10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a Home Security System
Why is home security so important today? Simple: more than 2,000,000 Americans are victims of burglaries every year. And if you think you can pass that off as just something that happens to Jewelry stores and fancy fashion boutiques, think again — 66% of burglaries are home break-ins. With statistics like that, you can’t afford to NOT protect your property and yourself with a home security system.
But there’s an even more compelling reason to invest in securing your home — it works. In fact, research shows that without a security system of some kind in place, a home is 300% more likely to be broken into.
Of course, it’s important to do your research before making a purchase. Every home has different security needs, and the right one for you will depend on its specific set of circumstances. But with so many variables it can be hard to know where to even start.
Below, we provide a breakdown of 10 things you will want to consider in order to choose the right house alarm system for you:
#1: Are you a renter or an owner?
It goes without saying that you should protect your home whether you rent or own it. However, there are limitations in many rental contracts about what kind of security systems can be installed. In general, renters should always make sure to ask themselves:
- Will this system violate my rental agreement?
- What systems are renters similar to me using?
- Do I need to inform my landlord of my plans to install a security system?
#2: What’s the system brand’s overall reputation?
Not all security systems are created equal. Well-known brands like ADT and MONI have strong reputations around the country. No matter what, you should always be sure to check out the overall reputation of any home security system brand before making a purchase. Some questions to consider are:
- Are people satisfied with the brand?
- What are some real-life examples of the system’s performance?
- Has anyone ever sued the company for a malfunctioning system?
- What is the company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)?
#3: What is the brand’s customer support reputation?
If something goes wrong with your home security system, you want to be able to get the problem solved quickly and effectively. In addition to the overall reputation, be sure to ask about the specific reputation of any brand’s customer support:
- Is there a warranty, how long does it last, and what does it cover?
- What is the average amount of time it takes for a customer to have their problem resolved?
- Have there ever been customers dissatisfied with the brand’s support? If so, why?
#4: Who will install the system?
A home security system only works if properly installed. When choosing a company, be sure to ask the following questions:
- Which installation companies have a good reputation in my area?
- Is it a DIY Security System?
- Does the installation company have a warranty?
#5: Will the system work when the power goes out?
Burglars have been known to wait for inclement weather to strike. They know that damage to critical infrastructure can cause home security systems to be vulnerable. Be sure to ask the following questions:
- Will the system continue to operate even if the electricity is out?
- If yes, how? (Battery? Solar?)
- How long can the system continue operating without electricity?
#6: Do you need monitoring by emergency services?
If an emergency occurs while you aren’t home, having a system to tell you is not enough. To be truly protected, security alarm systems should also have additional ‘monitoring’ capabilities — i.e.: will also alert emergency services that there is a problem, so that they can respond as quickly as possible. Some services to consider alerting are:
- Fire Department
- Gas Company
#7: Are you looking for protection against more than just break-ins?
Break-ins are the most common reason people get home security systems, but they are far from the only one. When purchasing a system, make sure to ask yourself if you need any of the following add-ons. They can usually be found for relatively little additional cost:
- Medical emergencies
- Carbon Dioxide
#8: Is a separate asset protection system necessary?
It’s also worthwhile to consider if you need an additional burglar alarm to protect the individual drawers, cabinets, and desks in your home. This is especially relevant for renters who most likely aren’t the only ones with access to the living space. Some questions to think about here are:
- Who else has access to my home?
- Where do I see my most valuable items?
- Is there anything I can’t afford to lose?
#9: Can you save money on your insurance?
If you have homeowner or renter insurance, some insurance companies will offer you discounts for having a reputable smart home security system like Link Interactive or Protect America installed. The types of setups that will qualify for discounts, as well as the amount that will be discounted, will vary depending on the company and your individual policy. Here are some key things to know:
- Does your insurance offer discounts for installing a home security system?
- If yes, what type of system?
- How much will I save? (Compare this to the cost of the system to determine your total savings)
#10: How much are you looking to spend?
Finally, it’s important to know how much you are looking to spend. There are a wide variety of home security products designed to meet the needs of homeowners and renters of all kinds. Ask yourself:
- What types of protections do I need?
- How much risk am I willing to take with my home’s security?
- Given those considerations, what is my budget?
Bottom Line: There’s No Excuse to Skimp on Security
The statistics speak for themselves. With so many break-ins going on around the US, having a home security alarm system in place against burglars is a must have for any homeowner or renter. With so many good brands offering high home security protection solutions at a very low cost, there’s simply no reason to take a chance when it comes to the security of your property, yourself, and your family.