- Home Improvement
Benefits of Home Security Systems
The modern home alarm system came about over a century ago. Invented by Augustus Russell Pope of Boston, his simple design used an electrical circuit rigged to a bell that would sound whenever the door or window was opened. Today, security systems have evolved well beyond their original iterations, including several different types of monitors, response systems and supportive services. For families considering investing in one of these systems, there are virtually no drawbacks and many reasons to finalize the investment.
Protection Through Prevention
One of the main reasons for installing a home security system is to protect the residents and their valuables from intrusion and theft. Even just displaying that these are in use through a sign in the yard or a sticker on the window can even reduce the chances of being targeted. In a study by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where more than 400 incarcerated men and women who were convicted for burglary were interviewed, more than half stated they would look for an alarm before robbing a house and, if an alarm system was present, most would move on to another. Another study by Rutgers found that an increase in the number of home security systems in an area correlated with a decrease in the number of residential robberies, even for people who didn’t have their own security system.
In a situation where a would-be thief decides to proceed regardless, the alarm that sounds in response will not only give them pause - or in many cases, frighten them away - but it will also alert the residents as well. Another individual notified by the triggered alarm is the assigned individual monitoring the system around the clock.
These individuals will often reach out to law enforcement while checking to see if the residents in the home are safe. Having this kind of support is a tremendous relief in these kind of situations and also allows a reaction time that would otherwise be impossible without actually lifting a finger. In any situation where a thief or assailant is undeterred, this can be potentially lifesaving.
Monitors & Sensors
Some home security systems offer more than just theft prevention. They may also sync up to fire alarms and provide carbon monoxide detectors as well. Particularly regarding the latter, these can often go unnoticed until it's too late. With around the clock monitoring, a quick response can minimize the property damage and ensure the safety of those in the home. This is especially desired among pet owners who can rest easy knowing their companions are safe while they're away.
In recent years, there are even more options that allow a home to be more fully integrated. Security systems have integrated this technology into their systems and set them up to be remotely monitored and accessible. Along with the aforementioned monitors, they can also be set up to unlock doors, turn off and on lights and even adjust the temperature when synced up to the thermostat.
A suggested deterrent for theft while away from the home is to leave the lights on to give the home a lived in appearance. Remotely adjustable lighting can give this a more realistic feel as well as reduce the cost of electricity by optimizing this tactic.
Cameras can also be installed in and around the home that can be remotely accessed through a computer or smart phone. Several, including the prominent brand called Ring, even masks cameras as a doorbell or floodlight. These are usually triggered by motion and send an alert to notify home owners of activity both routine and suspect. In tandem with locking features, this can also allow them to allow roommates, neighbors or family members inside if needed while they are away.
Cost & Savings
The cost of hardware and installation averages between a few hundred to a couple thousand depending on the brand, components and installation services when required. Any monthly monitoring cost is about average for a standard subscription fee. However, as mentioned throughout, there are several areas of savings to offset these, including electricity cost reduction and property damage minimization.
Home insurance generally offers a significant discount for those with home security systems as well. Assuming an average $780 for insurance annually, savings of up to 20% can reduce the cost by $156 each year. This by itself can cut the monthly cost by half or even cover it altogether while still offering the same great services and peace of mind.