What is a Home Monitoring System?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2019
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Home monitoring systems are security systems that make it possible to monitor activity within the home as well as what is happening at various points of entry and exit around the home. Some systems of this type are motion activated, triggering audio and video monitoring and logging of the activity. Other systems make use of sensors that log any type of movement taking place without any recording. Still others are specifically designed to allow remote access and monitoring to the home, or to allow for quick communications in the event there is some sort of emergency within the residence.

A good quality home monitoring system will often include all the elements of a basic security system, in that the equipment does include burglar alarms that can alert homeowners to unauthorized entry on a real time basis. In some cases, the system will simply alert the homeowner and identify the area where the entry took place while recording the time that the home was breached. Other systems include video capture of the breach, a tool that may come in handy in identifying the burglar at a later date. The most sophisticated video surveillance system will also include motion detectors that automatically follow the burglar as he or she moves from one room to another.


Some home security systems operate using household current, while others are configured as a wireless security system that remains fully functional if the supply of power to the home is interrupted. This can be especially important when there is a prolonged power outage, such as after a natural disaster of some type. The monitored security system continues to record activity and can even notify authorities if the home is entered without use of the proper code or other credentials to deactivate the system upon entry.

Not all forms of the home monitoring system are focused on preventing illegal entry. Some systems are designed as tools to monitor the welfare of people living within the residence. Known as an Activities of Daily Living, or ADL, home monitoring system, the equipment makes is possible to note when an elderly resident ceases to engage in activities that appear normal for the daily routine. This can make it possible for legal and medical authorities to note that something is amiss, and administer aid to the resident if necessary.

There are also versions of the home monitoring system that make it possible to check on the house while out of town. Using a combination of wireless technology and the Internet, homeowners can remotely conduct visual sweeps of the home, read activity logs, and even activate and deactivate the system when and as necessary. This feature makes it possible to enjoy a sense of security and being in control, even if the homeowner is thousands of miles away.

The cost for a home monitoring system will vary, based on the functions desired. Many systems of this type can be installed by the homeowner. However, the more sophisticated models normally require professional installation and programming. This is especially true if the system is to be networked with the home’s computers for remote access.



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