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Home Security Tips for Seniors

Saturday, July 24th

Home Security Tips for Seniors

As the population of senior citizens rises, so does the number of senior citizens living independently in their homes. Seniors are especially vulnerable to crime and other threats. Here are some tips to keep seniors safe and help prevent theft and vandalism.

Install security lighting. A well-lit perimeter around the outside of the house is an excellent way to deter unwanted visitors. Security lighting should be installed at all entrances around the house, including outside the garage. Lighting offers the additional benefit of helping the homeowner see better when arriving home when it's dark outside.

Install quality locks on all exterior doors and windows. For seniors, it's important to keep exterior doors locked even while they are in the home. Shop online to find locks recommended by police or safety experts. In case of a break in, a locked door may deter a thief altogether or at least give the homeowner a few extra seconds to call 9-1-1. All glass doors, especially those on the back of the house or in the basement, should be replaced with wood doors. If there are glass doors that can't be replaced, covering them with security film or Plexiglass will make them more difficult to break. Give an extra set of keys to a trusted family member, friend or neighbor in case of a medical emergency when the homeowner is unable to unlock the door.

Purchase a security alarm system. There are many options available when it comes to security alarm systems. Alarm systems vary greatly in number of options available and price. Seniors may want to contract with a security system monitoring service. A monitoring service can call for assistance in the event of a fire or other medical emergency. Shop around and be sure to compare systems online. Family members may want to help research this purchase. Many of today's systems also allow for video monitoring. This may be a desirable feature, especially if there are special concerns regarding the senior's safety and well-being. Look online for systems that cater to the needs of seniors.

Install a viewer window, peep hole or door entry phone in the front door. This allows the senior to see who is outside the front door without having to open it first.

Ask for help from family members and neighbors: Having family members and neighbors visit or come help with chores such as mowing the lawn shows activity around the home. Burglars and vandals are less likely to be interested in a home in which there is activity and lots of people around.

As the largest portion of the population ages, there are more products on the market geared toward seniors. Be sure to look online for more home security products to keep seniors safe at home.

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Home Security System FAQ

There are more than 2 million break-ins every year in the United States alone. Home security systems are the most logical way to give yourself the peace of mind that comes from knowing that you, your loved ones and your property are being watched over.
The most important feature is 24/7 monitoring, which most services offer as part of your monthly fees. At a minimum, you'll want to have sensors for all of the exterior doors in your residence.
There are many add-ons that can offer additional security and protection. Your home security system could have smoke and CO2 detectors, flooding sensors, motion detectors, night vision cameras, and much more.
You'll find plans both with and without required service contracts. The tradeoff is usually in the price of the equipment vs. the monthly service fees. (See the next question for more on that.)
That depends. You should expect two costs: equipment and monthly service charges. Some providers of home security systems give you the equipment "for free", as long as you sign a contract (usually 2-5 years). Others have you pay for the equipment upfront as a one-time charge, but their monthly fees tend to be lower. And, with most services, you'll pay more for monthly monitoring if your system has all of the bells and whistles.
One of the most customer-friendly aspects of today's home security systems is DIY installation. While there are still a handful of companies that require you to sit down with a sales rep and then wait for a professional to come and set up your system, the vast majority are designed to be easy and fast for you to install yourself. You'll have ample support via phone or online chat if you need extra guidance during the process.
Yes, most of the time. You'll typically have a 30-day window to use your home security system and decide if it provides the protection and service you need. Terms vary, however: you may get a full refund for all fees paid, or you may only be allowed to break your contract without getting any money back. Be sure to understand the details of any plan you select, before you sign up.
Usually, yes. Because of the do-it-yourself nature of most of today's systems, you can uninstall and move your equipment just as easily as you set it up the first time. You'll just need to update the company with your current address, so that emergency responders have the right location in the event of an alarm.
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