Home Security: Are You Protected?
According to the 2014 Crime Clock statistics, a burglary takes place in the United States once every 18.2 seconds. The same governmental agency states that a property crime happens every 3.8 seconds. It is understandable that with statistics like these, homeowners are concerned about protecting their family, their valuables, and their property.
When most homeowners think about protecting their home, the first thing that comes to their minds is a home security system. They may wonder what system is right for their home, do they need monitoring, do security systems reduce crime, and are there effective alternatives to purchasing a home security system?
Finding the Right Security System for Your Home
There are different models of home security systems to choose from. Each one has its pros and cons. Instead of discussing each style of system, instead homeowners should look at what they want their security system to do for them.
First, a homeowner should want their security system to activate when any seal is broken by an unexpected or unauthorized movement. This includes opening a closed door, opening a closed window, breaking glass, or unexpected movement in an unauthorized location.
When one of the above-mentioned violations takes place, the security system should do two things immediately. First, it should alert the homeowner of the infraction. The alert could be audible via an alarm, or it could be digital via a text message, email, or some other form of communication.
Second, the security system should alert a central monitoring station. The monitoring station will attempt to contact the homeowner to verify the validity of the alarm. If the homeowner cannot be reached or if they give the wrong password, then law-enforcement officials would be notified to investigate the situation.
Features Offered by Most Security Systems
As with just about anything, the more you are willing to pay for your security system, the more options you will have available. These options include:
• A control unit that includes the keypad, backup battery, and siren
• Motion detectors that can sense when people are in the room. Some have the option to not detect pets, avoiding false alarms
• Magnetic contacts on the doors and windows. These contacts form a circuit with the security system. When the circuit is broken, the alarm is triggered
• Smoke, fire, carbon monoxide detectors
• Glass breaks that react to the frequencies made by breaking glass
• Panic buttons
• CCTV with the option of remote monitoring and recording
• Gauges to detect a broken furnace or frozen pipes
• Gauges to detect leaks in the basement
Do You Need an Alarm System?
Some may feel that purchasing an alarm system is overkill. Some home security experts agree. They say that there are a lot of things that homeowners can do to protect themselves that are more powerful than a security system.
Their argument is that most burglars aren’t smart. They’re not looking to use Mission Impossible/James Bond maneuvers to circumvent a security system. They usually just take advantage of mistakes made by homeowners, such as leaving their doors unlocked or the windows open.
Some inexpensive alternatives to security systems are:
• High-Quality Deadbolt Locks
• High-Quality Window Locks
• Exterior Motion Light Sensors
• Getting a Dog
Burglars are very astute individuals. They notice the habits of potential victims. So when a homeowner is away on vacation, they should always lock the door. Installing light timers, having someone pick up the mail, and putting newspapers on hold are excellent ways of deterring burglars.
Security Starts with the Door
Something to remember is that an alarm system is designed to alert the homeowner and authorities that the home has been breached. However, doors and a good lock may prevent the breach from happening in the first place.
The three most popular styles of locks on the market today are:
• Slip Bolt Locks
• Deadbolt Locks
• Smart Locks
When it comes to buying locks, never skimp on quality. You almost always get what you pay for.
The same thing is true when it comes to doors. The least expensive doors a person can buy are pine hollow core doors. These doors can easily be kicked in and should never be used for exterior protection. Exterior doors should be solid wood or solid metal.
The doorjamb and the door frame should be secured with metal. Even if a person can kick open the lock, they are going to have a hard time kicking in a reinforced doorjamb.
Contrary to popular myth, the majority of home burglaries happen during the day hours. Law-enforcement says peak hours for burglary are between 10 AM and 3 PM. This is because everyone is at school and at work. This means that a burglar can come in and out without being noticed.
Visible interior and exterior motion activated security cameras are a security plus because they deter burglars. If a burglary does happens, it is recorded, which will make it easier to find and prosecute the perpetrator.
Strengthening the Home’s Defenses
Burglars are lazy. That’s why they rob instead of working 9 to 5. They look for the easiest targets, one that does not take long to get into. Burglars try to accomplish their task within 10 minutes.
A homeowner can make this difficult to accomplish by installing high-quality doors and a high-quality security system. They should keep their valuables stored in a safe or in another hidden spot that is difficult to access. Burglars realize that from the moment they enter a home, they only have so many minutes before law-enforcement arrives. If they can’t find anything within a short amount of time, they flee.
The Future of Home Security
It is unfortunate that people need to think so much about protecting their home from intruders. But it is reality. Home security systems are becoming more complicated and more effective every year. Many homeowners have opted to purchase a wireless security systems. These systems cannot be circumvented by cutting the phone line and are not affected by power outages.
Smart locks are eliminating the need for keys and instead are allowing homeowners to use their cell phone, keypad, or other Bluetooth device to enter their home. Remote monitoring is allowing people to keep track of their home even when they are away.
Investing in security is an investment in one’s personal property, their safety, and the safety of their loved ones.