The biggest reason a homeowner 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 burglars. This indicates that the mere presence of an alarm system is enough in most cases to protect the home and its occupants from break-ins. In some cases, burglars may still knowingly or unknowingly target a home when family members are inside. For the burglar who enters the home expecting it to be empty, finding family members inside can cause enough shock and panic to facilitate aggressive behavior. A security system often provides family members with enough warning to get to a safe location outside the home. In contrast, 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. The home alarm system again serves as an early warning system and calls the authorities.
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 homeowners 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 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, so it is essential to incorporate heat detectors into a fire prevention technique. While heat detectors can be purchased without installing 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 into a full-blown fire. In just minutes of a fire breaking out, the home will be filled with thick black smoke, making it impossible for family members to breathe. These two facts alone reinforce the importance of a home security system that will signal authorities to respond to a house fire. Time is the most significant 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 destruction of a home and its contents.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by a colorless and odorless gas 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. Red blood cells pick up carbon monoxide much more rapidly than oxygen in the human body. As these blood cells release carbon monoxide into the blood, it begins to replace oxygen, preventing 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 and calls paramedics able to treat symptoms of CO poisoning. The faster individuals are able to leave home and receive medical treatment, the less severe CO poisoning symptoms will be.
The presence of a home security system provides many families with 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 can assist. For those who are incapacitated and unable to leave home, home security systems not only monitor all areas of the home but, again, dispatch authorities when needed. Some home security systems also provide medical alert pendants for users to wear that are designed to call for help in specific medical situations. Finally, home alarm systems benefit 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.
Throughout our lifetimes, we collect and purchase many items that have meaning to us. From sentimental inheritances to big-ticket purchases, these represent who we are and our accomplishments. When burglars enter our homes, 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 $3.1 billion, with the average loss per burglary at around $1,700. For most homeowners, a home alarm system is enough to deter burglars, but it serves an additional function when it is not. As well as signaling authorities that the home has been robbed and increasing the chances that intruders will be caught, the cameras installed with many modern alarm systems catch the intruders in the act. Visual documentation of the home intrusion increases the likelihood that the burglar will be identified for the crime. Video footage also helps homeowners record what has been taken from their homes during a burglary.
One of the most significant benefits of having a monitored home security system is that it provides constant monitoring even when you cannot do so yourself. Leaving town for business or vacationing can be nerve-wracking, even with a home security alarm. Still, with monitoring services, there is always someone to respond to emergencies. These services do not act like house sitters, but they do track significant events and dispatch emergency personnel when needed. Home security systems can respond to alarms triggered due to 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 it otherwise would be.
A house alarm will save you money on your homeowner’s insurance policy 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, but those who have ever had to use it (or wish that they had had it to use) will disagree.
Homeowner’s insurance is designed to cover private homes and possessions therein from losses or damage that can result from several 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 more common. The cost of homeowners insurance is generally not considered by first-time homeowners when buying their homes. Still, 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 more significant discount compared to one that is not monitored) and the amount of coverage purchased initially and the company offering the insurance. Homeowners generally receive a 10-20% insurance discount by installing a functioning home alarm system.
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 allows homeowners to take charge of their homes even when they are out of town.
Medical conditions are a genuine concern for many homeowners, and many home alarm companies offer medical alert pendants or emergency pulls. These devices are designed so individuals can press a button or pull a cord and immediately have emergency services dispatched to their homes. Most commonly, these types of services are requested by children of elderly parents, family members of sick individuals, and those living with loved ones with 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 similarly, signaling authorities or medical professionals that assistance is needed for seizures or other medical emergencies. This feature is not standard on many home security systems but is familiar enough that it can be obtained for a fee.
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 home appliances 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 at a comfortable home. Other homeowners 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 like someone is home when they are not.
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: