Millions of home intrusions occur every year, and the U.S. Department of Justice reports that a household member is present for more than one in four of those break-ins. While home invasions can occur year-round, burglaries tend to peak during specific times of the year – the holidays being one of them. With Halloween just around the corner and the start of the holiday season close behind, now may be the time to better protect your household and loved ones with a home security system.
On Guard When You Can’t Be
Today’s home security systems are ‘smarter’ and more advanced than ever before. Centralized monitoring combined with technological innovations make it possible to identify and deter thieves before they ever make it through your front door. Many systems integrate with smartphone technology to provide real-time streaming from cameras that are activated by motion sensors. You can record and even talk to porch thieves while they attempt to steal your packages or perhaps even deter would-be burglars attempting to burglarize your home while you are on vacation. Considering most home theft occurs between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., you can even keep an eye on your home via smartphone while you are at work.
Types of Home Security Systems
There are several different types of home security systems to choose from. There are cutting edge, futuristic systems that essentially computerize and centrally control many of the features in your home, as well as modest, do-it-yourself systems designed for affordability and simplicity.
DIY vs. Professional Installation
The efficacy of your home security system is only as dependable as its installation. Do-it-yourself options exist and are often cheaper. You can install the equipment on your own time and to your own custom specifications. However, professional installation tends to be much easier and, in many cases, more reliable. If you are purchasing alarm equipment and monitoring services from the same company, professional installation services may even be free or otherwise offered at a reduced cost. Also, the alarm installer can explain the features and functions of your system and answer any questions you may have on the spot.
The options are seemingly endless when it comes to alarm technology. You can hardwire the system into your home, which combines radiofrequency waves and your home’s landline to alert emergency personnel of a problem. Alternatively, you may opt for a wireless system that requires no drilling, is simple to install, and can be transferred to a new home if you move. Whether you purchase equipment from a department store or a company that also offers centralized monitoring, you are likely to face many equipment choices, as well. There are basic alarm control panels and door sensors, as well as glass break sensors, video surveillance, panic buttons, keychain activation, smartphone integration, and more.
Self-Monitoring vs. Central Monitoring
Home security systems are either self-monitored, or centrally monitored. Self-monitored means they only alert the homeowner when a break-in occurs, centrally monitored, means a third-party home monitoring service is notified instead. Beyond the initial cost of purchasing the equipment, self-monitored systems do not generally incur the ongoing monitoring fees that centrally monitored systems do. They are also not subject to the lengthy contract terms that some – but not all – home security service providers require.
On the other hand, central monitoring is capable of dispatching police and other emergency services in your absence or if the circumstances of a break-in render you unable to call for help yourself. If you are concerned about contract terms and costs, consider a home security provider that offers centralized monitoring on a month-to-month basis instead.
Furthermore, it is important to note that savings may offset at least a portion of the cost of central monitoring on insurance premiums. This is because some home insurers offer generous discounts to policy-holders who install monitored alarm systems on their premises. These discounts can vary from insurer to insurer and are often contingent upon installation of specific alarm features. Simply installing a doorbell camera is unlikely to procure a discount. Talk to an agent at Giuffre Insurance to find out more about home security discount availability and whether you may qualify.