• 10 Reasons to Install a Security System

    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 or upgrade a home security 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 deters would-be burglars and thieves from breaking and entering. 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 unoccupied, but 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 inside or 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 and transmission system.

    2. Protect Your Home and Family from Fires

    The mention of home security systems tends to bring to mind only home intrusion scenarios; however, these alarm systems provide additional protection. While many homeowners rely solely on house smoke alarms to warn them of a fire outbreak, home security systems offer an early warning system via monitored home alarm smoke detectors. Monitored home alarm smoke 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,' 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 breakout, the home will be filled with thick black smoke that makes it nearly impossible 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 homeowners 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 also 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, like slip and fall. 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 for their ongoing monitoring and safety.

    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 homes however, these sentiments are the furthest thing from burglars' minds, as they focus solely on the retail value of what they can take. Each year it is estimated that there are around 2.5 million burglaries across the United States. These burglaries cost homeowners approximately $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 does not, it serves an additional function; it signals the authorities to respond to minimize loss of life and property and increase the odds that burglars will be caught.  Cameras installed with many modern alarm systems may also record the perpetrators committing the crime(s). Having visual documentation of the home intrusion increases the likelihood that the burglar will be identified. Video footage also helps homeowners create a record of what has been unlawfully taken.

    6. Having Someone Else Monitor Your Home

    One of the biggest benefits to having a monitored home security system is that it provides constant monitoring. 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

    A monitored house alarm system could save you considerable money on your homeowners insurance policy.  Homeowners insurance is a mandatory part of becoming a homeowner in most circumstances. The cost of this type of insurance coverage varies by location, coverage, payment plans, insurance company, type of house and a few other factors. Some people see homeowners insurance as a waste of money, but those who have ever had to use it will likely disagree. Homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover private homes and the possessions therein from losses or damage that occur as the result of covered devastating events. A significant discount is generally given to homeowners with monitored home security systems. The total discount given differs based upon the features of the system and the company offering the insurance. In general, homeowners may expect to receive a 10-20% annual discount.

    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 computer 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 on and off, air conditioning or heating to be adjusted, and motion detectors to be monitored. All of these functions not only allow homeowners to watch for intruders, but they also help to protect and control the home remotely. Turning on lights at a specified time through remote access can help to give the illusion that someone is at home when the property is unoccupied. 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 utility expenses.

    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 easily signal the authorities for help. 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.

    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.  Popularity is growing, however. 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 then start it an hour or so before heading back to the home. Other homeowners use this feature to turn on lighting before they leave their office so they do not have to enter a dark 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.