In the United States, there are over 2 million burglaries a year, each accounting for an average loss of $2, 119 — an unexpected cost that can be hard to swallow. While a home security system won’t guarantee that your home isn’t part of that statistic, it can deter would-be thieves and decrease the amount stolen should a break-in occur. Plus a security systems can include detection for hazards like fire and water leaks, add home automation features like controlling light or heating, and even tell you who comes and goes. Many modern systems can also send emails or alerts directly to your smartphone, so you know what’s happening in your home immediately.
Unfortunately, buying a home security system can be complicated, confusing, and, with hard sales pitches, high stress. Let’s take a look at just what home security systems have to offer — and whether it makes sense for you to invest in one.
How does a home security system protect my home?
There are many different ways you can configure a home security system to suit your own needs. Systems may be professionally installed and monitored or DIY solutions that you set up yourself and monitor via smartphone — or just about anything in between. However, all systems have the same basic goal: to monitor your property in order to deter thieves.
Having a security company sign outside your door or a sticker in your window can make would-be thieves think twice about whether they should try to break in — and if thieves do enter your home to be greeted by an alarm or the sight of security cameras, they may run instead of taking the time to root through your valuables. For thieves that stick around, monitored systems can notify the police.
In addition to deterring theft, many security systems can detect hazards like fire, water leaks, and carbon monoxide leaks — notifying you or appropriate emergency personnel before too much damage is done. If you’ve had property damage due to such things in the past, you know how important a quick response time is for protecting both life and property — and an automatic monitoring system will usually be the first to notice something amiss.
What does a home security system include?
Systems may include sensors on doors and windows to detect when they’ve been opened, glass break sensors, motion sensors, security cameras, audible or visible alarms, and potentially detection for other hazardous situations, like fire or carbon monoxide. Typically, these devices work together and are controlled either by a control panel in the house or via your computer or smartphone. A system may need professional installation that includes running wires to various components or it may be a simple, out of the box setup, with devices communicating wirelessly — a wireless system, which is easy to install and uninstall, can be ideal for renters or those who plan on moving soon because you can take the system with you.