How to Choose a Home Security System

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Comparing Home Security Systems

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Security is important to any homeowner. Whether you have just moved in and want to protect your new home, or are an established homeowner who is increasingly concerned with crime, you may want to look into investing in a home security system. Beyond insuring your home and belongings, or making sure your home is physically secure, a security system is the most important aspect of home security. Here are some things to consider when shopping for a home security system.

How much security do you need from your home security system?

Buying a home security system is a considerable expense. It is usually a monthly subscription service with additional equipment costing you additional money. The price range of home security systems vary immensely with the range of services provided. You have to balance the risk of crime with the cost of higher security. 

  • Do you live in a high crime area? When you moved into your new home, it is likely that you researched some crime statistics for your area. If you haven't already done so, find some updated statistics and see where home invasions, home vandalism, burglary, theft, and trespassing rank among those crimes. These crimes are best deterred by home security and if they happen a lot in your area, you should invest in high level home security systems. If you live somewhere where these crimes generally don't happen, home security may be a waste of money for you.
  • Do you already have a secure home? If you have locks on your entrances, deadbolts for all of your doors, break-resistant windows, and a guard dog, you need to consider what additional benefit a home security system could provide. All home security really does is alert nearby authorities when an alarm is tripped. It doesn't actually stop vandals and intruders unless they are scared away by hearing an audible alarm or are visually deterred by noting the security system. If your home is already a fortress, you may not need high level home security systems.
  • Could you benefit from included safety systems? Some aspects of more comprehensive home security systems aren't entirely designed to prevent theft. Smoke, carbon monoxide, and water detectors can all be part of security packages. If you don't already have some of these things and would want them in addition to security, it may be the best deal to get them all in one package.
  • Do you like the idea of home surveillance? High-end security packages include the use of outdoor and indoor cameras for your house. Even if you aren't worried about intruders, you could monitor the behaviour of pets and children using this technology. If you want this, you'll have to pay a bit more than most standard security packages, but it is useful even if your home is never broken into.
  • Will having a security system lower your insurance? Sometimes the investment in a home security system can lower your home and life insurance rates. Be sure to contact your insurance provider and see what type of home security systems can lead to discounts.
  • Do you trust the use of single landlines, or cellular monitoring of your home? The type of monitoring for your security system is important. Higher priced systems monitor using cell signals because landlines can be cut by savvy intruders. Of course, cell service has the potential to be interrupted if a disaster damages local cell towers, but generally cellular waves are the more consistent and expensive option.

High price for high security?


The range of services, optional equipment, and pricing for home security is immense, so it is important to have decided just how much you want to pay for security before you agree to a plan. You can put home security packages into three tiers based on their monthly rates.

Basic

The low end of the price range for home security, basic systems usually use landlines and have only the bare minimum when it comes to equipment. Some can cost as little as $20 a month with no additional charges for activation or equipment. This is rare though and usually companies will either charge you for the equipment or an activation fee when you install their service. This can cost an additional $250.

Here is what is usually included in basic home security packages:
  • landline monitoring
  • a control panel
  • 2-4 door or window sensors
  • 1 motion detector
Mid-level

Mid-level security systems can be defined as costing between $30-$45 a month. You'll get mostly cellular monitoring in this tier and more equipment options although they may also be at additional prices.

  • usually cellular monitoring
  • a control panel
  • 1 included motion detector
  • 2-7 included window/door sensors
  • mobile app
  • key-chain remote
  • glass break detector
  • smoke detector
Top tier

At this level you are paying top dollar for the most comprehensive home security possible. This level can be defined by having monthly rates over $45. Optional equipment that is available at this level can make it extremely expensive.
  • cellular monitoring with occasionally broadband backup
  • control panel
  • 2-6 included door/window sensors
  • 1-2 key-chain remotes
  • a mobile app is almost always included
  • light control
  • glass break detector
  • smoke detector
  • automated door locks
  • wireless indoor cameras
  • wireless outdoor cameras
Installing all the extras can easily cost you thousands of dollars upon activation and $60 dollars a month for the duration of the contract (which is usually three years).

When you consider the pricing and your needs, be sure to ask about the contract duration of the security plan, ask what is included and what costs extra, and compare more than one company's security package. You don't want to sign a three year contract to discover that you aren't getting the security that you desire but you are stuck paying for it for three years. Getting robbed by a home security company is an ironic embarrassment.

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on July 31, 2014

TopMoving.ca - Moving Expert
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