Whether or Not to Install Home Security Systems
Are you thinking about installing a better security system for your home? Are you wondering about the safety of your family or belongings? We have six questions you should consider when making your decision whether or not to install a security system
What do you have of significant value that you would like to protect?
If you live alone with minimal possessions and feel confident of your ability to protect yourself, then your home security needs may be truly minimal. A good dead bolt may be sufficient.
However, if you have children or expensive valuables to protect, you may want to invest in a security system. We all agree that our children are priceless. That may be enough rational for you to proceed. However, you may also want to feel more secure yourself. Perhaps your spouse works late and you don't like being in the home alone at night. Keep all these factors in mind.
Do you live in a high-crime area?
Lets face it, some places are safer to live. Do you live in a neighbourhood where you have a higher chance of being a target, whether because of age or financial status? Is the area prone to crimes such as break and enter? These kinds of factors also increase your need for home security. You might even want to do some research into the level of crime in your area. The police station, local library, neighbors, and local real estate agents are all good potential sources of information. If you know more about your level of risk, you can make a better decision about the true need for a security system.
Is your house a target for a burglar?
Some types of houses are more likely to be targeted. If you are a ground-level apartment, you obviously have greater risk than unit's that are higher up and only have access off a central hallway. Houses with natural cover, such as thick bushes, plants and trees, give burglars a place to lurk. If your doors and windows are visibly aged, including cracked frames or glass, these may also attract burglars.
Another thing to consider: In households where both husband and wife are out until fairly late and their schedules are predictable, criminals may be able to determine the pattern of your time at home. Criminals who monitor areas can take note of schedules and even make daring daytime burglaries.
In the end, there is one primary question: Does your home invite or deter crime? Your answer will help you make a decision about whether you need a home security system.
Does your homeowner insurance carrier offer discounts for home security systems?
A security system could be a great way for you to save some money on your home insurance! In some cases, the discount could go a long way towards the cost of your system, if not completely defray all costs to you. Some security systems can now be monitored for as little as $10 a month. If your insurance company will give you a $10 discount per month for having the system, then the only cost to you will be the installation.
Keep in mind that the discount you receive will vary based on a number of factors. Also keep in mind that your security system doesn't even have to be something fancy. Some insurers will give you a 5 percent discount merely for installing dead bolts!
If you do decide to go with a more sophisticated home security system, complete with monitoring services, then you can expect a discount of up to 20 percent. However, you can always check with your insurer first, to find out what kinds of discounts are available for what kinds of security upgrades. Once you know what kinds of discounts, you can factor this into your decision.
Can you afford a high-priced system?
Prices for security systems will vary, largely upon how sophisticated the system is. In general, the more complex a system is, the more it is likely to cost you. High-tech monitored systems will be most expensive. Therefore, it's best to consider your needs carefully, in combination with any discounts and select your options accordingly.
If you don't have the need for security outside your home (because your valuables are largely inside), then don't spend the money on perimeter systems. These systems may include motion sensors and other technology which helps to keep your whole property protected. It can be the right choice if you have valuables in your shed or want to prevent vandalism to a pool. Otherwise, keep the costs down by protecting only what is most important.
Keep in mind that there are a multitude of options and a multitude of prices. Found the right system, but the price would keep you up at night? Shop around. As home security has become more and more important to homeowners of all kinds, the prices are also becoming more and more competitive.
Is there anything you can do to minimize the need for a home security system?
There are lots of things that you can do that don't involve installing the latest high-tech gadgets. These low tech solutions can also have you sleeping better at night, without the higher costs.
- Upgrade your home first. In addition to installing dead-bolt locks, replace old, cracked or hollow doors with doors made of metal or solid hard wood. This alone can deter a person looking for an easy entry.
- Peepholes ensure that you don't have to open your door to see whos on the other side. This can keep you safe from those who would simply push their way into your home.
- Sliding doors are a burglars dream. They can often be easily opened. Consider installing keyed locks to keep doors shut. Something as simple as a piece of wood cut to the right length can keep your door from being opened, even when locks malfunction. Or a Charlie bar.
- Install safety devices to prevent windows from being opened! (In some cases, this will also help with ensuring that your children are kept safely in the house until you let them outside). Replace old or cracked windows that might be more easily pried open.
- Remove cover from around your home! If there is a clear line of site from your yard on all sides to your home, you deter anyone who needs cover either to enter or exit.