Do I Need a Security System?

do you need home securityIf you are on the fence about whether you need the increased protection of a security system, consider this. According to the latest FBI crime statistics report, over 2.1 million burglaries occur a year. That’s four burglaries a minute at an average dollar loss of $2,119 for over $4.6 billion in total. Furthermore, 1 out of 3 homes with no security system will be hit, compared to 1 out of 250 that are protected. Keeping this in mind, consider the following questions to help decide if you should get a security system.

Questions to Ask

1. What Would You Do if You Were Burgled Today?

If someone broke into your house today and went through your possessions, how would it affect you? First of all you’ll be missing the items that were stolen, remember it’s an average of over $2000. That might include heirloom jewelry and mementos from friends, a computer or mobile device filled with important files or electronics like a TV or video game system. You might have noticed that many of these items hold special importance beyond their monetary value, gifts or jewelry may hold special sentimental value while other items may have important data that will be lost and irretrievable when stolen.

You might start to feel violated and vulnerable, like your own home isn’t the safe haven you thought it was before. This can translate to stress and trouble sleeping which leads to being irritable during the day and generally leads to unhappiness. Many people wait til AFTER they’ve been affected to look into security systems, once they realize just what an unpleasant experience it is. We encourage people to be proactive about it and at least look into the pros and cons and unseen benefits of an alarm system.

2. What is Stopping You From Getting a System?

There are many reasons people feel they don’t need to have a security system installed from simply never having considered it to believing they are already secure enough. We’ll go over some common reasons for not wanting a system.

  • Don’t Need It/Can’t Happen to Me – You might think that break ins are just a statistic, something that happens to other people and that you’re safe. Many people think this right up until the time when something does happen. As it turns out, statistics don’t differentiate between you and other people and neither will potential burglars.
  • I’ve Already Got Protection – Ask people how they protect their house and you may get a lot of answers. Two common ones are “My gun” and “My dog”. These answers, unfortunately, don’t cut it, here’s why. First of all, over 50% of break ins occur during the day, while most people are out of the house. A gun won’t be much help in this case and while your dog might be at home and may even attack intruders, most dogs aren’t a match for 1-2 adult males intent on breaking the law. Your dog may deter the criminals, they may bring a steak or your dog may end up seriously injured. Finally, today’s home security goes beyond just theft and includes emergency monitoring like fire, flood and carbon monoxide. These dangerous disasters can destroy your house, your possessions and even take your life and no amount of physical security will stop them, but a home security system can limit the danger significantly.
  • Costs Too Much – Another common complaint is that the costs are simply too high and a system is either not worth the cost, or out of your price range. This might be the case, which you must decide for yourself, but there are some hidden savings built in to a system that you might not know about. First is the home insurance discount, which can be up to 20%, this saving alone can put a serious dent in the price of an alarm. Secondly is savings on energy. Monitoring your energy from a smartphone when out of the house can save you big during those peak daylight hours. Lastly is something we’ve already talked about, the savings from being robbed. Depending on where you live, that alarm system cuts your chances of being robbed down significantly which saves you the losses from the theft (average of over $2000 remember).

 

Savings

Insurance                                             Energy                                           Theft Prevention

20% off your rates            15% off your energy bill                Average of $2000 per break in

3. Is Your House Vulnerable to Disasters like Fire, Freezing, Flooding or Carbon Monoxide leaks?

As we just mentioned, home security is about more than break ins and property theft, it is about protecting your home from danger – home security. The truth is, any home is vulnerable to fire and depending where you live and what types of appliances you have like a gas stove, water heater or furnace. These environmental conditions are all destructive and/or deadly and not to be trifled with. If a monitoring system prevents or alerts you quickly to even one occurrence of fire in your house, it is more than worth the cost.

If these questions haven’t gotten you thinking that a home security system might be a good investment, then maybe you don’t need a system to protect your home. If you still have any questions about why or why not to get an alarm system for your home, please contact us and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Next we’ll go on to talk about different types of home security systems, and later we’ll discuss security for other places, like your car or online protection.

Types of Home Security Systems

Not all security systems are the same and not all of them will fit your needs. You need to decide what you want and why before signing up for on installing any equipment, to make sure you get it right.

Monitored Home Security Systems

The most typical type of system that comes to mind in home security. A security company will install a system in your house, sometimes totally free, and you then pay a monthly fee to have the system monitored for break ins. Usually fire monitoring is included and other services like flood, freeze, CO and 2 way medical alert are available. Prices go up as you add more services.

These types of systems typically have addons include things like home automation, which gives you remote control access on your mobile device of temperature, lights/appliances and door locks, whether your doors and windows are open and video monitoring on your mobile devices. You can also arm and disarm the system remotely. Prices go up for these addons and also for extra equipment like extra glass break, door/window or motion sensors, electronic locks and usually extra cameras will be quite expensive, from $150 up. There are many factors to consider and many companies offering different packages, so it is recommended that you get a bit more information by reading our Best Home Alarm Systems Guide.

Home Security Camera Surveillance Systems

If you are less interested in having your house monitored and more interested in keeping an eye on things yourself you want a surveillance system, available for both indoors and outdoors with cameras to match. While surveillance services are offered by most home security companies, it is usually the most expensive option and if you are more interested in the surveillance than the other services it can be a lot cheaper to skip monitoring and just go with the cameras.

Note that there are many wired and wireless home security surveillance cameras available for DIY installation and professional companies who will work out a plan with you and do the install. For DIY installations there are a few things you are going to need to consider:

  1. Get Surveillance Cameras – You’ll need to decide what type of cameras you want (bullet, dome, ip, etc), if they are for indoor or outdoor use and if you will go with wired or wireless cameras.
  2. Do Installation – Indoor installation is generally much easier than outdoor but you should have a drill and screwdriver on hand. If you are installing wired cameras then things get much more tricky and you might want to consider a professional. Also keep in mind that where you install cameras matters. If someone can just walk up to a camera and reach up and pull it down or cover it, it won’t be effective.
  3. Set up Monitoring and Storage – You will next need to look into software to integrate with your cameras and a system to run that software on and store the footage. There are both free and paid software, but make sure that everything is compatible first. You will need a computer to run the software and an amount of storage depending on how much footage you’re taking and how much you want to save. Lastly you might want a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet to monitor your system on the go.

Check out this video for an example of a DIY home security surveillence camera setup

Tips to Staying Secure

Remember that a home security system goes a long way towards minimizing your risk, but it can’t do everything for you. Keep these tips in mind to keep yourself safe and sound.

Lock up valuables so they can not be snatched

Brush up your outdoor security by installing a fence, keeping bushes and other hiding places trimmed and installing adequate outdoor lights

Don’t ignore your system, you need to set and know how to use all the functions properly to get the most out of it

Have solid wood or metal doors with deadbolts and anti-break windows to minimize the chances of someone getting inside

Replace batteries in sensors when needed and test them, you should test at least once a week and change the batteries each year or when necessary. This is especially important for fire safety!

Still have questions? Contact us with them and be sure to read our guides too for more info.