Home Security and Why You Need It
There was a time that when you thought about home security, you thought about one thing: burglar alarms. Today, burglar alarms are still around, but they’re just one part of a much bigger picture. In today’s high-crime, high-tech world, home security systems have come of age.
Back in the day, hardwired burglar alarm systems would use your house current for power and landline telephone to dial for help in an emergency. The obvious flaws: any professional thief would try to turn off your power and at least cut your phone line before robbing you blind.
Today, all the top systems are 100% wireless, with battery backup. The best wireless home security systems use cellular communications to contact a central monitoring office that’s open 24/7/365. Tampering with any component sets off an alarm, and some components even take the offender’s picture.
Event alerts come to you via mobile app and to all your emergency contacts by any method they choose. Alerts are sent virtually instantaneously with most of the best systems.
What is home security today?
Home security, provided by the top-rated home security companies, now includes the ability to control everything in your house, including burglar alarm systems, via your smartphone or tablet. You can access live streaming HD video of your home on any device, anywhere you can get an internet connection.
Forgot to turn off the iron? No problem. Z-Wave technology makes it possible to control any light, outlet, appliance, heating, and air conditioning, not to mention the locks on your doors. You can even dim the bedroom lights to set the mood from virtually anywhere in the world. Home surveillance systems encompass more than just security these days.
Today’s wireless home security systems and home surveillance setups do amazing things, and even a top-of-the-range home protection system costs far less per month than the average cable TV bill. And with some systems, there are no upfront costs.
Why do I need home security?
According to a Pew Research study, only one-third of Americans know most of their neighbors. Just a few decades ago, on the other hands, a third of Americans reported hanging out with their neighbors twice a week. There was a greater sense of security and trust during those simpler times. Neighbors looked out for each other. Nowadays, there seems to be more distrust than ever before. When people don’t know or interact with their neighbors, it leads to a greater sense of isolation at home. Your neighbors probably aren’t going to call you if they see something suspicious at your home — after all, they probably don’t even know your name and possibly don’t want to get involved. A home security system becomes more necessary than ever before in our history.
Even if we lived in a world without crime (well, we can dream), making your home a safer place to live is never a bad idea. While you hope you’ll never need a home security system, for that one time that you do, you’ll be glad to have one. Besides protecting you from burglary, or even worse, a home invasion, today’s home security systems also feature:
- Fire, smoke, CO and natural gas alarms
- Children and pet monitoring
- Flood and freeze alarms
- Severe weather alerts
- Car and garage monitoring
- Personal safety fobs and pendants
- Remote control of door locks and every electric device in your home
- Energy management
Think of it this way: if your home security system included a Z-Wave thermostat, you could realize enough energy savings each month to cover the cost of even the best home security system. Monthly monitoring fees for the top security systems can be as little as $19.99 a month but no more than $49.99 for a system that includes all available features, including live HD streaming video surveillance. There are even ways to create DIY home security systems.
Ask yourself this: is it worth the cost of a nice dinner out to protect my biggest investment and asset from all the possible things that can happen when I’m not there, or even worse, when I am? A home security system can even pay for yourself when you consider the fact that installing one can result in up to a 20% discount on your homeowner’s insurance. You don’t have to be paranoid about security to appreciate the value of true peace-of-mind.
Self-monitoring versus professional monitoring
You have a choice when it comes to your home security. If you choose a self-monitoring home security option, this means that you’ll receive notifications to your phone and you can choose what to do with them, such as whether you’d like to call the police. A self-monitoring home security system is, of course, less expensive than having professional monitoring. While it is a step up from not having any home security, you have to consider that there could be a situation where you’re unable to notify police yourself. What if, heaven forbid, you’re in the house and there is a break-in, you’re held at gunpoint, helpless, and your cell phone gets a notification about a break-in? That’s great, but you already knew that, and if you could have, you would have already dialed 911.
With professional monitoring, however, there will always be someone else who knows if something isn’t right at your home. A security team will contact you to assess the situation and see if you require further help. If you are in a situation where you can’t respond, the security professionals will take the next step and obtain help for you. You’ll feel reassured knowing that assistance is on the way and you are not alone. The good guys are on your side.
What should I do now?
There are many top-rated home security companies out there from which to choose, such as Frontpoint, Guardian Protection, or Link Interactive, and they’re all a little bit different. We’ve done a lot of the legwork for you, and on this site, you’ll find all the information you’ll need to select a company that’s the best fit for you and your lifestyle.
The best advice is that it’s never a matter of “if” something is going to happen, just a matter of “when.” Affordable state-of-the-art wireless home security is available to virtually anyone who has a place to live, so don’t put off your decision… tomorrow may literally be too late.