upgrade your system and 4 ways to do so. Moreover, we’ll talk about some cool add-ons and all the benefits you’ll reap from these upgradations.
So without further ado, let’s hop right in.
Why Upgrade Your Home Security System?
Kids these days aren’t the only ones who are becoming tech-savvy. With the advancement in technology, you also have smarter burglars. But to combat that, you also have pretty advanced Home Security Systems.
You may be happy with the money you shelled years ago on your existing home security system. But here’s the truth. That old system may not do much when it comes to keeping burglars at bay.
A renovated home security system offers you so much more, such as monitoring your home when you’re away and giving you remote access. We could go on and on, but then this post would never finish.
Now since you’ve searched this up, you’re probably already looking at ways to upgrade your existing home security system.
But you may be in a dilemma as to when to upgrade your existing system and when to get a new one altogether. Read on to find out.
Upgrade The System vs. Replace The System: Which One Should You Do?
An old and damaged security system will not perform, no matter how much you spend on it. So you must know when to upgrade or replace your current system.
Now, this ultimately depends upon what you want from a security system and changes you’re looking to make.
Sometimes, you buy a home with an already existing security system. In this case, it’s wiser to try customizing and upgrading it rather than buying a new one—an existing basic system with limited features isn’t bad for starters. But with time, you may miss out on the good stuff.
You can call up your security company and ask whether they have any new plans that you can upgrade to. Upgrading your existing system can ultimately give you great results without breaking your bank.
You can even add on different components to your existing system, giving it a whole new makeover.
However, if you are unhappy with your current service, getting a new setup may be the easier route. Ask yourself whether it’s only because your neighbor’s system looks more flashy or there’s a legitimate reason.
Here are 3 pointers to make your decision easier!
1 of 3: The Lifetime of a Security System
If your existing alarm system at home has been used for 5 years or less, they’re good to go. If the features aren’t super outdated and the system isn’t prone to malfunction, you can quickly improve it.
On average, the estimated lifetime of a home security system is roughly 10 years.
If you keep using your existing alarm system for over 10 years, there’s a high chance that the alarm systems will not work correctly from time to time.
Moreover, your monitoring company will charge you extra for repairing your old surveillance equipment. On top of that, sometimes an old analog security system may not be compatible with new IP security cameras and smart home devices.
So if your existing system is more than 10 years old, you should look for a replacement unless the features can be upgraded.
2 of 3: Your Requirements Out Of A Home Security
When moving into a house with a pre-existing security system, it’s common to find multiple components that are missing, such as smoke detectors, door/window motion sensors, and sirens.
In short, there may be equipment that you have to add on according to your personal safety needs. We’ll cover this topic later.
So before you decide to upgrade or replace your existing security system, make sure that your current policy is compatible with these add-ons.
3 of 3: Monitored Home Security System Contracts
As we mentioned earlier, you may find out that your existing alarm security system is under a contract with a monitoring company.
Now, these contracts have some terms and conditions. Depending on how long you plan to stay in your current home, call your monitoring service provider, and find out all relevant information.
Here is a list of some questions you may ask:
- What are the services included in your existing contract?
- What is your total cost including activation and monthly fees to reactive your existing alarm system?
- What kind of warranty and after-sales services does your company provide?
When you have a clear picture of what you’re getting into, you practically eliminate the risk of getting locked into a contract that you’re unsatisfied with.
So ask questions and contemplate all possible options, before deciding on what’s best for you! This way, you can easily come to a decision between upgrading or replacing your security system.
4 Ways To Upgrade Existing Home Security System
If your existing home security system is functional and does its job properly, it’s pretty hard to validate purchasing a new system, right? After all, it never hurts to get a little thrifty.
But taking things in your own hand is not that easy! If you have little to no knowledge about security systems, it’s okay to feel intimidated.
To make your life easier, we brought you four upgrades that might be just the right solution for you.
1 of 4: Renew That Old Panel Board
Did you know? You can include many add-ons to your existing security systems without replacing the whole thing. As a matter of fact, you can simply switch out your control panel board for a newer model to give your system many more features.
For example, many old models out there can’t be controlled via smartphone. Upgrading the panel gives you the ability to control your home remotely, anytime, from anywhere.
Want to know the best part of upgrading your existing security control panels? Most old devices still work with new, upgraded boards.
If that ancient system that came along with your home is still functional, chances are that you can still make it from drab to fab!
2 of 4: Shift To Wireless Monitoring
Wireless monitoring is the most common and usually first upgrade that a large majority of people choose to make.
Almost all systems, even the super old ones, can be monitored wirelessly.
In the past, alarm systems used to be connected to telephone lines. When the alarm was tripped, the signal was sent via the phone line. The major downside? Burglars could cut your telephone lines before breaking and entering.
Good news! With the advancements in technology, security systems today (yes even the old ones) are monitored through signals sent via cell towers instead of phone lines.
The upgrade to wireless home monitoring takes an old system and really brings it into the 21st century by improving the technology and making the system even safer than ever.
3 of 4: Install A New Keypad
A new keypad may be just the thing you need for your existing home security system.
Gone are the days where the only option was a boring clunky keypad with a few buttons. Today, security companies offer modern touchscreen keypads that include many additional display features such as weather forecasts, time, date, and much more.
4 of 4: Switch To A Smart Home
By swapping out an old panel, moving to wireless monitoring, and putting up a new keypad, your system will look as good as new!
The previously mentioned upgrades combined can take a very old system and make it smart home compatible.
Now all that is left to do is add door locks, smart thermostats, and other smart home features to your newly updated system!
So remember, just because your home security system is old doesn’t mean it’s not salvageable!
What Upgrades Can You Add To Your System?
Now that we’ve talked about the four ways you can upgrade your existing system let’s take a look at what add-ons you can include in your menu.
By tweaking your system here and there, you can change its functionality completely! Read on to find more.
Upgrade 1 of 10: Give your Doors a Tech Upgrade
Think about it! Doors are like your first base of defense. 1 in 8 break-ins happens because the intruder somehow gets hold of a key or picks the lock!
So if you’re looking to secure your home, start with this. Simple locks can be easily picked, so go for the hi-tech ones. Want to know the best solution?
We suggest you go for a sturdy door with a solid framework. Moreover, go for an advanced deadbolt lock, which requires a smart code. This way, you reduce the possibility of break-ins to almost nil.
Of course, there can still be exceptions, such as someone knowing your SmartCode but it’s your safest bet.
Now you may be reluctant to invest in a smart lock. But here’s the thing. Most smart Locks today can be accessed through your phone. With a single click of a button, you can access loads of features!
You can lock and unlock your door, check your door’s status, and receive notifications whenever someone opens it. Sure, these options aren’t as cheap as your traditional lock, but it sure will help you sleep better.
To keep you extra safe, ensure that your lock is lock bump proof. This is one of the most common techniques of intruders.
Upgrade 2 of 10: Increase The Coverage Area Of Cameras
Walls have ears and hedges have eyes. Bring this saying to life by covering all the major areas of your home with a good surveillance camera kit.
Now if you already have cameras in your home, that’s great news. But ask yourself, are they positioned properly? Having a few scattered cameras here and there don’t really do much, since burglars could always take advantage of the blindspots.
Your best bet? Invest in a smart security camera system that comes with motion detection, alarms, and a recording mode. This will help you identify your burglar in case a break-in still happens.
Also, make sure that you have cameras covering every possible point of entry, such as front and back doors, your driveway, all the first-floor windows. Don’t forget your garage, as most intruders use an open garage to gain access to your home.
Connect all of the above-mentioned features to your smartphone and boom! You can now have a birds-eye view of what’s happening at your home, anytime and anywhere.
Upgrade 3 of 10: Install Wireless Shock Sensors As A Break-Ins Alert
Say your existing security system is pretty great. But the truth is, even the best home security systems have certain loopholes.
Say for instance you accidentally leave a window open, or one of your surveillance cameras stops working. This leaves an open point for any possible intruder to take advantage of.
For an extra blanket of protection, you can opt to install a wireless shock sensor system. This will detect any unauthorized opening and closing of windows, alongside any forced entries or breaking of glass.
If you’re thinking that such a system may be prone to false alarms, fret not. The sensitivity of these wireless shock sensors can be adjusted. Moreover, installation is super easy too. All you need is a supplied magnet and the shock sensor can be mounted to any surface of your home that you want.
Upgrade 4 of 10: Switch To a Wireless Siren
Did you know? A simple and functional siren is one of the best home security systems that you could have. Most burglars confess to abandoning their break-in attempt, once they realize that they’ve been detected.
Around a whopping 74% of unfinished attacks can be credited to a functional alarm system. These systems not only warn you of intruders but also fires. That sounds pretty awesome to me.
But wired sirens are a big no-no. Your uninvited friend may just cut the wires and smoothly break-in. To upgrade to a wireless siren system which practically takes no time to get installed. They’re also super handy and can be installed almost anywhere.
Upgrade 5 of 10: Alert Burglars That Your Home is Secured
Okay, now we’re getting dirty. Want to know the cheapest and yet most effective hack for keeping burglars at bay?
Paste a sticker that says your home is monitored 24/7. Place this somewhere visible to every passerby, so that everyone knows that your home is secured. Basically let the intruder know that your home isn’t worth the risk.
Around 90% of convicted burglars confessed that they would definitely avoid homes with alarm systems. So take advantage of this and fake it until you make it.
Even before you set up a fully functioning home security system, put up the sticker. It won’t hurt anyone but might be the reason that the intruder skips your home.
Upgrade 6 of 10: Invest In A Diversion Safe
Now, this is more of a hack than a security system upgrade. But it works nevertheless.
Go incognito and divert your intruders from your most valuable possessions. You can do this by creating an alternative storage space other than the common areas that a burglar would look at.
Mostly, burglars search for valuables in your bedroom. This is where a majority of people keep their important stuff. You can take advantage of this assumption and go incognito mode.
Invest in a diversion safe, which looks like normal household items such as a flower vase or candy jar.
If you talk about statistics, a burglar spends an average of 8 minutes searching through your belongings. He/she obviously won’t have time to search every nook and cranny.
So, hide your important belongings in these seemingly ordinary items and keep them safe.
Upgrade 7 of 10: Secure Your Driveway
Driveways are one of the most common points for any possible intruder to target. Most of the time, even the most secure homes have unprotected driveways. So, avoid making this rookie mistake.
To shoo away any burglars targeting your driveway, include a driveway patrol alarm to your existing security system. This will alert you when an intruder is coming up your highway and keep your home safe.
Upgrade 8 of 10: Decrease False Alarms To Increased Security
Amp up your home security even more by installing a wireless outdoor motion detector, apart from your existing current indoor one. Since an outdoor sensor is placed at often difficult to wire locations, this is your best bet.
False alarms will be a thing of the past since these motion detectors are immune to bright car headlights. Moreover, it can also distinguish small animals, which are responsible for most outdoor motion sensors to go off.
Wireless motion sensors are also loved due to its versatility and handiness, making it possible for you to mount them anywhere from a fence to a wall post.
So look no further when it comes to securing you’re outdoors from burglars.
Upgrade 9 of 10: Improve Camera’s View with Lighting
Aid your camera’s field of view with an illuminator lamp to clearly see if there’s an intruder hiding in the dark.
Have you ever looked at your video feed from your surveillance camera and wanted less dark spots, especially at night? Well, now you can improve your vision in those dark areas with the use of an illuminator lamp.
With this great add-on, you’ll have the best coverage even in low lighting both indoors and outdoors. No need to stress over those burglars lurking in the dark corners of your home now.
Upgrade 10 of 10: Keep a Backup Power Supply
We left the best for last. There’s a big possibility of crimes and break-ins to happen if your area faces a sudden power cut out. Even the best home security system is of no use without electricity.
So invest in the most valuable upgrade for your existing home security system: an additional supply of power voltage. This will ensure that your security system won’t shut down, the next time there’s a power shortage.
That’s almost all about the add-ons you can make to your existing system. We covered almost every possible item you can think of.So does that mean you must include all of them in your home security system? Absolutely not! Feel free to pick and choose what fits your security needs and budget.
Extra Benefits From An Upgraded Security System
Now we covered when to upgrade your system, all the ways you can upgrade your system, and 10 add-ons you can include to your existing system. By now, you must have a pretty clear idea about why this is such a worthy investment.
If you’re still not convinced, let’s take a final look at all the reasons you should upgrade your existing home security system: obvious and unobvious, so that you have a crystal clear idea on the whole topic before you go.
Get Additional Fire Protection With A Security System
While the most obvious reason for a security system is protecting your home from intruders, it may be surprising to know that most of these systems come with fire alarms, heat, and smoke detectors too!
A good home security system will provide an early warning system for smoke in the home as well as abnormal heat.
Heat detectors can be added to a home security system too. These bad boys can alert you beforehand if that fire is building up in your kitchen. Moreover, they even provide advanced notice of the smallest changes in heat.
This helps you to take the necessary precautions before the situation gets out of control.
Save Electricity with a Security System
The third benefit you get through a home security system is that it helps to manage electricity. You can easily monitor your home’s energy use with the help of an upgraded security system.
Do you find yourself leaving the home often without turning off the tv or light? Through a smart security system, you can have remote access to your home, which allows you to shut off the appliances no matter where you are.
You can also use this to turn on your heating and cooling devices just before you come home so that the temperature is just right. Doesn’t that make you feel fancy?
Lower Homeowners Insurance Premiums
When you own a home, homeowner’s insurance is a necessity. And that’s exactly why you must have security for the home.
A homeowner’s insurance cost may vary depending upon the coverage, payment options, location, insurance company, the type of home, and many more things.
A homeowner’s insurance policy is designed to cover losses or damages that may occur as a result of several types of devastating events.
When you buy a home for the first time, it’s common to not pay attention to the cost of home insurance policies.
But it’s important to keep in mind that most insurance companies provide a big discount to owners who have a home surveillance system installed.
Benefit 4 of 6: Protect Your Home From “Odorless” Gas
Another great advantage of a home security system is that it can protect you and your loved ones from gas leak threats. Carbon monoxide poisoning is no joke!
Carbon monoxide is a gas that’s both odorless and colorless, and it is found in combustion fumes. In your home, this poison can release through stoves, heating systems, and many other things.
Since this gas is practically undetected by the nose, most cases of poisoning happen without a clue of the people inside the home. In severe cases, carbon monoxide poisoning can even lead to death!
This dangerous situation can easily be avoided if you install a carbon monoxide detector to your home security system.
These detectors can detect high amounts of carbon monoxide in your home and warn you beforehand so that you can take the necessary precautions.
Benefit 5 of 6: Get Medical Assistance From Home
Many times, people we love suffer from some chronic condition that is potentially life-threatening. This may make you concerned about them.
Well, with a smart home security system, you can attach a medical alert feature that can alert you during an emergency.
Not just that, upon triggering these medical alerts, you can even plan on having an ambulance dispatch directly to your home. Imagine that!
Gain Peace of Mind
In short, the primary requirement of a home security system in almost all households is the same. Everybody seeks the peace of mind in being assured that they and their family are safe.
When you’re at home, you can sleep peacefully knowing that your home is protected from all sorts of threats. When you’re away vacationing, you can sip on your cocktail without worrying about your safe haven.
Go for that upgrade in your security system. This isn’t to just keep up with the latest tech in surveillance systems but to also protect your most valuable assets- your loved ones and your home.
Hope we gave you good reasons to upgrade existing home security system.
Before you go, did you know? Most break-ins occur between 10 am to 3 pm? Blame the movies for making us think robberies only happen at midnight!
That’s all from us. Do you have any queries? Tell us all about it in the comments below. Until then, stay safe!