The technology of the day has made it possible for homeowners to enjoy an array of choices when it comes to their home security systems. New start-up companies are moving away from the standard contract models of home security to offer people more flexibility to choose what works for them. Whether homeowners just a want a few deterrents or the equivalent of an impenetrable fortress, there's more than one way to catch a thief.
How to Choose a Home Security System
The smartest thing a homeowner can do before choosing their security system is to look at their home the way a criminal would. An unlatched gate, an unlocked window, or a shadowy half of the home can provide all the opportunity a thief needs to muscle their way in. Residents who leave the home at the same time every day can also be sitting ducks for thieves who know they need some time to break into the home. Once a homeowner understands their vulnerabilities, they can either choose a complete security system or opt for a piecemeal plan.
DIY Home Security Options for Homeowners
Homeowners can first start with simple and affordable ways to make their home safer. Putting lights on a timer is an affordable way to throw criminals off track and increase a homeowner's peace of mind. Homeowners can also place home security signs outside their home (even if they don't have one) to deter crimes or trigger their doorbell to play a pre-recording of a large dog growling and barking. This is a good time to examine the home's digital security too—especially if the garage door is on a passcode. Frequently changing or updating software can further safeguard a home from curious hackers. Homeowners can also use smart technology integration through their phones to control the security console while they're away.
Common Types Home Security Systems
Home security is an individual choice for every homeowner, but it can be a difficult question to answer if homeowners aren't first aware of their options. New technology has made security more flexible than ever, but the sheer array of options can be overwhelming to begin muddling through. To simplify matters, here are the four most common types of home security that homeowners are likely to come across.
Some people will avoid the most formal alarm systems in favor of their own solutions. This system is more labor-intensive because it involves identifying the top security risks and devising solutions for them. So if a homeowner tours their home and notices a shadow that would be perfect for a criminal to hide in, they would set up a flood light to shed some light on their activity. Other options include:
- Timed lights: This options costs just a few dollars and can make criminals wary of breaking into a home with people inside it.
- Home security signs: Even fake home security signs can be enough to scare thieves off.
- Pre-recording of dog barks: Having the doorbell trigger a dog bark can cause burglars to move on.
- Frequent security code changes: From cyber passwords to the garage door pass code, this is important no matter what security option a homeowner chooses.
A local alarm is one that can be placed on any opening of the home. If a thief breaks a door or a window, the alarm will make a loud noise to alert both the homeowners and the neighbors. Local alarms aren't connected to anything — they serve as warnings. They rely on the homeowner or the neighbors to call the police, so they're not recommended for those in rural areas. Similarly, if a person lives in an area where neighbors are likely to come and go, then this option may not be an effective one.
A wired alarm is what people typically think of when they picture a security system. A security company will come to the home, drill into the walls, and set up a system that connects to either local authorities, the security company, or a private security team. Wired alarms typically cost around $1,500 (and may also include a monthly fee), but this price includes everything from motion detectors to cameras to central control panels. Wired alarms don't require much effort on the part of the homeowner. They provide 360° protection so homeowners can rest easy.
New technology on the market makes it possible for homeowners to design a system that's more sophisticated than DIY and more connected than a local alarm. These options include many of the features of a wired alarm, but don't require formal installation. Homeowners can pick and choose how many cameras to buy, where to put the motion detectors, and who they want to show up in the event of an emergency. It's more work than a wired alarm, but it can ultimately be a less expensive option without compromising on home security. Plus, it doesn't involve drilling into the walls to set it up.
There are more and more companies on the market who want to offer homeowners a middle ground between wired and local alarms in the form of DIY wireless options. These systems typically will alert a security team, but they do not require professional installation like a wired system does. With these options, homeowners essentially dictate their own system by picking and choosing different alerts based on their basic home needs relating to total home security. For example, they may rig up a camera for their front door and install a water leak detector in their basement.
Home security can be a difficult matter to tackle because it can be difficult for homeowners to even imagine the consequences of a break-in. But whether a homeowner wants to take a more proactive approach or not, all property owners should have some degree of protection to safeguard themselves and their possessions.
There are two major types of traditional security systems if homeowners want to do more than the DIY basics. One option is installing local alarms on doors and windows so a break will trigger a loud alert upon contact. Local alarms aren't connected to the homeowner, the police, or a security company—they are only meant to call attention to the thief. So for homeowners who don't live close to proactive neighbors, this may not be an ideal solution. On the other hand, wired systems are connected to either the local authorities or a private security team. These involve drilling into the home and setting up the various motion detectors, cameras, and control panels. The average cost of a wired system is about $1,500.
Just a cursory glance at the options available on the market will tell a homeowner that they can get the additional security they want for their home—even if they're on a budget. Much of Southeast Edmonton home security is the ability to be proactive when it comes to potential vulnerabilities. The simple act of paying attention can go a long way to sending thieves a message that they will be caught.
By Justin Havre