Installing an alarm system can cost you well under a could of hundred bucks, and it might well be the best investment you could make to keep you and your family safe. Most of these sorts of systems require you to do the wiring, but since they come with extensive documentation, installing them is fairly easy. The following are, in our opinion, the ones that give you the best bang for your buck!
Ademco / Honeywell Vista-10P
For the very best in all-purpose alarms, the Ademco / Honeywell Vista-10P is likely your best bet. The Ademco / Honeywell Vista-10P is a six zone control panel alarm that gives you the most feature laden alarm we have seen. It gives you keypads, sirens, motion detectors, glass break sensors, wireless controls, and fire alarm protection. The only catch is that you have to wire it yourself, but, it comes with extensive documentation and customer support. The Ademco / Honeywell Vista-10P comes with a system dialer which you can program to call an alarm center, friend, family member or a cell phone if the alarm is activated by an intruder. This sort of setup should cost you less than 200.- USD, and since it is portable, it is well worth it.
GE Interlogix Allegro
The GE Allegro is the lowest cost member of the GE Interlogix group of security alarm systems. Allegro gives you 20 zones of burglary and fire protection. It comes with a built-in keypad and siren that is capable of generating an 85 dB alarm. Some of its features are supervised hardwire zones, 20 sensors, supports crystal and SAW learn mode sensors. 4 user programmable access codes, IA or CID central station reporting formats, event buffer with time and date stamp, built-in radio receiver/transmitter, built-in siren capable of 85 dB @ 3 m, built-in panel keypad LCD display, and on-site or remote programming. This system usually retails for around 225.- USD.
Bosch Pet Aware Passive IR Wireless Motion Sensor
If you have pets, and need a security solution that calls for a motion detector, then the Bosch Pet Aware Passive IR Wireless Motion Sensor is the best bet! The RF-835E unit uses passive infrared and microwave signals to give you a two pronged protection that can detect pet movement and account for it. Its Motion Analyser II PIR signal processing makes it immune to false alarms which are triggered by pets, drafts, insects and other common causes. The unit's PIR signal processing uses extremely sensitive detectors to factor in changes in heat, cold, light and other disturbances. The pet sensitive detector can allot for a dog weighing up to 100 lbs. With the RF-835E, you can get coverage of an area of 35 square feet!