Home defense

Secondary warning system

Secondary warning system

Now we are going to discuss a different type of system. I am talking about a stand-alone system with no/ minimal wiring. I do not suggest removing your normal system but simply add this one. Separately of course. The reason for this is simple. When your system is deactivated by any means or triggered when you are home, you are going to need some way to figure out if it is indeed an intruder or just a false alarm (which happens more than you’d like).

A separate stand-alone system can confirm an intruder’s presence when it is activated in a pre-determined time frame in accordance with your main system. This does not have to be an expensive system. As long as it can run independently. For example, you might have 4 to 6 sensors outdoors and 2 or 3 indoors, when something triggers one of the sensors the alarm is activated, only now you are fast asleep and trying to recover from cuddling in your birthday suit, do you want to get up every 5 minutes to check outside only to find nothing? I didn’t think so.

Choosing a secondary system:

  1. As stated, this system should be a stand-alone system, separate from the main system. Take a look at the diagram in the previous post. Use this example to draw the diagram of your home again, remember to add your barriers and early warning system locations again before starting with the secondary system.
  2. Now you want to look at the entry points to your bedrooms. If you do have a burglar door installed in the passage, this will be the place to start. You want to know when someone is on the other side of that door. If not, then you want to know when someone is entering the passage. But be warned, if you have no burglar door installed to create time to activate an action plan, the intruders might be forced to react quickly. They will aim to silence the alarm and neutralize you as quickly as possible.
  3. Check for vulnerabilities. If you do have any windows or doors with no burglar bars, you want the secondary system connected to them or to be able to pick up if something comes through them. Even if your primary system is monitoring this space you still want the secondary as assurance. Remember the roof.
  4. Now follow the steps mentioned with the early warning system from step 5 to get the perfect system for your needs. Remember that these systems can easily be bought as a DIY system or improvised from any other devices you might have at home already.
  5. Finally, mount your secondary system’s home base right next to you or close enough to reach. Not the siren of course. The secondary system should not be accessible from outside your main bedroom or safe room. Except if you have a remote for the system of course. Carry the remote with you.
  6. Make sure you have a separate indicator to know when the system is active.

So now you installed window alarms on your windows or a cheap wireless infrared system at the most logical entry points in your home, and 5 to 15 minutes after you initially re-activated your main system one of these secondary alarms open fire with 60 plus decibels of pure irritation! Threat confirmed!!

This is just an example of course and you can choose whatever you like as your secondary system, as long as it is legal. Check before setting up those 12 gauge shells! So from here on forward it’s simple, the intruder is confirmed and you need to get your ass out of bed and attend to the problem, by activating your action plan, I hope!

How strong is your secondary warning system?

Home defense

Early warning system

Early warning system

Generally, an early warning system can be described as any type of alarm or apparatus that will be able to warn you of an intruder within a certain area. These systems can either be bought in full or on contract.

An early warning system can be anything from a normal alarm system, a DIY tripwire, or anything that can warn you that a possible intruder is approaching your home. With the keyword being “approach”. The reason for installing an early warning system can vary for each situation. But the main purpose I would like to encourage any client to use such a system is to warn you of any possible intruder to create as much time as possible to gather yourself and react to the situation. Every natural person will take a few seconds before actually thinking about reacting to any siren singing in their ears. It takes a while to sink in. It’s important to remember that an alarm system will never be a physical barrier. It will only scare off intruders. But it will be a valuable system when you are inside your home.

Choosing an early warning system:

Monitored alarm systems:

This type of alarm system is linked to a remote monitoring company that constantly monitors active on your system and when the system is triggered or a panic alarm is activated they will call you to find out if there is any problem and send a vehicle to assist or investigate why the alarm was triggered.

Unmonitored alarm systems:

These types of systems are exactly monitored alarm systems. Without the benefit of someone monitoring activities and sending a vehicle for assistance or to investigate why the alarm was triggered.

Wired alarms:

These type of systems are installed with live wiring from a control system to the sensors, they can be more costly with installation and much more of a hassle to install, but in the long run, can be more reliable and cost-effective if done properly.

Wireless alarms:

Just as the name suggests, these systems can be installed within a certain range from the control system without any necessary wiring. But the reliability factor comes into play when the batteries of certain detectors run flat, and not much of these systems are waterproof and those that are, can be very expensive. Constantly having to change batteries when you don’t have a rechargeable system can be an excessive expense in the long run. The great benefit of wireless systems is that they can constantly be moved or adjusted with ease to surprise possible intruders or previous unwanted visitors.

GSM/speech dialer Alarm:

A GSM/Speech dialer system can phone or message you when the alarm is triggered and some can be armed or disarmed from a mobile phone for convenience. These systems can be a cheaper alternative to monitored systems but without the benefit of reaction services. They are of course dependent on networks and available airtime or data.

DIY systems:

Here your shotgun shells rule the game, well if it is legal in your country, state or province anyway. A DIY system can be anything from tripwires linked to some tin cans to a pressure plate installed behind your barrier that triggers a flashing light or siren in your bedroom. The possibilities are endless, up to your imagination, and the law. There are incredible designs all over the web for DIY systems, and most of them can save your family at the cost of some scrap lying around in the garage.  Make sure your DIY system is lawful.

So deciding what to go with is a huge discussion all across the web. The biggest problem with this is that these systems turn out to be very expensive, at least so we think it has to be. The point I am trying to make is this. You don’t need a fancy system with 20 sensors and 2 notification panels that enable you to check in from 500km’s away. That’s not security, that’s luxury. And the compromise is too risky.

Choosing the right system:

  1. Plan, plan, plan. Please don’t run around for quotes from the next best company out there. You need to know what you need first. You don’t go out buying a luxury vehicle when in fact you need a mini-van. Some insurance companies might even have specific requirements when it comes to choosing the right one. And the right system can even increase the value of your property. Let’s look at this simple house plan below for starters:
  2. You need to determine exactly how many sensors and what type of sensors you need. Following the example above, draw a scale model of your home and then add your barriers and early warning system.
  3. Take some time to think about where the best place will be to place a sensor. Identify any weaknesses around your home where intruders can more easily gain access. If you use a sensor that works together with a separate sensor, you will need a direct line of sight between the two, but you do not want them too close to your first barrier. This may allow someone to jump over it. When you are looking at using an infrared sensor, make sure you can place them in conjunction with each other. Making sure they can overlap each other without leaving any gaps.
  4. Now decide on the complexity of your system. Do you want to be able to remotely control the system from work or while on vacation? Do you want it to be able to link to a security company? Do you want it to be wireless? Do you want it to be a permanent installation? All of these questions can greatly impact the price of your system and also the effectiveness.
  5. Now you are ready to go out and get those quotes. But now you know exactly what you want and need. Asking for more advice as you proceed will increase your understanding of all the different systems and their advantages.
  6. Check every detail of your installation contract and make sure you know what system you are buying.
  7. After installation, have each member of your family try to pass the system without detection. This creates a fun activity to teach your family about the system and can provide great insight into weaknesses in the system.
  8. Continuously upgrade your system as needed and add or change where necessary.


  • Study any installation or monitoring contract carefully.
  • Any company should give you proper training as part of the contract to ensure you know how the system operates.
  • Installations should always be neat and professional.
  • More than one remote is essential.
  • Reputability, warranty, guarantee, or money back assurance are better options (They have trust in their systems).
  • Add a strobe light to indicate that alarm has been triggered from outside.
  • Add an indicator light at your gate to be able to see when the system is activated.

How strong is your early warning system?

B1 = Barrier 1, E= Early warning system, B2= Barrier 2, S=Secondary warning system

Example 1