Personal safety and the protection of valuables are amongst homeowners’ top concerns when considering the security of their property. Installation of a home security system can help alleviate the worry that comes with leaving your home unattended, being home alone, or feeling susceptible to danger or damage.

Electrical alarm systems have been in use for over 100 years, but with more recent technological developments, such as wireless internet and phone connections as well as smart phones and tablets, security systems are more advanced than ever. Many options provide an array of features designed to give homeowners vast control over what is monitored and how they are notified of issues.

Monitored vs. Unmonitored Systems

There are two main types of home security systems: monitored and unmonitored. Deciding between the two systems will depend largely on your proximity to neighbors, the crime rates in your area, and your budget.

Monitored security systems are connected to security centers that will automatically contact local authorities if the alarm is triggered and the homeowner cannot be reached. With unmonitored systems, the alarm will simply sound if an intruder triggers a sensor; it is then up to someone who hears the alarm going off to involve law enforcement. If your house is not within earshot of your closest neighbors—or if your neighbors are not particularly attentive or dependable—it may be worth investing in a monitored system.

Tighter security comes with a higher price tag, of course. Monitored systems are often more expensive than unmonitored ones because they include a monthly fee to stay connected to the monitoring center. However, some companies will waive costly installation fees if the homeowner is willing to commit to a monitoring contract. Be sure to discuss different systems with a professional home security company so that you can choose the best option for your budget and home.

Additional Features Beyond Intrusion Alerts

Beyond just an alarm that sounds when door and window sensors are disturbed, most security systems boast a multitude of other advantages. In addition to protecting against intruders, many systems act as carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms. The security centers connected to monitored systems will call the fire department on your behalf if you cannot be reached—just like they would do with the police department in the case of a burglary.

Technological enhancements to security systems over the years have enabled homeowners to have detailed access to exactly what goes on in their homes. The most advanced systems can detect if glass is broken as opposed to just whether or not a door or window has been opened. Security systems with surveillance cameras provide a visual log of exactly who enters which rooms and when.

One of the most convenient features of many modern home security systems is that they can be accessed remotely. Homeowners can arm their system from mobile devices if they forget to do so when leaving. Some systems even allow users to adjust their home’s temperature, detect moisture, and lock doors with only internet access and account information.

Benefits of Installing a Security System

For homeowners wary of the costs associated with installing a high-tech security system, there are several benefits that help make the process more cost effective. Home insurance rates are anywhere from five to twenty percent less for properties with an alarm system—the more advanced the alarm system is, the larger the insurance discount can be. Additionally, according to the Electronic Security Association, the average loss due to theft is roughly $2,000 more for houses that do not have the protection of security systems. Even your power bills can be lowered if you use your system to effectively monitor and regulate your home’s energy consumption.

Although home security systems can be a large investment, they could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run, and the peace of mind that comes from feeling safe and secure is very valuable and should not be overlooked.

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Sources: Chicago Tribune; EBSCOhost Home Improvement Reference Center: Smart Phone, Smart Home and 5 Things to Know About Home Security Systems; Electronic Security Association; The New York Times.

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