How to Troubleshoot Home Security Systems

Home security systems are a necessity for homeowners these days. By protecting the home, they can also make the neighborhood a safer place. In fact, about 36 million households have security systems installed. However, issues can always crop up no matter how good your security measures are. Whether it’s a software or hardware problem, your devices may need troubleshooting. Calling a professional might be your first instinct, but it is also worth knowing what tools and tricks you can use to fix some of the components yourself. Here are some ways that you can troubleshoot your home security systems before having to call for expert help:

Types of Home Security Systems



To troubleshoot your home security system successfully, it is important to determine what type yours is. If you installed it and monitor everything yourself, then you have a DIY system. Professional home security systems can refer to either professional installation or professional monitoring and responses to alerts from call centers. There are also systems that are hardwired into your home’s existing electrical system, called wired systems. On the other hand, wireless security systems depend on a combination of batteries, Wi-Fi, or cellular connection to operate.

Smart security systems are popular these days, especially with the Internet of Things becoming the norm. This describes the blending of technology and hardware using the internet, being embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies to exchange data and operate devices. In contrast to smart systems, there are also local-only home security systems. These aren’t connected to the internet, and alarms are only heard if you’re near enough. However, you can still monitor the alarm through cellular or landline backups.

Common Troubleshooting for Home Security Systems



Smart or Electronic Lock

Electronic locks are a must-have for any home to ensure that no break-ins occur. A faulty electronic or smart lock may be due to a software problem or some sort of hardware failure. It may be possible that the high-density interconnect PCB component of the system may have broken down due to excessive amounts of sunlight or even microorganisms. Since these parts have higher layer counts with very small traces and vias, they should be able to support and connect electronic components if undamaged.

You can troubleshoot this first by checking if it is jammed in a certain direction. Using a screwdriver, unscrew and remove the backplate to reset the gears. Be careful not to disconnect the wiring inside as you do so. Remove the gears and axles and then use compressed air to clean the lock body and remove any dust or debris. Reassemble everything and see if the device’s parts will move more smoothly. For number pad locks, dismantle everything until you can see whether the spring-loaded pin in the latch mechanism has fallen out. Reindeer the pin if this is the case and put everything back together. Be sure to use the appropriate tools to dismantle these devices.

Security Camera

Security cameras or closed-circuit television (CCTV) devices can also run into issues, from a system network error, a power supply problem, an IP conflict, or even just a loose cable. Fortunately, these are fairly simple fixes that can be done on your own. First, it is essential that you know your login details to begin troubleshooting. Once that is secure, check the hardware; this includes the power source and cabling. Check whether the cameras work from inside or outside the network.

It also helps to check if it might be an IP conflict because it means that one of your devices, in this case, the security camera, is unable to communicate with the network. Update your software and firmware as necessary here before rebooting your security camera. You may also have to reset to factory settings to start the device from a clean slate if it is a software issue. If none of these troubleshooting steps have worked, then it may be time to call your service provider.

Motion Detector Lights

Motion detector lights are designed to light up when movement is detected in a specific area. It is important to have them adjusted the right way. Too sensitive, and they’ll light up too frequently. But if they aren’t sensitive enough, they may not come on when needed to prevent a threat. The first thing you should do to troubleshoot is to check your settings. Apart from how sensitive the lights are, you can also control how long they stay on. It is generally recommended that your lights stay on for at least a few minutes to ward off the threat.

Other troubleshooting measures don’t have to be difficult. You can switch the motion sensor light off for a minute or two before turning it back on. You can also replace the bulb or the sensor if needed. However, your motion detector lights may need a reset if they still aren’t working properly. If you’ve got faulty sensors, bad bulbs, electrical surges, or power outages, this might affect the functionality of your motion detector lights. Resetting the entire system can allow it to start with factory settings, which will usually work. If this still doesn’t solve the problem, calling a professional may be necessary.

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