The latest statistics show that property crime rates have increased in many cities in the US. Crimes in the residential areas occur on an average of 20 times every minute resulting in thousands of dollars of losses for the house owners.
With increased crime rates in the US, relying on the local enforcement agency’s protection is not enough. You need to take proactive steps to provide extra protection for the household. In this article, we will inform about the importance and types of home security systems, and guide you in selecting the best system to ensure the safety of your family members.
Importance of a Home Security System
A security system can offer various benefits. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider investing in a home security system.
1. Deter Property Crimes
The foremost reason you should consider investing in a home security system is that it prevents your house from being targeted by thieves. According to research findings, homes without a home security system are about 2.7 times more likely to be burgled. Just the presence of a home alarm system can deter burglars from targeting your house.
2. Protection from Fires
The benefit of a home security system goes beyond deterring crime. They can also keep the household safe by acting like a sentinel around the clock and raise a fire alarm. The home security system will provide early warning to the households so that they can escape unhurt. This can prove invaluable in saving lives in the event of a house fire.
3. Detection of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas that is generally released from burning wood, stoves, gas generators, and gas heating and cooling systems. Inhaling this gas can result in serious health complications including death. With the right home security system, you can ensure that the household remains protected against carbon monoxide positioning.
4. Keep an Eye on the Children/Senior Individuals
With a home security system, you can keep an eye on the children. Remote security video allows you to monitor your children or senior individuals through an online application. In this way, you can respond immediately in case of an accident by calling the emergency department.
5. Important Piece of Evidence
The footage from the security camera can be an invaluable piece of evidence in a court case. The video evidence will help remove any reasonable doubt against the perpetrator of the crime. Also, the police can use the footage from the security camera to identify and capture the culprit.
6. Ensure Safety of Valuable Items
Do you have valuable items inside the house such as jewelry, expensive painting, or any irreplaceable heirloom? You should invest in a home security system to protect your valuables. Some of the home security systems feature motion detectors that can raise an alarm in case any activity is detected near the valuable items. Also, you can buy a security system that features notification to the local law enforcement agency in case of an attempted break-in.
7. Increase in Property Value
Lastly, installing a home security system will result in an increase in property value. Most homeowners highly value safety features. If you have invested in quality home security systems, you will likely get a higher offer when selling the house.
Types of Home Security Systems
Home security systems are of different types. The price of the system depends on the included features. A simple wired home security alarm can cost as little as $20. However, larger systems with HD quality surveillance cameras can cost a couple of hundred bucks.
1. Burglar Alarm
The main feature of a home security system is the burglar alarm. The alarm sounds when a burglar attempts to break inside the house. The alarms system can incorporate window and door sensors and motion detectors. Once the detectors are tripped, a signal is sent to the control panel that sounds a loud alarm. This will let the homeowners and the local police officers know about an intruder.
The bugler alarm systems range from simple alarms to complex wired alarms that notify the relevant authorities online in case of an attempted break-in. Burglar alarms are of two types that are described below.
a. Standard Burglar Alarm
Standard burglar alarm sounds an alarm whenever someone tries to break in. The sound is usually loud enough to wake household members, and also alert the neighbors and the police. Most often, the unwanted noise scares off the would-be intruder.
b. Monitored Burglar Alarm
Monitored burglar alarms not just trigger an alarm but also contact the call center to call the police. The advantage of this home security system is that it can result in the prompt dispatch of the law enforcement personnel.
However, there are certain downsides to a monitored burglar alarm. The first disadvantage is that the device is connected to the phone line. A thief can cut the phone lines before breaking in. In this way, the system won’t be able to alert the concerned security personnel. You have to call the police through a smartphone or alternate communication device to alert the police.
Another downside is that the thief would usually run away once the alarm has sounded. So, the system for which you have to pay monitoring fees won’t offer additional benefits than an unmonitored burglar alarm system.
2. Fire Alarm System
Fire alarm systems are another important type of home security system. The fire alarms have sensors that monitor smoke. They can offer protection against a house fire. Household members will know early when a fire starts. In this way, they can quickly put off the fire. Also, in case the fire spreads out of control, the family members can quickly vacate the house thereby saving lives.
3. Gas Leak Detector
Another important part of the home security system is the carbon monoxide gas leak detector. The device has sensors to detect the presence of the gas. The colorless gas can prove fatal if inhaled in large quantities. Installing the gas detector will ensure the protection of the household.
4. Medical Alarms
Medical alarms can alert people in case of a medical emergency. You can buy two different types of medical alarms that can help ensure the safety of the senior house member.
a. Standalone Medical Alarms
The standalone medical alarm systems consist of a transmitting station and an alert device that is worn by the individual. In case the senior individual falls down, the wearable device will instantly become activated and transmit a message to the emergency department. This is a must-have home safety device that you should consider buying if you have a senior individual living alone in the house.
b. Built-in Medical Alarms
Home security systems are available that allow remote monitoring. With this system, a person can simply click a button to inform the concerned personnel about a medical emergency.
5. Critical System Monitors
An often-overlooked home security device is the critical system monitor. The system can help save thousands of dollars spent on repairs of home plumbing and heating. The critical system monitoring devices constantly monitor the pipes, heating, and cooling devices. They can transmit information about a pipe leakage and defect in the appliances directly to the home security monitoring company.
6. GSM Based Alarms
GSM is an acronym of the Global System for Mobile. Security devices that come with GSM connectivity can transmit information without the need for a phone connection. They work with a SIM connection allowing remote notification of events. You will be notified through the smartphone application about any home emergency.
GSM based alarms are of different types. You can by a GSM-based burglar alarm, medical safety alarm, food, and temperature detectors. The device trigger once the sensor is tripped sending a notification to a mobile device.
7. Wireless Alarms
Wireless alarms as the name suggests are not connected to the home electric system. Instead, they connect remotely to a device through a Wi-Fi connection. Unlike GSM-based devices, wireless alarms have limited connectivity. You should be within a specific distance to receive notification from the system. Also, wireless alarms generally come with batteries that need to be checked once a month. The batteries should be replaced once a year even the alarm has not sounded the entire year.
How to Select the Right Security System for the Home?
Selecting a security system for the home requires that you take certain things into consideration. You should look for a home security system featuring visual security options. Consider buying a security system with a surveillance camera.
In addition, you should buy burglar alarms, and integrate them into the home automation system. This will provide a completely new level of security. You can turn the lights on or off with your smartphone in case the alarm goes off. Also, you can notify the emergency personnel about an attempted burglary or other emergencies.
Smart lightings are a good home security option as well. You can set the lighting to be turned off during a certain time of the day. You should also consider buying motion detecting lights. These lights turn on whenever a motion is detected. This can scare off the intruder allowing protection of the family members.
Contact sensors are another important home security option. The sensors can make you aware in case a child ventures to forbidden areas inside the house such as the garage or near the swimming pool area. This will ensure the safety of the household family members. Some of the more expensive contact sensors come with advanced AI that can learn activity patterns. The device can learn the usual activity patterns and information about any unusual motion.
There are many different types of home security options. However, you do not need to buy every home security system.
Before purchasing a system, you should first determine whether you actually need them. There is no need to buy contact sensors if there are no toddlers around. Also, you do not need to buy the most expensive state of the art video surveillance system. Unless you live in a flood-prone area, you can safely pass on the flood detector. Consider determining your exact security needs before investing in home security systems.
Identifying High-Risk Areas: Where Should You Install Security Devices?
Once you have bought the home security system, the next important decision that you should make is identifying the areas where you should install the security devices. The size of your house and yard will determine how much security coverage is adequate.
The front door is the obvious place where you should install a security alarm system. If your area has an incidence of vandalism, you should also install a security camera near the front door. Also, place a home security sign near the camera stating that your house is protected.
In case you have a large garden, you might have areas around the house that are not properly lit. Consider installing security cameras, burglar alarms, and motion-sensing lights in such areas. These areas are generally hot spots for the intruders as they can easily conceal windows.
For a terraced house having a long footprint, you should go for motion detectors at the back and front doors. Consider positioning a Passive InfraRed (PIR) sensor on the opposite walls. Also, magnetic contacts should be installed on each door.
If you live on the second floor in the flat, the main area that you should install a security camera and alarm is the hall next to the entry door. This is the only reasonable route of entry. So, you should have the area monitored.
In the end, the importance of a home security system for residents cannot be emphasized enough. You can keep your family protected against robbery, fire, gas leaks, and other dangers by installing a home security system. Installing the home security system will give you peace of mind in knowing that your family members and pets are safe when you are away.