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Upgrading your ageing security system

How long can you expect your security system to last, and when should you call in the experts to repair or replace it?

Security systems components will age and suffer from wear and tear – like all electronics do. If your laptop or television breaks down, it may be inconvenient, but a breakdown in your safety due to your security system affects your safety, so it needs to be totally reliable.

The expected lifespan for consumer electronics is four to five years. However, according to Fidelity-ADT, many homeowners keep their alarm systems for around seven years.

Fidelity-ADT suggests maintaining – and, if necessary, repairing – peripheral devices like passive infrared detectors or outdoor beams for the first four to five years and then considering an upgrade. This results in improved reliability and will enable new features to be incorporated as technology improves.

Most devices come with a one-year warranty, during which time repairs or replacements are carried out at no cost to the homeowner. Generally, faulty components will be replaced rather than being repaired, as the cost of shipping products for repair is higher than the cost of replacement.

New home

If you have recently moved into a home with an installed security system, you should have it checked by a professional security firm to establish the age and effectiveness.

If the alarm system is old and was installed years ago, you may be experiencing faults which cause it not to work properly. It’s possible that the sensors aren’t functioning or the system is not activating as it should.

Ask a security professional to perform a maintenance check to see what’s really happening and if it’s still providing good coverage throughout your property. If there are any faults, they may be able to change parts. If the system is outdated – or possibly discontinued – or there is no support available, it is best to replace the entire system.

New technology

Technology is constantly advancing, and home alarm systems have become a lot more sophisticated in the past few years. Instead of only activating the alarm whenever you leave home, you can now set defined areas which will allow you to monitor designated areas while still in your home. A popular option is to activate sensors on lower floors at night so that you can be alerted if anyone enters your home while you are asleep.

Smart alarm systems have also become must-haves for home security. They allow remote control over your system from mobile apps that you can access from anywhere in the world and which send you instant alerts if your alarm is triggered.

Modern alarm systems have also become more affordable and accessible, enabling you to upgrade to a system that better suits your needs.

Considering costs

An alarm system is only effective if it is reliable. When deciding on the cost of upgrading your security system, you need to weigh up the cost of repairs or replacements and how long the repair will last compared to a new part.

Always keep in mind that the safety of your family is what you are investing in.

Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer

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