Many people have home security systems, but they are not utilizing the system’s full potential and functionalities. The good news is, there are simple things homeowners can do on a regular basis to maximize their system and avoid common mistakes.

1. Conduct a regular audit of your security needs

One of the most important steps you can take is to conduct a regular audit of your security needs. Your lifestyle and your household can change over the course of a year, and so can your security needs. The change could be as simple as a new family pet or something much more, such as a new baby, a major home renovation or an elderly family member joining the household.

2. Put your security system to the test

Evaluate your video surveillance system, motion detectors and outdoor lighting. Make sure the cameras can easily capture entryways. Review the quality of the video to make sure the resolution is optimized, as lighting changes throughout the year and can affect the quality of the video feed. Check out new smart home security systems that can alert you to issues before they happen. You may want to consider upgrading your system to incorporate these new technologies.

3. Update your passwords and passcodes

Protecting the security of your security system is crucial. Update passwords on a regular basis and make them more difficult to hack. Review those who have access to your home and update passcodes with your security company.

  • Delete anyone who should no longer have access to your home.
  • Add new household members.
  • Make sure everyone in your home has memorized the new passcodes.
  • Apprise your security company of any changes to your household.
  • Always provide temporary passcodes to anyone who may need access to your home while you are away, such as a baby sitter.

Most importantly, arm your security system every time you leave your home.

Consumers who are considering adding or upgrading a home security system should ask if the company is a member of the Electronic Security Association (ESA) and if its employees are trained by ESA’s National Training School (NTS).

ESA member companies whose security professionals are certified through NTS have completed extensive training in electronic security. ESA members are also expected to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.