The goal with your home security system is safety, convenience and peace of mind. Questions that used to arise while away from home like, “Did I close the bedroom window?” or “Did I lock the back door?” have become a thing of the past.
But how do you know your security system is working? Here’s a checklist with everything you need to complete your simple, in-home maintenance for security systems.
Task No.1: Change the Batteries
The normal battery life for the control panel on a home security system is up to 3 years. Depending on how much you use your system, your current battery could be draining faster than you think. Play it safe and make it your first task as you go through your security system checklist.
Task No. 2: Test the In-Home Control Panel
Now that you have fully charged batteries in the control panel, it’s time to see if it works. You may already use your system regularly for temperature control and lights, but test your alarm system’s other features. Does the alarm work? Can I turn off a sensor if I’m cleaning a window?
This is also a perfect time to re-read the instructions for your security system so you’re well aware of your system’s capabilities.
Task No. 3: Make Sure You Know How to Use Your Smart Home Control
If you have smart home control and remote access, you can test your control panel from your couch. Go through the system thoroughly by adjusting the lights, thermostat and alarm system. Ensure the capabilities function and that you know how to use them all while you’re at home — before you need them while away from home.
Task No. 4: Check to See If the Cameras Are Rolling
Video surveillance systems have become more advanced with HD capability. They are a great way to not only turn away a potential burglar, but also to catch them in the act. Checking the camera footage while you go through your checklist is a smart way to ensure it’s being used properly.
Remotely monitored security cameras have been a massive innovation in the home security industry, but it’s no good if a camera has been disabled, vandalized or simply malfunctions. Make sure your security camera maintenance routine includes habitual checking of captured footage to ensure you’ll get what you need during an emergency.
Handle the Camera With Care
If you’re not comfortable moving the camera(s) yourself, teaming up with Westco will give you the option of having a professional come to your home to help optimize your cameras’ angles.
Task No. 5: Test All the Lights
You usually don’t change a light bulb in your living room until it goes out. If a bulb goes out in your security lights and an incident happens, the consequences can be harsher than just momentary darkness. Stay on top of your security lights by inspecting them between maintenance checks.
If you have motion sensor lights, check the location of the sensor. Things like rain or wind can obstruct the sensor’s range. Remove anything around the sensor that could become a potential blockade for the ultrasonic sound waves or infrared heat that triggers the alarm.
Task No. 6: Clean Your Security Equipment
The last step to ensure your cameras, monitors and sensors are working properly is to clean them regularly. Dust build-up in your home can be a silent disabler of your sensors. Make sure you wipe off any potential dust build-up on the devices before it has time to make an impact.
A microfiber cloth is the best material to use while cleaning the lens on your security cameras. Do not use any household cleaner like Windex to scrub the lens, as the wiping of the cloth could force the liquid inside the camera causing it to malfunction.
In the aftermath of any storm that involves high wind or precipitation, make sure you check your security lights and cameras. The high winds could have rotated a camera or changed the direction of the sensor on your motion detectors.
Task No. 7: Review Your Family Emergency Plan
Fortunately, Minnesota’s statewide property crime rate is slightly below the national average, but that doesn’t make you immune to a burglary.
Sit down for a family dinner and walk through your emergency family plan, including a security system maintenance checklist.
Where do you go if there’s a tornado or fire? What should you do if there’s a break-in? A discussion and review of these plans will prepare them for these dangers.
It can be a difficult conversation to have, but it could protect a loved one who is facing potential danger.
Task No. 8 (Optional): Call Your Provider
Your security system should be checked by a professional every year. That’s a lot of time for something to go wrong, so if you’re going through your security system checklist and something seems off, don’t hesitate to call your provider.
Performing this checklist once or twice a year (in addition to more frequent maintenance items like cleaning equipment and checking its positioning) will keep your system functioning properly and give your family peace of mind.
Still feeling insecure about your home security system? Contact the professionals at Westco to get an in-home visit from one of our installation experts.