We don’t want to alarm you (sorry), but, according to the FBI, more than 2 million homes are burglarized in the United States every year. This means that someone is breaking into a home somewhere across the country about every 13 seconds. To avoid being the victim of a burglary, getting a home security system is your best option. We spent dozens of hours researching reviews and crime statistics and speaking with customers and law-enforcement officials; be sure to read our findings on the best home security system to protect you and your home. In addition to that extensive review, here’s a list of 10 things you should know before you buy a home security system. You’ll learn the basics and what to look for in a plan to protect your valuables and your family.
1. Asset protection devices protect valuables.
You can install devices that will alert you if your valuables have been tampered with. Asset protection devices let you know when, for example, a jewelry box has been opened, a painting has been moved, or a safe has been tampered with, even if there is no physical evidence. Asset protection devices are beneficial not only when it comes to theft but also for peace of mind. For example, if a repair person or house cleaner comes into your home while you are away, you will know whether they disturbed your valuable items. When thinking about asset protection devices, consider how many you will need.
2. Burglar alarms are not home security systems.
There are significant differences between a burglar alarm and a home security system; the latter provides additional benefits to help protect you and your family, and it may be a better investment. Before signing up with a company, you must know what you are getting, what is protected, and how the system works. A burglar alarm is the traditional type of alarm system that has sensors on doors and windows. It will alert you or law enforcement (depending on your settings) that an intruder has entered your home. This is highly beneficial — but a home security system can also warn you about environmental dangers, such as fire, carbon monoxide, and even flooding. When considering your home security system options, review the following companies to find exactly what you are looking for: SimpliSafe, ADT, Vivint, and Front Point.
3. Security systems operate even during power outages.
Many homeowners are concerned about how the home security system is powered. Suppose you are on vacation and get word that a storm in your neighborhood knocked out the electricity. Is your home security system still on? Is your home protected? Should you return home? Don’t be alarmed: No matter what type of course you have, it will continue to operate even when there is no power at your home. A traditional system powered by electricity is typically low voltage, which means it doesn’t take a lot of energy to run the system. These systems contain a large battery that will back up the course when the main power is out. Another option is a solar-powered security system. You can set this up to be only one component, such as an outdoor security camera, or your entire structure can be run on solar power. A solar-powered system is more costly, but if you are looking for a “green” solution that will provide security even when there is no electricity, this is the best option.
4. Size does matter.
Although some security companies may tell you there is only one security system for everyone, this is not true. Several types and sizes are available, each of which can be customized to fit your needs. Sure, doing so will cost more; but it will also provide you with a higher security level, as it will be explicitly designed to fit your home and your way of life. A small system might be exemplary for an apartment or small house. If you have a larger home, you’ll need a system that can handle a more significant amount of information and monitoring. A large home requires a plan that covers all the doors and windows and the grounds.
5. Home security systems are affordable.
Even if you are on a limited budget, you can have a home security system. You might want to consider a traditional burglar alarm system; this will give you sensors on your doors and windows and alert you to any intruders. While not as advanced as a home security system, it will provide adequate protection for your valuables and your family. Suppose your budget allows you to opt for a more extensive network. In that case, it is more advanced and has extra features. This can include fire alarms, carbon monoxide alerts, and intruder alerts and can provide you with immediate access to emergency personnel. A more advanced system can also include the use of asset protection devices.
6. The installation process varies.
The installation process of your home security system depends on what type you purchase. A traditional wired network will need to be installed by a professional and often requires some drilling (and holes in your walls) to connect the sensors to the central alarm system. On the other hand, a wireless network is much easier to install, as no drilling is required. In most cases, wireless systems are powered by a battery, although solar panels power some. The installation will also depend on the company you purchase it through; special equipment may be needed to connect you directly to the security company or emergency personnel. Ask what is required for the installation to prepare for the process (and the potential mess).
7. Many systems offer personal security.
Suppose you slipped while walking down the stairs and couldn’t get to a phone. How long would it take before someone came looking for you? Many home security systems are equipped with technology that can be beneficial in a medical emergency. In most instances, you can get a pendant or bracelet that allows you to immediately push a button to be put in contact with emergency personnel. When you purchase this type of service, help will be available to you 24 hours a day. This option is excellent for the elderly and those who live alone or don’t have neighbors close by.
8. Choose your provider carefully.
Now that you have determined the importance of a home security system and know what services are available, you will need to choose a service provider. First, consider how long the company has been in business. We recommend selecting a company with at least ten years of service, but that has updated modern equipment. This track record will give you not only customer feedback but also peace of mind. Second, consider the distance between you and the monitoring location. We recommend that you be no more than 250 miles away. The farther away you are from a monitoring location, the longer it can take for the alarm to relay, which could delay the amount of time it takes for someone to get to your home.
9. Additional services may not be worth it.
As you begin calling home security companies, you will be offered additional devices and services that can be added to increase your security. However, not all of the machines are worth the price you will have to pay. For instance, if you have no valuable paintings or jewelry, or other items that you want specifically protected, then you do not wish to pay for asset protection devices. On the other hand, if you have high-priced items in your home, then asset protection devices are worth investing in. Other high-tech devices you might find worth the cost are personal alarm systems, which provide you with immediate access to emergency personnel, as well as security cameras that can be linked to your smartphone. This allows you to monitor your home even while you are away; it is the way of the future.
10. There are other less-obvious benefits.
For instance, many homeowner’s insurance policies offer a reduction in premiums for those who have a home security system installed. Please speak with your insurance carrier to see whether it offers this discount and what is required of the course to receive the discount. More advanced home security systems can also provide you with an alert if one of your appliances is not working properly and could cause damage to your home. Furthermore, home security systems give guests, babysitters, and nannies peace of mind, knowing that they are safe and secure in your home. Before you purchase a home security system:
1. Do a little research.
2. Look at the differences in the types of techniques and some of the additional features to determine what you need.
3. Don’t spend money on unnecessary extras.
4. Find a provider that is within 250 miles for the best possible protection.
Finally, remember that everyone deserves to have their home, personal property, and family protected. Now all you need to do is get a home security system!
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