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Wireless home security systems use extremely loud sirens to alert anyone within ear shot that a house is being broken into. The noise is a great way to scare off intruders, but audio is always complimented by visual aids.
Some alarm systems can be programmed so that both interior lamps and outdoor security lights will flash in the event an alarm is triggered. The noise of a siren is one thing, but when you couple that with the flashing lights in the face of a burglar, they are not going to want to stay for very long.
The flashing lights will also help you avoid running into a burglar in the dark and putting yourself or family members in harm's way. If you do see the burglar, do not attempt to stop him or her. Let them go and wait for the police to arrive.
This home automation security function may not be available on every system, so ask the alarm company if you are interested. It may require an additional piece of equipment depending on the system you have in place.