Installing a home security system can be costly, but not installing one could cost you even more. Below we will take a look at the top ten reasons to install a home security system or upgrading your existing home alarm system.
1. Protect Your Home and Family from Intruders
The biggest reason a home owner should consider installing a home security system is that it offers protection to family members from intruders. According to “Securing Home and Business” by Simon Hakim/Erwin Blackstone, homes without security systems are 2.7 times more likely to be targeted by a burglar. This indicates that the mere presence of an alarm system is enough in most cases to protect the home and its occupants from break-in. In some cases, burglars may still target a home either knowingly or unknowingly when members of the family are inside. For the burglar who enters the home expecting it to be empty, finding members of the family inside can cause enough shock and panic to facilitate aggressive behavior. Having a security system in place often provides family members with enough warning to get to a safe location in our outside the home while the alarm system dispatches local authorities. For burglars that enter a home knowing that family members are inside, their intentions are often much more malicious and the home alarm system again serves as an early warning system and calls the authorities.
2. Protect Your Home and Family from Fires
The mention of home security systems tends to bring to mind home intrusion scenarios; however, these alarm systems also provide additional protection barriers for homeowners. While many home owners rely upon smoke alarms to warn them of a fire outbreak, home security systems offer an early warning system. Monitored home alarm systems will not only warn home occupants of the presence of smoke in the home, but they will also warn of sources of heat and contact authorities. The saying goes ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’ but it is also true that where there is heat, there could be a fire building which is why it is important to incorporate heat detectors into a fire prevention technique. While heat detectors can be purchased without the installation of a home security system, using a heat detector alone will not signal authorities.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in just thirty seconds a small flame can turn in to a full blown fire. In just minutes of a fire breaking out, the home will be filled with thick black smoke that makes it impossible for family members to breathe. These two facts alone are enough to reinforce the importance of having a home security system that will signal authorities to respond to a house fire. Time is the biggest factor in any emergency, but in the case of fire, time is of the essence. A few seconds of a fire safety concern could mean death or the complete destruction of a home and all of its contents.
3. Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by a colorless and odorless gas that is found in combustion fumes. Within the home, carbon monoxide can be released from stoves, burning wood or charcoal, heating systems and gas ranges among other things. Since carbon monoxide is undetectable by the human senses, individuals are often blindsided by carbon monoxide poisoning that has been building up over time. In the human body, carbon monoxide is picked up by the red blood cells much more rapidly than oxygen is. As these blood cells release carbon monoxide into the blood, it begins to replace oxygen and this prevents tissues and organs from receiving necessary oxygen. The most severe cases of carbon monoxide poisoning can result in death. Other symptoms may include: dizziness, headache, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and confusion.
Carbon monoxide leaks can be discovered via carbon monoxide detectors. These small devices resemble smoke detectors and can be purchased alone or as part of a home security system. Similar to a home alarm-monitored smoke detector, the benefit of having these devices installed as part of a home security system is that it provides emergency service dispatch as well as calling paramedics able to treat symptoms of CO poisoning. The faster individuals are able to leave the home and receive medical treatment, the less severe CO poisoning symptoms will be.
4. Provide Your Family with Peace of Mind
The presence of a home security system provides many families with a peace of mind knowing that their home is protected from a variety of devastating scenarios. When home owners are elderly, incapacitated in some way or frequently left home alone, this peace of mind is invaluable. For the elderly who may be unable to get out of a home with the speed required in many dangerous situations, home security systems dispatch authorities that are capable of assisting. For those who are incapacitated and unable to leave the home, home security systems not only monitor all areas of the home, but again, they dispatch authorities when needed. Some home security systems also provide medical alert pendants for users to wear that are designed to call for help for specific medical situations. Finally, home alarm systems are beneficial for families that often leave family members home alone. Whether it is children of working parents being left alone, or whether it is spouses of the military who are frequently left alone for extended periods, home security systems provide peace of mind.
5. Protect Your Valuables
Throughout our lifetimes we collect and purchase a slew of items that have meaning to us. From sentimental inheritances to big ticket purchases, these things represent who we are and the accomplishments we have made. When burglars enter our home however, our feelings towards our possessions are the furthest thing from their minds, as they focus on the retail value of what they are taking. Each year it is estimated that there are some two and a half million burglaries across the United States. These burglaries cost homeowners some $3.1 billion with the average loss per burglary at around $1,700. For most homeowners, the presence of a home alarm system is enough to deter burglars but when it is not, it serves an additional function. As well as signaling authorities that the home has been burgled and increasing the chances that intruders will be caught, the cameras installed with many modern alarm systems catch the intruders in the act. Having visual documentation of the home intrusion increases the likelihood that the burglar will be identified for the crime committed. Video footage also helps homeowners create a record of what has been taken from their home during a burglary.
6. Having Someone Else to Monitor Your Home
One of the biggest benefits to having a monitored home security system is that it provides constant monitoring even when you are unable to do so yourself. Leaving town for business or going on vacation can be nerve wracking even with a home security alarm, but with monitoring services there is always someone to respond to emergency situations. These services do not act like house sitters, but they do track significant events and dispatch emergency personnel when needed. Home security systems are able to respond to alarms triggered as a result of a house fire, a carbon monoxide leak, a significant temperature drop or increase, an intruder, or a natural disaster such as a flood. Without the watchful eye of a monitoring company, the damage caused by these tragic events could be much worse than they otherwise would be.
7. Save on Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is a mandatory part of becoming a homeowner in most circumstances. The cost of this type of insurance coverage varies on location, coverage, payment plans, insurance company, type of house and a few other factors. Some people see homeowners insurance as a waste of money, those who have ever had to use it (or wish that had had it to use) will disagree.
Homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover private homes and the possessions therein from losses or damage that can occur as the result of a number of devastating events. Homeowner insurance covers most events such as fires, tornadoes and hurricanes. Flood insurance is generally not included and must be purchased separately since floods are a more common occurrence. The cost of homeowners insurance is generally not taken into consideration by first time homeowners when buying their home, but a significant discount is generally given to homeowners with home security systems installed. The total discount given as a result of homes having security systems differs based upon the features of the system (for instance, a system monitored by a central monitoring station should provide a larger discount compared to one that is not monitored) and the amount of coverage purchased initially and the company offering the insurance. In general, homeowners receive a 10-20% discount on their insurance by having a functioning home alarm system installed.
8. Keep an Eye on Your Home Remotely
For some homeowners, the ability to keep an eye on their home even when they are away is one of the biggest perks of having a home alarm system. As technology has improved, many home alarm systems now allow users to log on to the internet via their computers or smartphone and access their home security system remotely. This type of system allows the home alarm to be remotely armed or disarmed, cameras to be monitored, household lights to be turned off and on, air conditioning or heating to be turned on or changed, and motion detectors to be monitored. All of these functions not only allow homeowners to watch for intruders, but they also help to protect the home remotely. Turning on lights at a specified time through remote access can help to give the illusion that someone is at home even when they are not. Accessing the heating or air conditioning can help to prepare the home for sudden temperature changes to prevent pipe damage and can also help to save on electric or gas bills. In most cases remote access comes with a small fee, but it offers homeowners the opportunity to take charge of their home even when they are out of town.
9. Get Medical Assistance When Needed
Medical conditions are a real concern for many homeowners and many home alarm companies offer medical alert pendants or emergency pulls. These types of devices are designed so that individuals can press a button or pull a cord and immediately have emergency services dispatched to their home. Most commonly these types of services are requested by children of elderly parents, family members of sick individuals and those living with loved ones who have special needs. One of the biggest concerns for family members of the elderly is the potential of falling; fortunately, with a medical alert feature, if an elderly person falls at home when they are alone, they can signal the authorities for help immediately. For families of sick or special needs individuals, this service can be used in a similar way, signaling authorities or medical professionals that assistance is needed in the event of seizures or other medical emergencies. This feature is not standard on many home security systems, but is common enough that it can be obtained for a fee.
10. Reduce Energy Consumption in Your Home
Home automation is a relatively new concept and as such it is not offered by many home security companies yet but is becoming more popular. This service allows users to access and control the lighting, thermostat and, in some cases, small appliances of the home through remote access. Some homeowners utilize this feature to shut down heating and cooling when no one is home and log on to start it an hour or so before heading back to the home so they arrive to a comfortable home. Other home owners use this feature to turn on lighting in the home before they leave their office so they do not have to enter an unlit home. This feature is also beneficial for deterring intruders since it allows homeowners to make it look as though someone is home when they are not.
Additional Reasons Why You Should Install a Home Security System
- Security systems not only protect family and possessions, but they also provide protection for pets. If a fire were to break out when no one but the family pet was home, without a home alarm system that pet would be doomed.
- Home security systems allow for homeowners to secure less frequented areas of the home such as the basement and the garage. This makes it more difficult for intruders to take their preferred methods of entry into the home and go unnoticed.
- Home security systems mean that homeowners do not have to depend upon neighbors to watch over their home when they are away. There is less chance of human error with alarm systems.
- Home alarm systems prevent home intruders from staying too long if they do gain access to the house since there is a higher likelihood of them being scared away when an alarm is sounding loudly.
- Modern wireless alarm systems are affordable and much easier to set up and maintain than the wired systems of the past.
- Having a home alarm system installed actually increases your home value when it comes to selling your home. As an added bonus, it also keeps your home protected throughout the selling process where a number of strangers will be inside your home.
- Homes with security systems installed have a quicker emergency response time because they cut out the middle man and directly contact authorities for faster dispatch.
- The majority of large home protection companies offer 24/7 monitoring and support of their alarm systems which reduces the likelihood that the alarm system will fail and your home safety would be at risk.
- Some home alarm systems that come equipped with outdoor cameras allow for homeowners and their families to see who is at the front door without going close to it. This feature is particularly useful for families with children of working parents who often have to leave children at home alone.
Facts to Consider
If you still have any doubts about whether or not your home or family could benefit from a home alarm system take a look at some of the following facts:
- Approximately every twenty seconds a home fire is reported.
- House fires are the third leading cause of fatal home injury in the nation.
- Each year fires kill more people in the United States than all natural disasters combined.
- 39% of residential fires and 52% of residential fatalities from fires occur in homes with no smoke alarms.
- 70% of all burglaries occur in residential properties.
- Every 14.5 seconds a robbery is reported.
- Most burglaries take place between 10am and 3pm when the majority of homeowners are at work.
- 8% of robberies are committed with a gun according to the FBI’s crime statistics.
- The majority of burglars gain entry to the home via the front door, back door and first floor windows.
- FBI crime statistics state that during 60% of reported burglaries, someone was at home.
- Only 13% of reported burglaries are solved by the police.
- Only 15% of property that is stolen in burglaries is ever recovered by the police.
- Approximately two-thirds of home fire deaths between 2005 and 2009 were the result of fires in homes without smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.