Is it Worth Buying a Home Security System?
There is no dollar amount that you can peg on your family’s safety and happiness. Home security systems are known to provide excellent protection against break-ins and other risks posted by intruders.
However, are home security systems really worth the money you invest in them? This post will talk about everything from the basics to long term pros and cons of home security systems.
What are Home Security Systems?
Unlike a traditional burglar alarm, there is a lot you can do with today’s digitized home security systems. These systems can keep you linked via mobile alerts and video connectivity to your home no matter where you are.
You can be notified when a door gets opened in your house or if there is an attempt to access locked cupboards or sensitive materials such as liquor or a gun. These types of features are also handy when you have young kids or teenagers at home.
A home security system does not just lend you protection against break-ins. You can truly protect your home with active monitoring against potential hazards such as fire, flood, and poisonous gas leaks.
There are multiple benefits of installing a home security system (just ask Jack Bauer!). You can choose from some of the very smart options in the market that can provide the following benefits:
1. Effective Deterrent against Burglaries
One of the most direct benefits is their use as a deterrent against burglaries. These systems have been known to make burglars think twice. As per a report by UNC Charlotte, 60% of the potential thieves said they would pick a target with no home security system in place.
Another study by Rutgers University reported that home security systems were effective in bringing down the crime rates in the whole neighborhood. Burglary rates declined when most homeowners in an area invested in these systems.
Statistics show that people who have been the victim of a break-in once are 5 times more likely to see it happen again. Getting security cameras and alarms that notify local authorities directly is a good way to send a ‘Keep Away’ message to burglars.
While home security systems might not completely keep the burglars at bay, they will massively reduce the take away haul. The logic is simple. Burglars realize that you have an alarm installed and the authorities could show up any minute. They do not have the luxury to pick through all your closets and drawers hunting for valuables.
2. Smoke Detectors
Most home security systems have alarms that are equipped to detect smoke. This makes your home safer when you consider that homes without a fire alarm have a fire accident related death rate twice as high as compared to homes that are equipped with fire alarms. Fire accidents are best managed with an early warning.
3. Water Damage Sensors
Some of the home security systems can also alert you in case your toddler left the taps running. There is an estimated property damage of $2.8 billion due to flooding of homes every year. You can minimize potential damages with a security system equipped with water sensors.
4. Reduced Insurance Premiums
Installing a security system can usually save you some money on your insurance premiums for your homeowners insurance. Depending on the company, your insurance premium might go down by as much as 20% after you get a security system installed. Businesses can also benefit from lower premiums if they install comprehensive security systems in their buildings.
5. Increase in Re-sale Value
A good way to boost your property’s value is to take adequate precautions to protect it. A home security system can come in very handy in pushing up your house value.
Limitations of Home Security Systems
Home security systems are not completely fail-safe. There are a few limitations as well.
1. False Alarms
Studies show that home security systems are prone to false alarms at least 95% of the times. This false alert rate is a major hiccup as you do not want to get worked up every time the alarm goes off.
That said, prevention is always better than cure. This is why a majority of home owners prefer getting a home security system. Advanced systems today include sensors that are immune to motion of pets or birds, which minimize this problem of false alarms.
2. Threat from Hackers
Most home security systems run on wireless communication, which makes them susceptible to being hacked. Hewlett Packard reported that 70% of all home security systems have weak points making it easier for hackers to gain unauthorized access.
3. Cost of Equipment and Installation
This is a major drawback that prevents homeowners from setting up a security system and protecting their house from the various risks. You need to pay for both equipment and installation when you get a security system. This can cause a major dent in your pockets and budget.
However, there are many home security systems that come with DIY instruction manuals. You can easily set up your own security system. Also, there are many companies that will be happy to give you a discount or waive off the installation cost entirely.
4. Monitoring Costs
If you thought, you just had to make the initial investment, you were wrong. These systems have a recurring monthly monitoring fee. Prices vary as per the company you hire. Typical rates are in the vicinity of $30.
Companies do not make matters easier as they try to get you locked into contracts. Some firms have 3-year contracts that require a hefty fee to withdraw from.
When you’re buying a new home you’ll need to decide if you’re looking for a home with an alarm system, or its something you’re ok not having and can always install later. For those of you looking to buy a home, check out our list of house hunting websites. Cost is a vital factor when it comes to installing a home security system. However, it does not compare to the amount you will have to pay in terms of loss of property or hospital bills if any of your loved ones get hurt during a break-in. There is no price on the mental anguish and trauma you and your family members suffer if your home gets ransacked by burglars.
Most home security systems reduce the amount you pay as insurance premium. Furthermore, these systems often come covered with lifetime warranty. That will reduce the amount you spend on parts replacement or repairs.
The most important factor to consider is peace of mind. You will sleep comfortably knowing that your loved ones and your hard-earned property are protected from burglaries, fires, water damage, gas leaks, and these kinds of threats.