Do I Need a Home Security System?

Home security systems vary in complexity from simple door locks to sophisticated alarm systems that will automatically notify the local police station in the event of a break-in. Safety is of primary importance when considering whether or not to install a security system and how extensive a system you need, but bear in mind that certain security devices will earn you better premiums on your HomeOwners Insurance policy as well.

Considerations

The type and extent of home security you choose for your home depends greatly on the value of what you are trying to protect. If you are a bachelor with few valuable items in your home and you feel reasonably confident that you could protect yourself if necessary, then installing deadbolts on your doors may be the only action you need to take to discourage break-ins. Most HomeOwners Insurance policies will give you a 5% discount for deadbolt installation. If, on the other hand, you have children or other family members that are often home alone and without other defense, a burglar alarm system may be for you. Installing a simple system along with deadbolts will earn you an additional 5% discount on your insurance policy. The more sophisticated the system, the greater your discount will be, sometimes up to 20%.

Crime rates in your area also play a prominent role in your decision about a home security system. People who live in areas with high crime rates should consider investing more in a sophisticated system. Also consider whether your home looks like an easy target to a burglar. Are you away from home overnight very often? Do you have a regular established routine? Is your home well-lit, or does it sit on a dark lot with no street lights nearby? Do you have sliding glass doors or other easy access points? All of these things may influence your decision about what steps you should take to make your home more secure.

Options

There are some simple steps you can take that will immediately improve the security of your home. Installing devices such as deadbolts and peepholes in your doors will offer a greater level of protection for you and will earn you a small discount on your insurance premium. You should also consider installing motion sensor lights, timers on indoor lights and better quality doors and windows if yours are old or easily forced open. Even ideas like putting up a beware of the dog sign (whether or not you have a dog) and putting home security system stickers on your windows (even if you don’t have a system installed) can be enough to deter a burglar from attempting to enter your home. Most criminals won’t work in lighted areas or spend more than a few minutes on gaining entrance.

If your family, assets, or situation make it advantageous to install an alarm system, there are several options to consider. Some systems simply monitor the opening and closing of doors, while others cover the entire perimeter and will be tripped by anyone opening or tampering with a window or other access point as well. There are floor sensors that can detect a burglar by his weight on the floor of your home and motion sensors that will trip an alarm in the event of unauthorized movement. Some systems can also be linked to your local police station and will send a signal there if the alarm in your home goes off. Check with your HomeOwners Insurance company about what discounts are available for various types of systems, as that may influence your decision as well.

Conclusion

Only you can decide what type of security system will best meet the needs of you and your family. Your homeowners insurance company may provide incentives for installing certain systems, but always measure the discount against the cost of the system and whether it’s worth installing in light of the value of your home. Don’t wait to take security measures for the safety of your family. The criminals aren’t waiting, and you never know when your neighborhood may be the next target for a series of break-ins. The more deterrents you have in and around your home, the less likely it is that your house will be chosen as an easy target.

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