Building Your Home Security System? Start Here First
“60% of burglars indicated that the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target” –UNC Charlotte, Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology
Pretty amazing, right? If you’re a new homeowner or have recently decided to add some security measures to your home, it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, making the decision to monitor your home is shown to be an effective way to help thwart burglars. The only question is, where do you start? Do you need to pay bigger fees for a professional security system, or can those DIY kits really offer appropriate protection?
The team at Reviews.com recently dove in to answer this very same question, and formulated a helpful step-by-step approach to home security installation. They recommend starting with the following questions:
Professional or DIY?
The first question to ask yourself is whether to opt for a DIY or professional security system. Both options present their own unique pros and cons, as seen below:
Professional systems take on monitoring themselves. They’ll alert the police on your behalf if they can’t contact someone in the house to determine if an alarm is true or false. However, keep in mind that there is a large fine if they end up calling the police for a false alarm.
Service fees typically run about $40 – $50 per month, in addition to equipment rental costs.
DIY security systems allow you to monitor your own camera and sensor feed. So while you can more easily avoid false alarms, it’s also up to you to call the police if needed.
Service fees typically run about $10 – $30 per month, in addition to equipment purchase costs.
Choose your equipment options and placement
Control Panel – programs, arms and disarms your system. Do you want a sleek touchpad or a chunkier keypad? Look for an option that suits your preferences.
Video Cameras – monitor the comings and goings of people to the house (package deliveries, landscapers, animals, home-dwellers), and capture footage for the police. How will you set up your cameras?
- Back door – cameras should be high enough to prevent wires from being clipped
- Front door – cameras should also be similarly high up, or right by the doorbell where a burglar won’t want to do anything suspicious
- Master bedroom – most burglars target the master bedroom first, so coverage here is important
Door & Window Sensors – chime when the connection is broken, typically even if the system is unarmed. When properly installed, they typically do not fail or produce false alarms.
Motion Detectors – keep in mind that these can’t always differentiate between a moving person or a wandering pet or radiator. In general, cameras are more effective than motion detectors, as they allow you to see what is moving.
Flood, smoke, and CO detectors – these sensors will call the fire department if the stimulus is detected in the house. Another tip: homeowners insurance companies will often give customers a discount for installing these safety measures, so be sure to ask!
For more information on how to choose and set up your home security system, check out the full guide here: https://www.reviews.com/research/tips-building-home-security-system/