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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Security Systems and Tips Category

Improvement Project:

How to install a wireless alarm system for your home.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Wireless home alarm system with all attachment accessories needed for the house (usually comes with screws)

  • Anchors

  • Screwdriver

  • Awl

  • Carpenter's level

  • Small straight edge/ruler

  • Power drill with the appropriate bit

  • Pencil

  • Other tools as per the alarm system manufacturer's instructions



One of the most dramatically effective ways of protecting your home from a burglary is through the installation of a home alarm system.  A good alarm system, along with the public posting of security signs exhibiting the presence of an alarm system in your house, can go a long way in not only protecting your home, but also getting a discount on your homeowner's insurance premium; an insurance discount is especially viable if the alarm system is actively monitored by a security system for a monthly fee, though such a monitoring service is not necessary for the effect of a burglary deterrent if you must do without such a service.  In this instance, the installation of a wireless home alarm system is discussed.

Caution: Of course, when dealing with sharp objects, such as a screwdriver, make sure you take precautions.

Installing a wireless home alarm system can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. Consult the alarm system manufacturer's instructions when first attempting to decide where the alarm system keypad control device will be in the house.  Ideally, the alarm system keypad control device should be kept out of view, near your entrance door (but control device still out of sight), and be heard and accessed relatively easy even at night.  If your entrance door is transparent in that it has panels of glass, keep the control device away from this door and out of sight.  Suffice it to say, the control device should also be away from clearly potential items that burglars might first lay their eyes on, such as a television set and appliances.

How an alarm system keypad control device is installed on a wall may differ slightly between one manufacturer and another.  In the case of using screw anchors to hang the control device, consider the following as may be applicable to your situation and permitted according to the alarm system manufacturer's instructions:  Using a tape measure, measure the distance that spans between the top screw hole and bottom screw hole of the backside of the control device, and then use this distance measurement to determine, and then actually puncture with an awl (if you have one), the holes--with such a measurement distance span--in the wall area of where the control device will be installed. (Depending on the type of control device, you may have more than two screw holes in the backside of such a device, and you should plan accordingly.)  (Should you find it necessary, using a straight edge or ruler, you can mark where the two holes will be in the wall with a pencil or awl, and then use a power drill with an appropriate bit to drill in such holes.  Watch out for existing wiring.  Use a carpenter's level as may be necessary to make sure the installation of the control device on the wall is level.)

  1. Place the backside of the alarm system keypad control device over and onto these screws so that the sticking-out screw heads lock into the device's backside holes, all so that the device becomes securely attached to the wall.  See the manufacturer's instructions for further information.

  2. Next, per the manufacturer's instructions, using the (other) screws usually provided with the alarm system, install all the sensor transmitters on all doors and windows of all levels of the house. As to the windows and doors, the following general installation pattern for each should be done:  The door frame or window frame should be attached with the sensor transmitter and the magnetic switch should be attached to either the door or sash/window that moves.  (Though, if this is not the case with your system, don't be alarmed, as some alarm system manufacturers use different mounting devices for sensors and corresponding switches; check with your manufacturer's instructions.)  Each sensor should be aligned with the corresponding magnetic switch, being about no more than a half an inch apart when either the door or window is shut.

  3. Then, attach shock sensors to windows and doors with glass panels, and have these shock sensors connected to their respective sensor transmitters so that potentially any shock impact created by a burglar can trigger the alarm system to initiate the sounding of its siren and alert neighbors, and, if applicable, a security monitoring staff to a possible house breach.  These shock sensors should be properly attached with the provided adhesives.  After applying the adhesives in connecting all shock sensors, in consulting the alarm system manufacturer's instructions, make sure the actual sensor transmitters are calibrated to the appropriate alarm setting.

  4. Add any extras, such as motion detectors inside the house (at hallways, etc.) and outside, per the alarm system manufacturer's instructions.

  5. Install the alarm system siren outside on part of the house that is not necessarily easily reachable for a burglar, but, at the same time, is at a location that still permits the siren to be heard by neighbors and others around the block.  Follow the alarm system manufacturer's instructions for this siren installation.

  1. Conduct any sort of digital setup of the alarm system keypad control device per the manufacturer's instructions.

Important note:  Test the alarm system initially after installation, and then regularly test it thereafter.  See the alarm system manufacturer's instructions for further information.

That's what it takes to install a wireless alarm system for your home.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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