Millions of burglaries occur every year. In fact, there are over 4,500 home burglaries per day in the United States. If you want to protect your valuables, home, and most importantly, family, purchasing a home security system is an invaluable asset.
Depending on the home security system, you can even enjoy the benefits of built-in heat detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, medical assistance, 24/7 monitoring, and/or home automation.
Navigating the options can be overwhelming, so we explain the difference between smart home security systems, DIY options, and why home security is the first step in achieving home protection.
Read more: Protect your home’s appliances with the best home warranty.
There are dozens of home security system options. No matter how basic or elaborate, you’ll want to make sure your home security system includes the following:
Most security systems come with yard signs or window stickers, too. These may seem useless, but actually, these small signs can signal to potential burglars that your home is protected and deter them from attempting a break in.
The best home security systems offer more than just the basics. Vivint Smart Home security systems or ADT Security systems, for instance, offer professional security monitoring, a wireless system, battery backup, security cameras, remote access, and home automation.
Choosing the wrong system can be frustrating—though many include return policies or trial period—so that’s why we’re going to breakdown the different options for you.
Phones aren’t the only “smart” devices that can make your life easier. Some of the more advanced home security system providers offer these features:
With these features, you don’t have to wonder if you left the front door unlocked and panic thinking about what might happen when you’re away from home. You can also rest assured knowing that if you’re running late, your kids won’t be left sitting on the doorstep after school. You can let them in and ensure they’re safe and secure.
When purchasing a home security system, it’s important to consider whether you prefer a do-it-yourself system or a professional one. Some systems require professional installation, whereas others are self-starting. What exactly does this mean, and is one better than the other?
It all depends on your preference. DIY is often less expensive and offers more flexibility in terms of placement, but a professional will ensure that it’s properly installed and will suggest the most effective placements.
You’ll also have to consider what sort of monitoring you want. Your options for monitoring are landline, cellular, or broadband systems.
The home security system provider often determines if the system should be installed professionally or if you can do it on your own. Professional installation has its perks: the professional will evaluate the home, determine the best placements, and ensure that the system works properly. However, there is an installation cost. With a DIY installation, you’ll save money and get to decide where you want to place the system.
Installing a security system yourself is fairly easy, especially if you choose the most basic package. All you have to do is install the home security panel (ideally, near a door), and place the sensors and detectors throughout the home. Then, you’ll simply test the system to make sure it works. Some of the most common DIY home security systems are Adobe or LiveWatch.
The more complicated the system, the more reason to hire a professional if it’s not already required in your plan. A professional will know how to connect the different systems and can walk you through the process.
Read more: American Home Shield review.
The cost of a home security system varies drastically. According to HomeAdvisor, the basic equipment package for sensors, a control panel, and a siren ranges from $320 to $1,119, but this doesn’t include installation costs or upgrades. The national average cost of a home security system is $700. This may seem expensive, but consider how much your TV, jewelry, and of course, your safety is worth.
If you live in a tight-knit neighborhood or a subdivision, you might want to consider a neighborhood-wide security system. Companies like Flock Safety offer wireless home security systems, which include cameras that are designed to blend in with surroundings, license plate reading, and constant monitoring that can protect up to 500 homes. Splitting costs can also make the security system more affordable for residents.
Payment options depend on your home security system, but some of the costs may include:
To save on one-time costs, you can take advantage of bundled options, or if you want something more affordable, consider a home security without a long-term contract. When reading home security system reviews, take note of the contract length, upfront costs, optional add-ons, and customer service ratings.
Just remember: there are many benefits of a home security system. You can monitor your home from your smartphone when you’re at work or on vacation. You can add additional sensors to make sure all areas—not just the entryways—are monitored. You can adjust your thermostat and save on energy costs. You can add smart locks or flood sensors.
Best of all, you can sleep soundly or travel peacefully knowing your home is monitored 24/7 by home security professionals who will notify you of any major concerns. Isn’t that worth the investment?
A home warranty from a reputable company can minimize your stress at home. Read some of our in-depth reviews, such as our First American Home Warranty review or America’s First Choice Home Club review.