Home Security Systems: More Than Just Having An Alarm In Place

It is understandable that you want to protect both your valuables and the security of your loved ones. Installing a home security system is a smart choice, but be prepared to encounter some confusion when choosing between the different types of home security systems. Rest assured, however, that whichever type you chose, you know that you’ve done the most to secure your home and family!

Security systems that protect a home have surely come a long way from locks and barred windows. Modern technology has made these devices surprisingly sophisticated. Luckily, this sophistication is not reflected too much in their price: affordable prices, in the range of a couple hundred dollars, made these devices relatively common in modern homes.

Some home security companies offer significant discounts just in order to get your business. For under hundred dollars a month, you can pay a home security company to have someone keep an eye on your home day and night. It is a very small price to pay for your peace of mind! In some cases, you can even get a free installation and free equipment when you sign up for a home monitoring service. Besides, just announcing the presence of a security company, protecting your home day and night, can act as a deterrent to a potential criminal threat!

Installing a home security system may actually save you money, because some insurance companies are willing to shave your premium if you have an electronic alarm system in place. Taking into account the average national premium, and how much an average electronic alarm system costs – the installation will pay for itself, just in insurance savings, in as little as three years.

There are two main types of security systems that protect your home: monitored alarm systems (video surveillance), and local area systems (so-called “bells only”). The latter are the more basic ones. These traditional unmonitored systems have various types of sensors placed in and around the house: for example, they can be hooked up to doors and windows. Some devices of this type will also include motion detectors. “Bells only” typically include the use of sound alarm that goes off when the device detects a perceived threat. This will alert you – or your neighbors, if you’re not at home – of any unauthorized entry, and the loud alarm will scare off the burglars. Some devices of this type will also transfer the information about location and the type of threat to the nearest police department.

Monitored home security systems are the most advanced, and therefore a pricier option. Monitored home security systems include video surveillance, where cameras are connected to a central monitoring system. They serve as video door phone, and for identification and access control, but they can also be used as crime deterrence: their presence signifies that your home will not be an easy target. Just the sight of a video camera is enough to scare away potential burglars! They know that they are more likely to be identified when breaking into a home with a video surveillance, and the video material can be used as an evidence against them. Some types of monitored systems can also sound alarms and alert the police. The company will call your house and ask for a password, and if there is no answer, or the wrong password is given over the phone, they will call the police. When used to protect apartment complexes, they include live monitoring and a trained security guard.

The most important consideration when choosing a security system to protect your home? Using it consistently, and in a manner it was meant to be used! Teach yourself, and each member of your household, how to correctly arm and disarm your home security system. Finally, display the signs that announce that your home is protected by a home security system – that alone will keep most burglars at bay! Having a home security system in place indeed means improved home security!

Make sure that you don’t become too complacent, though: a security system needs to be regularly maintained and used responsibly. Never reveal the code with deactivates your home security system to anyone. It is still a good idea to always lock your doors and windows when leaving home, and follow other basic home security measures.

Buying a Home Security System FAQ’s

How do I know what to buy?

Unless you’re comfortable taking all the responsibility for your family’s security and you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer, your best bet is to call a professional. Most security companies provide a no cost evaluation and will make appropriate recommendations for your home.

How expensive is a home security system?

Home security equipment costs can range from nothing upfront to well over $1,000. It depends on the features that you want and whether you are buying the equipment or leasing it along with a monitoring agreement. Some security companies will provide the basic equipment for free or a minimal fee when you sign a contract for their monitoring service but have additional charges for additional sensors and functionality. Comparison shopping for the specific features that you need can save you a bundle.

You can also buy a variety of home security equipment from home centers and electronics stores. There are single window/door alarms for as little as $10 or you can custom design a system to fit your needs. Just as using a security company, each window, door or other area of protection will generally cost more money.

Are there recurring costs for a home security system?

If you go for a monitored system, you’ll incur a monthly fee that will range from as little as $6 to well over $50 depending on the company and the options that you choose.

There are many companies in this business and they all offer a variety of plans. There are also differences in the reliability and type of monitoring from company to company. Monitoring plans are offered for basic burglary protection to live video from anywhere in the world and everything in between. The largest companies with great reputations tend to have the highest prices but generally offer the best overall service.

What do I need a monitoring service for?

Since most burglaries occur when your home is empty, your security system may not do any good without a monitoring service. A loud siren may scare off a burglar but you can bet that they’ll silence the alarm quickly if they do stick around. Some do-it-yourself systems are capable of dialing out, but beware as a telephone line won’t work after the burglar cuts it. Since most of the monitoring services use cell phone technology as the main or back-up communication method, you are protected even when your phone line is cut.

Do I have to sign a contract with a monitoring service?

Maybe; since there are so many different companies out there, they all have different terms and conditions. Generally speaking, the largest companies in the business as well as any company providing discounted or free equipment will require a contract. Three year terms are typical and I know at least one company that uses a five year contract. These are similar to cell-phone plans as they typically carry hefty penalties for an early cancellation.

If I invest in a security system, what happens if I move?

Most of the security systems installed today are easily moved. As hard wired systems are not cost effective to install, chances are you would get a wireless system that can easily move along with you. Some of the larger security companies have provisions for reinstallation upon moving built into their contracts. If you own the equipment, you can include it when selling your home as a security system does add value to a home for sale.

Can I get a security system if I rent my home?

Absolutely; in most cases the security company would require permission from your landlord prior to installation. I don’t know too many landlords who wouldn’t welcome the idea.

Do I lose my protection if there’s a power failure?

Any decent security system has a battery back-up that would power the system for hours, if not days. So when lights and other things that rely on electricity may not benefit your security during a power failure, you can have peace of mind with a security system.

Does a security company cover any losses from a break-in?

That would be a no. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers any losses beyond your deductible. The only exception to this is in the contracts of a few companies where a few hundred dollars may be payable if losses are a direct result of negligence on their part. This would usually cover your insurance deductible. The good news about insurance is that you’ll get a discount on your premium after a security system is installed!

Can a security system do more than guard my home from burglars?

Today’s security systems have matured to the point of home automation. Fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detection are very common and thermostat and lighting control are available in many systems. Communication technologies and the internet allow monitoring and complete home control from anywhere in the world.

Home Security Alarm System & Burglary Prevention – Why You Must Have Quality Burglar Alarm System

FIRST, DOES HOME SECURITY ALARM MONITORING SYSTEM PREVENT OR STOP HOME BURGLARY?

A recent study by a major New York-based online review organization on home security, sought to find the role and place of monitored alarm system in modern home security. And, in that regard, considering the very TOP PRIORITY that Americans place in home safety and the security of their homes, more especially in today’s desperate economy, the very PRIMARY question that the reviewers FIRST sought to find out, was simply this: is a good and dependable burglary alarm system (just assuming a consumer can find one) an effective tool that can deter and prevent home break-ins or burglaries?

It turned out, however, from the researchers’ findings, that the answer to that important question is YES, it is, and in a Huge Way…

In deed, many numerous investigations, studies and statistics, reviewed by the researchers, immediately show, empirically, that there’s a high degree of effectiveness for the use of a monitored electronic security system as a deterrent to home break-in and prevention tool to combat burglaries. Such data and studies include the following:

– A recent 2009 Rutgers University study by its School of Criminal Justice, using five years of data, the most comprehensive of its kind ever conducted, scientifically proved that burglars, by a margin of as much as 30 to 40 percent, tend to avoid homes with burglar alarm systems, as the study further found that “an installed burglar alarm makes a dwelling less attractive to the would-be and active intruders and protects the home without displacing burglars to nearby homes.”

– That, in deed, in an earlier study in 1994 that was based on interviews with burglars, “Burglars on the Job,” which had been published by Northeastern University Press, researchers had made a similar finding, and had concluded that, “Most offenders, though, wanted to avoid alarms altogether and, upon encountering such devices abandoned all thought of attacking the dwelling.”

– That, according to a Temple University study headed by Professor Simon Hakim, Director of the university’s Center for Competitive Government, a monitored alarm system makes a home three times less likely to be burglarized versus a home without an alarm. Businesses without alarm systems are 4.5 times more likely to be burglarized than the ones with electronic security system. And, finally, losses due to burglary average $400 less in residences without alarm security systems.

– That, according to confession made by the burglars, 9 out of 10 convicted burglars admitted that they would avoid making a burglary attempt altogether on a house that’s protected by an alarm system. (U.S. Department of Justice study, 1999).

– That, an effective home security system (but one from a reputable home security company) makes a home 3 times LESS LIKELY to be burglarized, according to a National Burglar and Fire Association study (2004). Additionally, however, the 2009 study by Rutgers University, first cited above, found that though having a residential burglary alarm system in a home does, in deed, decrease crime by as much as 30-40 percent, it does so, though, not just on the property only that has the alarm system, but in the ENTIRE surrounding area.

– That installation of electronic security products by Americans, and use of professional services (and the spending) on them, has been growing at an estimated 4.3 percent per year (STAT Resources, Inc., a Newton, Mass, full service market research
organization specialized in such matters).

– That 94 percent of home alarm owners are satisfied with their alarm systems (Prof. Simon Hakim’s study of Temple University).

– That 90 percent of the Police believe that alarms deter burglary attempts. (STAT Resources study).

– According to a Board Resolution passed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1994, alarm systems, providing, though, they are professionally installed and monitored, are useful instruments to deter crime and provide peace of mind for both residential users and business owners. (International Association of Chiefs of Police, Alexandria, Va.).

It’s Probably the Single Most Effective Solution to home burglary….

In point of fact, having a good monitored burglary alarm system is not only vital and effective as a burglary deterring tool. But, according to security experts, pound-for-pound, having a monitored home alarm security system, which they strongly emphasize MUST be a good and reliable brand, is perhaps the best and SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION that one could institute in having a home that scares away potential burglars and keeps them away from your home, and your family safety.

And why is that?

Because of it’s tremendous “deterrent effect” power or factor. Says Chris E. McGoey, an internationally acclaimed expert and probably one of the foremost authorities on home security management in America who often works with the media on home violence, crime and burglary prevention and is a frequent expert witness in court cases on such matters throughout America, who was consulted by study’s reviewers, among other sources, “alarm systems deter burglaries because they increase the potential and [provoke in the potential burglar the] fear of being caught and arrested by the police. The deterrent value comes from the alarm company lawn signs that are placed in the protected premises, and from the alarm decals on the windows. Home and apartment burglars will usually bypass a property with visible alarm signs and will go to another property that does not have such a sign.”

BOTTOM LINE:Overwhelmingly, by the overwhelming amount of data accumulated by the expert researchers of this New York investigative office, the almost conclusive finding of the researchers is that the mere fact of just having a good, professionally installed and monitored ELECTRONIC HOME SECURITY SYSTEM ALONE, DRASTICALLY REDUCES the possibility of having a BURGLARY in a home, and hugely DETERS BURGLARS from hitting a home. (Just as it does, as well, in respect to other important risk and
emergency situations).

KEY: THE MONITORED ELECTRONIC SECURITY SYSTEM MUST BE THE RIGHT ONE & QUALITY

ONE OTHER CRITICAL FINDING OF THESE RESEARCHERS, THOUGH IS THIS: That, what is probably of the most critical importance of all, however, is that you choose an electronic system that is of THE RIGHT brand from a quality company. Like any other industry, there are good brands and companies, and there are bad brands and companies.

In deed, according to this finding, as a homeowner or consumer if you choose the improper or wrong home security system, or, even worse than that, the wrong or unreliable company which provides or installs the system for you, you stand a serious chance of sustaining serious break ins, and even risk to life, that is just primarily attributable to that specific factor alone! And, further more, that you may, in stead, possibly find yourself in even worse shape than you were before you first went for the home security system.

So, for the homeowner interested in getting that GOOD home electronic home security system that you must have, how do you know or find it? This, in deed, is the critical task and test that confronts such a home owner. Choosing a home security and burglar alarm system, especially a high quality one that is the most proper and fitting type for you, and which will be unfailing and dependable, can be one of the toughest and most difficult things for any homeowner ever.

Why?

This is primarily due to the fact that there’s such a great multitude and wide variety of house security and alarm systems and security companies in the market. Just perusing local telephone directories or Internet searches, will quickly yield you a large number of home security companies in any one of the major cities, which can often be most confusing for almost all but the most expert of security eyes.

In fact, there are, by the same recent study, some moderate to major 2,500 to 3,400 outfits that present themselves as security companies or marketers of such items across America. And out of these, a consumer or home owner is supposed to pick out just ONE to secure his or her home or property. Furthermore, just as importantly, in trying to compare the various security systems to pick out the best and proper one for you, you must also be able to have a pretty good idea and understanding of exactly which types of important security features are offered by each option.

A 1997 market research report, for example, by STAT Resources, Inc., a Newton Mass full service market research organization, found there was an average of 13,100 businesses nationwide that were classified as “alarm installing entities.” (Dependable alarm installing entities).

Hence, the toughest part of all aspects for consumers in trying to get a home security system, is the consumer being able to pick out just ONE company out of such a huge number of different security systems, as well as the companies which sell them, each of which is hotly competing with the others to see which can out-do the other in making fabulous advertising claims about their own individual products — through a constant flood of advertisements on the Internet, by radio and TV, by newspapers and bill boards, etc. And each of whom, of course, will claim excellence and high quality for the brand they provide customers, and all of whom will say, of course, that their own particular brands of product (and the related services), is the very greatest and the very best quality! So, how the heck can the average person tell the good ones from the bad ones?

Best of the best home security system reviewed, scored, ranked & revealed

In short, the CENTRAL question for the average home owner, is: how do you know enough to know which ONE out of the several thousands of brands that exist today in home security system is any good, and which one is reliable and of the right pick quality? Consequently, the work of the independent researchers in this latest study, led them to devising a systematic program by which they assembled all the major home alarm systems from across America, and tested, evaluated, graded and ranked them to arrive at the best of the best home security system for consumers in the United States today.

It designates, through an objective, data-based, set of criteria and mathematical formula, the best of the best home security monitored electronic systems available among the whole global pack, and methodologically evaluates, scores, rates and ranks them to produce the Top Dozen Home Security Systems, and then the Top Number #1 Home Security System in the whole industry.