If hearing noises around your house conjures memories of Maurice Sendak’s children's story involving Max and the wild things he encounters inside his room one night, you may want to consider a home security system.
In 2011, over 1.9 million burglaries occurred in the U.S. Seventy-four percent of those burglaries occurred at a residence and more than half of those residential burglaries, 750,000 of them, occurred during the day. One way to combat burglaries is a home security system. Here are some answers to common questions along with tips about purchasing a home security system.
- Is it just for outside doors? Systems also watch for smoke, fire and carbon monoxide within the home and dispatch emergency responders accordingly. Other areas like medicine cabinets and gun closets can have alarms as well. You’ll receive an email or text message if the alarmed item is opened.
- What if I can’t get to the keypad quick enough? Voice control systems are available. While many systems require you to enter a pass code to alarm or deactivate the system, two-way voice systems exist. If the alarm sounds you can turn off your system just by using a verbal password.
- What if something breaks? A good home monitoring company stands by their equipment so if there’s a problem with or breakage to their equipment, they’ll fix it for you. Others offer to pay costs above your insurance deductible should your home be broken into while on their watch.
- How much will it cost monthly? Basic monitoring ranges from $20-60 per month but with choices such as video surveillance, glass break sensors, pet immunity, water alarms, temperature control, weather forecasts and even medical monitoring, home security companies will try to up sell you on their products. Decide what’s important to you before you call any company to avoid buying more than your budget will allow.
- Is the system really free? Home security companies are a lot like TV companies. Just as you can get a free cable box but must pay to have it installed, home monitoring equipment could be offered free of charge but it still requires a certified technician to install it and a commitment to stay with that company for an extended period. It’s wise to double-check what you’ll be required to pay up front and sign-up for when scheduling an installation.
- Will I save on homeowner’s insurance? Your home insurance rates may decrease slightly as most homeowner policies include a discount for having an installed and actively monitored home security system. The monthly savings is typically between 10-20%. Don’t be fooled however; this is potentially just a few bucks a month in savings. A quick call to your insurance agent can give you the exact details.
- What if I don’t have a home telephone? You don’t need a landline home phone to have a home monitoring system. Your phone company may tell you otherwise, but smartphone technology allows you to program your security system and be reached via cell phone in case of a problem.
- Which are the best companies out there? Ask friends or neighbors who they use or review online ratings about home security systems before making your decision.
- Can I do it myself? There are DIY options out there. Buying your own equipment online can save you a considerable amount of money. You do need to find a certified monitoring company that works with DIY users.
If a monitored home security system isn’t right for you be sure to take other precautions. Lock your doors and windows and trim shrubbery away from them. Install motion-sensor lights outside. Give a trusted neighbor a spare key instead of hiding it in the usual spots like under a doormat or in a “key rock.” Use a peephole or a window to check and see who’s knocking before opening your door. And if you didn’t call for a salesperson or contractor don’t let them in.
When you take care of protecting your home you won't need to worry when “the wild rumpus” starts!
Jen Savage is the COO of her household, a writer and event planner who loves life in Arizona.
- 7 common ways to get sued by your employees
- Why it might be time to upgrade your toilet
- Arizona teachers are building a better future by using technology in the classroom
- How to make summer reading fun for the whole family
- How to find relief for chronic joint pain
- Can the NBA Lottery save the Suns?
- Skip Urgent Care: 5 ailments you can treat with telemedicine
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments