Keeping Your Home and Family Safe and Secure

Some Terminology to Learn When Shopping for a Residential Security System

When you're ready to shop for a new residential alarm or security system, you may come across some terms and words that aren't familiar to you; it's good to understand these before making your choice, as you want to review all details of any potential system before having it installed. Note a few terms to learn when shopping for a residential security system and then you know you'll be making an informed decision about your choice.

Alarm event

This refers to anything that triggers the alarm; for some systems, it might mean an actual break-in, but other systems may be able to monitor the air quality of a home, note unexpected motion outside the home, and even monitor rising floodwaters. When an alarm system refers to alarm events, it is referring to everything it monitors, so be sure understand what these events are and you can then choose the system with the security features you need for your home.

Cellular alarm monitoring

Many alarm systems are connected to a call centre, and call centre representatives monitor the alarm or will receive a signal when the alarm is tripped. Cellular alarm monitoring means that this signal travels via cellular towers, rather than through a landline. This can be an added security feature, as the signal is not interrupted when a landline is cut or interrupted in any way.


A DVR is a digital video recorder; you may have one in your home for watching movies, but you may want a system that uses a second DVR to record the images received by the system's camera. Without a DVR, you may be able to watch the image from a monitor but won't have actual video of it to use later, if needed by law enforcement after a break-in or vandalism.

Geo services

Geo services refer to being able to set up zones outside your home to be monitored by the system. This can be helpful for those with a large property; you may not need to be alerted to movement at the very far end of the property if you know it's most likely only wildlife that would be in that area. However, you may want to be alerted to any movement around a garage or storage shed. For larger properties or to ensure the security of a garage, shed, barn, silo, guesthouse, and other such outbuildings, consider a system with geo services included.

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