Only about one-fifth of American homes (22 percent) are currently protected by some kind of security system. Is your home one of them?
If not, you could be making yourself more vulnerable to burglaries and other crimes.
Nobody wants to leave their home unprotected. But, a lot of people are also hesitant to invest in security systems, often because they're not sure what to look for when shopping for one.
If you're currently in this boat, keep reading. Here are some guidelines that will teach you how to choose a home security system that is perfect for you and your family.
Benefits of a Home Security System
Are you still on the fence about investing in a home security system? Here are some benefits that might change your mind:
- Protect your valuables
- Deter burglars and other criminals
- Gain remote access to your home (control the thermostat, lock the doors, etc.)
- Reduce your energy bills
- Lower your homeowner's insurance costs
Of course, there's also the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is protected at all times. Who can put a price on that?
How to Choose a Home Security System
Clearly, there are lots of reasons to consider investing in a security system. But, how do you decide which one to buy?
Here are some tips that will help you find the right system for your specific needs.
1. Choose Between a Monitored and Unmonitored System
When you start shopping for a home security system, one of the first decisions you'll have to make is whether you want a monitored or unmonitored system.
If you have an unmonitored system, you'll receive an alert if an alarm gets tripped. But, you will have to call the police yourself.
If you have a monitored system, you'll receive an alert and the monitoring station will, too. An employee at the monitoring station will notify the authorities and make sure help gets sent your way as soon as possible.
2. Choose Your Monitoring Method
If you do decide to go with a monitored system, you'll have to choose between the following monitoring methods:
Landline monitoring is best for those who live in remote locations and don't get very good cellphone service.
For most people, though, broadband or mobile monitoring is a better option. These options allow you to add home automation features, and they can often a lot faster.
3. Decide Between DIY and Professional Installation
A DIY installation is, of course, cheaper than a professional installation. It also gives you full control over the location of your sensors and how every part of the system fits together.
There are lots of easy-to-install DIY systems out there that only take, at most, a couple of hours to set up. You can also call a technician for help if you get stuck.
If you hire a professional to install your system, you get to sit back and relax while they do the hard work for you.
Professional installations are more expensive, but they can save you a lot of time and give you peace of mind knowing the job was done correctly the first time around.
4. Count Your Windows and Entrances
Before you invest in a security system, it's a good idea to know how many windows and entrances you want that system to cover. Go through your home and count your windows and doorways. That way, when it's time to purchase your equipment, you'll know how much you actually need.
5. Think About Customer Service
When you're trying to choose a company from which to purchase a security system, it's a good idea to keep their customer service in mind. Are they polite and helpful? Do they respond quickly to phone calls or emails?
Remember, if you aren't happy with the company's customer service, you're going to be less likely to call and get help if your system isn't working or you need help with it. And, what's the point of having a security system if it doesn't work properly or you don't understand how to use it?
6. Consider the Price
Of course, price matters, too. A security system is a big investment, and it can be hard to keep track of all the fees associated with them.
Generally speaking, the fees you'll need to pay attention to include:
- The monthly monitoring fee
- The service fee
- The activation fee
- The cancellation fee
- The relocation fee
When you're comparing security systems, it's a good idea to write down each of these fees. That way, you can refer back to your notes and figure out which company offers the best prices.
7. Consider the Package's Special Features
When you're considering a particular security system package, be sure to think about the kinds of special features that come with it.
You don't necessarily need special features, but there are lots of options that can help to deter burglars and give you more control over your home. For example, is there a feature that allows you to live stream video or control your thermostat while on the go?
8. Avoid Long-Term Contracts
Generally speaking, it's best to limit yourself to a one-year contract with any security company.
Some companies will try to lock you into long-term contracts that last for several years. These long-term contracts might lower the price of your system a bit, but they also often come with high-cancellation fees, which keep you trapped even if you don't like your system.
9. Factor Your Basement into the Equation
Finally, don't forget to factor your basement in when you're choosing a home security system. Include your basement windows and entrance when determining the number of sensors you need.
Remember, too, that if you have an unfinished basement, it might be easier for a technician to set up a security system down there. If it is finished, you may need to go with a wireless option instead.
Get Your Home Security System Today
A home security system is a great tool that can protect your home and give you peace of mind.
Now that you know how to choose a home security system, are you ready to start shopping and find the right one for yourself?
If you're ready to purchase a home security system but aren't sure where to begin your search, start with our online store.
We have a wide range of home security equipment for you to choose from, including burglary sensors, security cameras, and more. All of it is sold at great prices, too!