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How Important is Home Security?

Monday, October 18th

How Important is Home Security?

The numbers are alarming: 1 in every 36 homes in the United States will be the target of thieves this year. In comparison with other countries, burglary rates in the United States are high. Areas such as Cleveland, Ohio, Memphis, Tenn., and Detroit, Mich. have some of the highest burglary rates in the nation.

The statistics are enough to make you never want to leave your home again in an attempt to prevent yourself from being included in that 1 in 36 figure. But you need not barricade yourself inside your home, prepared to protect what is yours. Even if you think you live in a safe neighborhood, robbery is not an act that is exclusive to the "bad" part of town.

Homeowners need not feel helpless, however. There are many ways they can protect themselves and their property from theft and damage. According to Consumer Reports, among the top seven ways to burglar-proof any home include kick-proofing doors for main entryways, choosing the right kind of locks for doors and lighting the exterior areas of your property during evening and overnight hours. Installing a home security system also ranked in the top seven ways to protect your home.

Home security systems are a great way to deter burglars from even considering your home on their list of targets. Advancements in technology have made home security systems not only a reliable means by which to protect your property, but also an affordable one. Current statistics indicate there are roughly 36 million security systems being used in the United States today, with over half of those in private residences. The average monthly cost to maintain the system can range from $25 to $100, depending on the number of "bells and whistles" your package includes.

The question many homeowners ask themselves is if they even need a home security system. If you are among the skeptics, there are many reasons to consider taking that leap and choosing an affordable home security system. First and foremost, many insurance companies offer a discount on home insurance premiums to customers whose homes are protected by a security system. Those discounts can equal 15 to 20 percent annually.

Another reason to consider installing a home security system is that they deter crime from happening, and can lessen the length of an act-in-progress. Thieves who hit a home that already is protected by a security system are likely to flee quickly once they realize they have burglarized a home that soon may be surrounded by police.

Home security systems also can protect your home against other threats, such as fire. Many home security companies offer fire protection as part of their coverage. Also, for those living alone, for elderly customers, or those with medical conditions, the ability to use their wireless transmitters to summon emergency help is a huge benefit to having a home security system.

There are many options when selecting a home security system, so be sure to do your research before deciding on one to ensure you have chosen the option that best fits your individual needs.

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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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