Whether there’s actually been an incident or you just want to feel safe, the right home security system can give you the peace of mind you need. But what type of home security system is best for you and your home?
Figure it out by answering these questions:
1. Cameras or no cameras?
Alarms are often enough to keep a home safe, but cameras can provide an extra level of comfort—and give burglars an extra level of fear. If something does happen, it will also help with any related investigations. That said, good security cameras will cost you a pretty penny.Only you can decide whether or not the extra money is worth it.
2. Wireless or hardwired?
These days most alarm systems are hybrids, using hardwired technology for several primary functions and wireless communication systems. Several alarm systems are still reliant on analog phone lines, but they are being phased out in favour of alarm systems that use cellular communication. This means you won’t have to get rid of your alarm system when you inevitably get rid of your landline. More importantly, it means your systems won’t go down if your power goes out.
3. Should you integrate it with other alarm systems?
The term “home security system” might conjure to mind an anti-theft alarm system, but there’s so much more to keeping your home safe. Fires, floods, and other accidents can also cause severe damage. Many home security systems have an optional smoke detector that can be connected to the system, and some more advanced systems can detect other issues such as floods. When these events occur the system will automatically call emergency services.
4. Do you want to install it or have a professional install it for you?
Installing a home security system yourself will take some practical know how, but it can also save you a considerable amount of money. If you’re a natural techie, you might even feel more comfortable with something you installed yourself, as nobody understands your home or your needs better than you do.
5. Who is going to monitor it?
As with the installation, you can do this yourself or pay a company to do it for you. And there are enough pros and cons for each option that we could write a separate article about this specific question. So for now we’ll give you the short version: company monitoring will cost you a monthly fee, but it will also ensure that someone’s always around to deal with the problem. After all, what happens if your alarm goes off when your phone is on silent for a meeting?
If you work with a company you may be able to set things up so you can still do self monitoring as well.
6. What company do you want to work with?
Now that you know what you want out of a home security system it’s time to start looking for one. Be willing to spend several hours or days researching your options, especially if you’re hiring them to do the monitoring too. Most of these contracts require you to use the service for at least one year, and you don’t want to sign your safety away to someone who isn’t trustworthy.
Always be sure to read several reviews for any company you’re considering. Focus on reviews from third-party website, as these will be less biased than the reviews and testimonials chosen for the company’s site.