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The Evolution of Home Security Systems 

home security system

Your home is your haven. It protects your hard-earned material possessions, and the most important items of all: your loved ones. Keeping the items in your home safe is of the highest importance to homeowners which is why alarm systems are so popular. As consumer demands evolve, so will the technology associated with home security systems.

Let’s take a look at how that has already been the case in the history of home alarm technology.

The First Home Alarm System

It’s hard to believe that the sophisticated alarm systems of the present age got their start over 160 years ago when a man named Augustus Russell Pope from Boston patented the first electro-magnetic home alarm system. The design was simple by today’s standards but certainly the most advanced idea to ever be introduced to home alarm systems during the period. Pope’s prototype worked by using an electric circuit to vibrate and ring a brass bell. When a connected door or window was opened, the sudden flow of electricity triggered the bell-ringing, and it continued even after the door or window in question was closed. The patent was purchased by Edwin Holmes (a much more well-known name in home alarm systems) and the marketing of the device took on a widespread audience.  

Mass Adoption of Home Security Systems

The earliest security systems were generally only accessible to the wealthy, or to large companies that wanted to protect their inventory (think jewelry stores, banks, etc.). That all changed at the end of World War I when crime in the U.S. began to rise. More people were living closer together than ever before, leading to an increase of home invasions and theft. People wanted to protect what was theirs, and insurance companies started to offer financial discounts to people with home security systems. The method of protecting homes varied from pretty basic (a group of “door-shakers” who went around and checked to ensure the doors of homes were locked at night) to relatively sophisticated (battery-operated alarm systems connected to a bell). Everyone, it seemed, began to see the value in protecting their homes with an official security method.

Video Surveillance Debuts

The first home security systems simply alerted residents when someone was trying to enter. The noise made by the systems most certainly scared off most intruders, protecting the people inside but not giving them many answers as to who set off the alarm. That concept shifted as video surveillance for home security was introduced in the 1970s. The earliest versions of this included a camera that moved down a track and relayed low-quality images to the owners. Those images were transmitted back to a central viewing area that also contained a door lock and manual alarm activation options. While the images were helpful, they were not very high quality and there was only so much they could actually tell the viewers.

Today video surveillance systems are much improved, and also within the price range of the average consumer. Cameras are tiny (think one to two inches) and can be accessed remotely through computers, tablets and smartphones. When integrated with motion sensors, video surveillance systems can switch between rooms and locations and give a really precise view of what is happening in a home. You don’t even have to be at home, or in the central viewing location, to see what is going on at any given moment.

Today’s modern home security systems are sleek, sophisticated and easy to manage remotely. Built on the principles of the past century and a half, the technology found in contemporary home security systems is easy to use, affordable for average consumers and accessible from anywhere.  It will be interesting to see how home security evolves in the next century and what technology will be available to consumers.

What do you do to keep your home safe?

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