Common home security equipment and features to choose from
We made a list of standard security system equipment most companies carry. Security providers tend to bundle devices differently, so it’s essential to keep your priorities in mind as you browse through product packages. Grab a pen and paper and make a list of what you’ll need.
What it does: Video doorbells record who stops by your front step and let you speak with them remotely through your smartphone.
What it’s good for: Use your doorbell camera to talk to the mailman, shoo away solicitors, welcome guests, and catch package thieves.
Learn more: Best Video Doorbell Cameras
What it does: Nanny cameras watch over nurseries, kids’ rooms, and caretakers.
What it’s good for: Use your nanny cam to catch up with the nanny or babysitter, help aging parents, and watch pets while you’re away.
Learn more: Best Nanny Cams
What it does: A spotlight or floodlight camera records video clips and lights up the surrounding area when it senses motion.
What it’s good for: Use a spotlight camera to catch intruders, stop curious animals, catch sneaky teenagers, and to light your path at night.
Learn more: Best Floodlight Cameras
What it does: Panic pendants provide a wearable shortcut to emergency services.
What it’s good for: Use a panic pendant to help people who are aging or have a disability in an emergency.
Learn more: What Is a Panic Pendant and How Does It Work?
What it does: Entry sensors tell you when a door or window opens.
What it’s good for: Use a door and window sensor to guard entrances and alert you when kids access off-limits rooms or cabinets.
Learn more: Best Door and Window Sensors
What it does: Glass break sensors can alert you to loud noises and broken glass.
What it’s good for: Use a glass break sensor to trigger an alarm for scaring off intruders who enter through broken windows.
Learn more: How Does a Glass Break Detector Work?
What it does: Motion sensors can alert you when they detect motion.
What it’s good for: Use a motion sensor (AKA motion detector) to help keep kids and large pets out of dangerous areas. They can also alert you to intruders in your home.
Learn more: The Beginner’s Guide to Motion Sensors
What it does: Smart home integrations allow your security system and smart home devices to team up for more convenient control options from a single app.
What it’s good for: Use smart home integration to add voice controls to your system and for creating custom automation routines to help your smart home security system run smoother. Some smart home devices include smart locks and smart doorbells.
Learn more: Best Smart Home Security Systems
Abode smart security systems are the only pick for Apple users because they are the only ones compatible with Apple Homekit.
What it does: Wireless monitoring uses radio signals to connect devices in your home, allowing the sensors to send alerts to the base station. This results in a push notification on your phone or a call to the monitoring center.
What it’s good for: Get a wireless security system to make installation easier, simplify moving to a new house, and for functionality during a power outage.
What it does: Two-way audio turns a device (either a control panel or security camera) into an intercom you can speak and listen through.
What it’s good for: Use two-way audio to check on the kids, get the dog off the couch, speak to visitors, catch intruders, and call for help with security systems like ADT.
Learn more: What is ADT’s 2-Way Voice and How Does It Work?
What it does: CO detectors activate an alarm when sensing carbon monoxide in your home.
What it’s good for: A carbon monoxide sensor can save lives and send alerts when you’re home and away.
Learn more: Best Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors
What it does: Flood sensors alert you of leaks and pooling water.
What it’s good for: Use a flood sensor to help prevent serious water damage and to catch issues with your plumbing and appliances.
Learn more: Best Water Leak Sensors
What it does: Freeze sensors alert you of severe drops in temperature.
What it’s good for: Use a freeze sensor to help prevent frozen pipes that can lead to serious plumbing issues.
Learn more: How to Protect Against Frozen Pipes in Your Home
What it does: Fire and smoke alarms can alert you to fire, smoke, and severe heat.
What it’s good for: Use a smoke detector to help prevent fires in your home.
Learn more: Best Smoke Detectors
What it does: Professional monitoring connects your security system to a professional call center that can contact emergency services for you.
What it’s good for: Professional monitoring is ideal for catching emergencies before they become disasters and providing a calm voice to guide you in a stressful situation.
Learn more: What Is Alarm Monitoring and How Does it Work?