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How Long Does It Really Take To Install A DIY Security System?

The traditional in-home technician installation of home security systems is becoming less and less popular as do it yourself security systems become more widely available. DIY security systems are quick and easy to install anddon’t require any drilling or wiring normally. Installing a basic wireless security system could take as little as 25-30 minutes, while systems with more sensors could take up to an hour or a little more. Either way, DIY security systems are not only reliable, they are cost effective and won’t require an intensive installation. Even better, you can move the system to a new home if needed.

Today we’ll look at the steps to installing a DIY security system and how long each typically takes. This should give you a good idea of what a DIY security system installation will entail and how much time you should allot to the process. For this we’re going to assume a customer has a little more than a “basic” system. So we’ll assume you have the following sensors:

  • Control Panel (x1)
  • Door/Window Sensors (x4)
  • Motion Sensors (x3)
  • Glass Break Sensors (x2)
  • Smoke/Heat Sensors(x1)
  • Light Modules (x2)
  • Indoor Wireless Security Camera (x1)

Step One: Purchase Your DIY Security System

Of course, before you can install the security system you must purchase it! There are several great out there today, including , , and .

Many of these companies offer overnight shipping (usually cost extra) so you can have the system the very next day if needed. The standard (free) shipping time runs about 2-5 days depending on where you live and which company you purchase from. All in all you should have your system in hand within a few days unless you choose an expedited shipping option.

Step Two: Install The Control Panel

Installing the Control Panel is the first step to completing the DIY security system installation. This usually entails plugging the Control Panel into a power outlet, preferably one that is not controlled by a switch. You wouldn’t want to accidentally switch off your security system! The Control Panel will sit nicely on a tabletop or counter. If you want to mount your Control Panel on the wall all you’ll need is a screwdriver and about 5 extra minutes to mount the bracket to the wall and place the Control Panel on the bracket.

Step Three: Place Your Security System Sensors

The next step to completing the DIY security system installation is to place your sensors around the home. Each sensor should have adhesive already attached for easy “peel & place”. Place the sensors on your doors, walls, ceiling, etc as instructed for the directions given by the security company.

Step Four: Set Up Wireless Security Camera

Setting up a wireless security camera is pretty simple as well. You will need access to a computer in the home and know your router’s password. For most cameras you will need to plug the camera into either the computer or router before it becomes fully “wireless”, this is so the camera can recognize your wireless settings andrun an install on your computer. Once you’ve gone through the set-up (company will provide step-by-step instructions) you can place your camera where you’d like it to go.

Step Five: Call Security Company To Activate

The final step to completing the DIY security system install is to call the company to have them activate your system. They’ll usually “test” each sensor with you to make sure everything is working correctly and will then fully activate your security system so it’s ready for regular use.

Are You Susceptible To A Home Invasion?

Home invasions and burglaries are an all too familiar occurrence for many families around the country. While many people feel relatively safe in their communities a home invasion can occur at any time, and has become more prevalent in recent years. Many people are unaware of the risk of a break-in and how to prevent one. Today we’ll share some common burglary statistics and show you how a home security system can greatly alter the likelihood of having your home invaded.

Here are a few startling statistics about home invasions and robberies for the year 2012.

There were over 2M home invasions, and over 300,000 burglaries as a result
Almost 2/3 of home invasions have forced entry into the home
On average, burglars spend about 60 seconds inside the home
Homes without a home security system installed a 3 times more likely to be burglarized
These are some pretty heavy stats. It only takes a minute (literally!) for a burglar to break-in and turn your life upside down. Now for some statistics that should put us at ease.

3 out 4 uncompleted intrusions are credited to a home security system
Homes with a security system installed have a significantly lesser chance of being burglarized
9 out of 10 convicted burglars state they avoided homes with a home security system installed
Homes located in plain view without a lot of shrubbery are less likely to be burglarized
As you can see, installing a home security system has its advantages. Of course, home security systems can do much more than just protect your home. They can also save you money on your energy bills, and allow you to control home appliances and your security system from anywhere using a smartphone or computer.

Inclosing, we always advocate for installing a home security system, and these statistics only reinforce that sentiment. If you want your home to be fully protected and prevent burglary, installing a home security system is the most effective method.

The Basics Of Home Automation

Home automation is a fast growing trend among homeowners and home security companies. Home automation allows you to install devices that can control your appliances. Home automation not only helps you better control your home appliances, but become more energy efficient as well. Home management doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to install. In fact, many DIY security companies offer DIY home automation devices as well. Below are some of the ways you can best use home automation to better manage your home and energy usage:


Home Automation Lights

Lights are the most frequently automated appliance in the home. By now, most homeowners have experienced an automated light in one way or another. This may include motion lights, or remote controlled lighting. When combining home automation with a home security system you can control all of your lights online orusing a smartphone, whether you’re home or not. You can also have lights react based on your security system settings. For instance, when you disarm your system your foyer lights will come on.

Automating Thermostats

Another common way of automating the home is to automate a thermostat or HVAC system. By installing a “smart” thermostat you can easily manage the temperature in your home. You can automate time for the heat or AC to come on, or have it react to a security system settings such as arming or disarming. A Smart thermostat is a must have for vacation homes and primary residences.


Getting tired of using keys? You can install new “smart” door locks that you can control with a smartphone, keypad, or even your fingerprint. You can also integrate door locks with a home security system and other automation devices.


While A/V automation isless widely used and/or integrated with home security it is still an option for many homeowners. Automating or remotely controlling televisions, speakers, and the like can give a whole new entertainment experience to your home.

Home automation is a great way to become more energy efficient and to make life a little easier every day. Some of the best security companies are now offering home automation devices such as ADT, FrontPoint Security, Protect America, and Vivint. All of these companies have great home automation solutions that easily integrate with your home security system.

Hardwired cameras

Some hardwired security cameras have the same limitations as IP cameras that require an Ethernet connection. You’ll find they can be placed in fewer locations, and they may require additional setup and some tampering with your walls to get them installed. Once they’re in place, it’s difficult to move them, as you’ll need to go through the time-consuming installation process again.

However, many hardwired cameras also provide WiFi connectivity. This makes some of them more versatile and makes it easier to place them in more unconventional locations, so long as they’re within reach of an outlet or an extension cord.

Battery-powered cameras

Many smart home security cameras run off of battery power. Some cameras use replaceable batteries, while others utilize an internal battery that can be recharged. In either case, battery-powered cameras are the most flexible variety as you can place them anywhere. Many will also continue to record motion-activated events to an internal hard drive should the power go out, and can still communicate with your mobile phone via a Bluetooth connection, as well.

Most battery-powered cameras use internal, rechargeable batteries that can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months to a charge. They come with charging cables that allow you to recharge the device indoors. Some devices require changeable batteries. You’ll need to check manufacturer specifications for the type of batteries to be used in those cases. As someone who’s tested home security products for several years, I’ve seen everything from AA to D batteries required.

Considerations for DIY-Installed Security Systems

Professional Monitoring vs. Self-Monitoring
A big factor in your purchase—and the long-term cost of your system—is whether you want professional monitoring. With pro monitoring, a team of trained dispatchers will monitor your system 24/7 and alert the authorities, if necessary.

Self-monitoring means no monthly fees, but it also means that missing a notification on your smartphone can be the difference between being robbed and thwarting a potential burglar.

Many self-monitored systems offer optional professional monitoring, sometimes called on-demand monitoring. With these systems, you can sign up for professional monitoring indefinitely or temporarily, even for just one month.

A few DIY security systems require professional monitoring with a multi-year contract, but they are the minority. Other systems might offer optional multi-year contracts in exchange for lower monthly monitoring fees.

Additional Component Costs
Security system companies like to advertise that their systems start at just $200, $300, or $400. But the reality is that you could easily spend over $1,000 when you factor in the cost of the additional components you might want.

That base price usually only includes a handful of contact and motion sensors. One contact sensor for a DIY system, for example, could cost anywhere from $15 to $50. Depending on the model you choose, a security camera could cost anywhere from $75 to $350.

Provide Extra Protection for Valuables

With the right home security equipment and measures in place, you can effectively protect your valuables from burglars. Some security tips to consider include:

Smart Home Integrations
Many home security systems now double as smart home hubs, allowing you to automate and control connected locks, lights, thermostats, and more from a single app on your smartphone. And if you have other smart devices, the integrations can add convenience.

  • Lock valuables in a safe with a hard-to-guess code when not using them. For even greater protection, install image sensors near the safe to detect tampering.
  • Place surveillance cameras in rooms (e.g. the bedroom) where high-valued items, such as cash, jewelry or electronics, are stored.
  • Install an alarm system that connects directly to a monitored alarm center, which will trigger if someone enters your home.
  • Hide or bring valuable items with you when you are out of town for long periods.
  • Turn on tracking capabilities on electronic devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones) to locate them if stolen.
  • Shred receipts and hide packaging (e.g. TV boxes, jewelry store bags, etc.) before throwing away. Don’t advertise how much value is in your home.
  • Before going to bed or leaving your home, ensure all doors and windows are shut, secured and locked.
  • Utilize smart locks for increased control over who is entering your home. For example, receive notifications if a door is unlocked.