Now that you have the home of your dreams, your first thought may be how you should go about protecting it – and the most important things in it. The question of whether or not you need a home security system is one that can keep you awake at night. There are many things to consider before you jump into buying a home security system; you may decide that you need one yesterday, or it may turn out that you don’t need one at all.
How do you work through this important question? What factors should go into this decision? At Ernest Signature Custom Homes, we take your safety seriously, so we’re here to guide you through this process as painlessly as possible.
There are positives and negatives when it comes to owning a home security system, and for each family, they’ll each carry different weights. The first thing to take into account is the crime rate in your neighborhood. The lower it is overall, the less need you’ll have for a security system. Don’t forget, however, to take into account the crime rates of the cities and towns that are within a 50 mile radius of your home. It isn’t unusual for criminals to venture further afield if they feel they can be more successful outside of their home turf.
Most burglars, however, aren’t very sophisticated. They tend to take advantage of “easy scores”…such as homes that look unoccupied, or ones that leave doors or windows unlocked. They also prey on homes with weak or easily jarred locks and glass panes located near doorknobs. You may want to reduce the likelihood of becoming a statistic by ramping up your locks and being more vigilant about keeping them latched. You also need to review your safety habits. When you’re away, make sure you put your lights on timers and have someone pick up mail, newspapers or other delivered items at least every other day. Never post anything to social media that will indicate that you are out of town – wait until you’ve arrived safely home to post vacation photos or to describe your adventures.
Another method of home protection is getting a dog, which can be expensive in the long run, but also adds a loving member to your family. You can also install motion-sensing lighting on your property or “fake it” by posting a “Beware of Dog” sign or sporting home alarm protection stickers on your windows and signs on your lawn, even if you don’t subscribe to a service.
Consider the downsides of owning a home protection system as well. In order to do their job properly, most systems need to be set manually when you leave the house, and turned off as soon as you arrive. If you’re distracted on the way out, or dealing with the need to visit the rest room or put perishable groceries away as soon as you walk in the door, you may find yourself dealing with a system that never gets a chance to work, or sets off a false alarm when it isn’t deactivated right away. Some local governments assess fines for false alarms, so this can become a concern. Most systems also require a monthly test to maintain their highest level of efficiency.
You also need to remember that home security systems vary widely in price, and you must be sure that you’re getting what you need while not paying for things you aren’t going to use. There seems to be little correlation between the amount you pay for your system and how well it works. Consumer studies show that some of the highest rated companies are very reasonably priced, while some of the most expensive systems suffer from higher rates of equipment failure and substandard customer service. There are also unethical companies out there that will resort to high-pressure sales methods and scare tactics to force you to make a decision. If you decide that a home security system is for you, you’ll need to do some research to find out which companies near you have the best reputations in the price range you’re able to afford. Sources include the Better Business Bureau, Consumer’s Checkbook and other Internet-based review sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List and consumersadvocate.org.
So…have you taken stock of these questions and used your answer to make a decision? Is a home security system for you? If so, make sure to check our blog for the next segment on home security systems, where we’ll help you answer some crucial questions about the specifics you need from a home security system, and how to choose one!