Protection First and foremost, a home security system is designed to protect your property and the people there from burglaries, home invasions, fires and other environmental disasters such as broken pipes. Professional monitoring services do this, whether you are aware of the problem or not, and they can also help you in the event of a medical emergency. If a security system is a significant expense, the average cost of a burglary is $2,400 per victim, not to mention the psychological impact it can have.
Deterrence against burglars
Obvioussigns of an alarm system, such as stickers, garden panels and outdoor CCTV cameras, have been shown to deter a burglar, whose crime is often opportunism.
Peace of mind
With a home security system installed, you can get some peace of mind knowing that your home is protected, whether you’re away or sleeping soundly. With modern wireless security systems connected to the Internet, you can also check in on your system from anywhere in the world.
Convenience and energy savings
Modern residential security systems have home automation capabilities that offer convenience and energy savings, which helps justify the additional cost of a security system. Internet-connected lights and thermostats, combined with a security system, can adjust to save energy when the system is armed, while smart door locks and connected garage door openers provide a secure way to let friends and family into your home.
Reducing home insurance premiums
Many Home insurance companies offer a premium discount of 5% to 20% if you have installed a professionally monitored security system. The highest discounts generally apply to systems that include environmental monitoring to detect fires, smoke and water damage, in addition to monitoring intrusions. While this does not cover the cost of a professional system, it will help make it more affordable in the long run. In addition, if you have CCTV cameras, video footage can help you file insurance claims.
Are home security systems good for home protection and family safety?
The protection of the home and the safety of the family are the main objectives of a home security system. While this includes the detection of burglaries, a security system also detects a number of other threats, including smoke, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and water damage. Whether you’re self-monitoring or paying for professional supervision, you can find out if there’s a danger in your home, wherever you are. A professionally monitored safety system will call emergency services for you if a smoke or flood detector is activated, whether you are at home, away or asleep. It should be noted that you must purchase equipment from the security company in order to obtain professional monitoring of smoke and water sensors, which is not included in the standard packages and entails an additional cost.
Many wireless home security systems work with a smartphone app, a convenient way to keep an eye on your family and pets. For example, door sensors and motion sensors designed to alert you if someone sneaks around your property can also alert you when your child comes home from school or tell you if your elderly mother got up that morning.
What are the most important features of the home security system?
A home security system is not good if no one pays attention, which is why you should seriously consider professional supervision. While self-monitoring of your home’s security system is the cheapest option, it may not be the best option for family safety. Someone could break in when you’re away from home, or your smoke alarms might go off when you’re sleeping in a hotel, and you wouldn’t necessarily know.
Key features to look for include:
- Emergency battery to make the system work in the event of a power outage
- A cellular radio to communicate with the monitoring center so you don’t have Wi-Fi, which won’t work without power
- A wide selection of built-in communication protocols (such as Zigbee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) so you can extend your system if you want to move further in home automation
Although the basic equipment provided with a system consists of a hub, motion/contact sensors and a siren, for more complete security you will need to invest in additional equipment. More importantly, this includes environmental protection – smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and leak sensors to protect against pipe shards and water damage – and cameras. While you may be hesitant to install security cameras due to privacy issues, note that some municipalities require video verification of an alarm before sending emergency responders if there is no one on the property to confirm the threat. With built-in CCTV cameras, your alarm company can see an excerpt of the event and confirm to the dispatcher that help is needed.
One of the most useful features of wireless home security systems is that you can access them with the palm of your hand. All the systems we evaluated have a companion smartphone application that makes it easier than ever to arm, disarm, monitor and manage your home’s security system.
What are the less important features of the home security system?
With today’s wireless equipment, hiring a home security expert to set up your system is more of a luxury than a necessity, unless you have a particularly large home or complicated system. Installing motion, door and window sensors and connecting a base station to your Internet service are relatively simple. If you want to install smart door locks and thermostats, hiring a professional can be a good idea, but for a basic security system, you can easily do it yourself.
As for the smart home features touted by many security companies, don’t pay for something you won’t use. For the most part, most of the home automation capabilities built into security systems – such as turning on the lights before you go home – are more a matter of convenience than home protection. They may not be worth investing unless you know you will use them.
The same can be said for other amenities, such as remote controls and voice control using digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Disarming and arming your system with these features is convenient and easy, but not essential, and it can cost you more initially for the equipment. In addition, keyrings pose a security risk; If your car is stolen, a thief now has a way to turn off your alarm. Similarly, savvy burglars can use smart speakers to disable alarms once they enter a home.
Another popular feature for home security systems is the video doorbell. While they can improve security, these are expensive devices that often require wiring to be reliable and are not an easy DIY option compared to an outdoor camera positioned near your front door.