Millions of property crimes are reported each year, according to the FBI. So how can you protect your house? Are home security systems worth it? Well, they have pros and cons. Let’s first look at some of their benefits:
Benefits of Home Security Systems
1. Peace of Mind
The biggest benefit of home security systems is the fact that they will give you peace of mind. Knowing that your house and the precious belongings in it are safe contributes to a sense of security.
Your belongings are worth something, but your life is worth everything. Instead of worrying about the dangers of property crime (or worse), people who have a home security system can rest easy knowing that they are safeguarded. Plus, their home is protected even when they're away, so they don’t have to fret about returning to a house emptied of its contents.
3. DIY Home Security Systems
If you don’t have enough money to pay installation and monthly monitoring fees, you don’t have to go without. If you're handy around the house, there are a lot of DIY options to protect your home. And many of them can be upgraded, even when you move to a bigger place or start acquiring more things of value. You can also customize systems to get exactly what you’re looking for, like an all-in-one setup or one that gives you locks for windows.
4. Remote Viewing
Want to be able to view your home on the go? You can! With many home security installations, you’ll have access to cameras that you can position to view your home via your phone or laptop. Even better? Many of them can record as well. So should anything like a break-in ever happen, you’ll have evidence to share with the authorities.
5. Cheaper Home Insurance
You may be able to lower your home insurance premium by installing a security system. If you are in an area that has high crime rates, the cost of your home insurance may drop even more. This could mean that the cost of monitoring becomes worth it, even for those skeptical about such security systems.
Drawbacks of Home Security Systems
Despite the benefits, home security systems come with their share of cons, too. Let’s look at some of them:
1. Easy to Forget
It can become so easy to get comfortable with using your home security system that you forget to activate it. For instance, if you are in a rush or are running out for a quick minute, you may not remember to arm the system as you’re leaving. There are a few ways around this, though. For instance, you can choose a system that you can turn on remotely. Or you may choose to leave a note by the door as a reminder to set the alarm before you go out.
2. Difficult Set Up
If you choose the professional route, installing a home system can take time and be a little difficult depending on your home. There may be wiring and routing problems that arise, or you may receive an inexperienced technician. Either way, this isn’t always a con, but it has been known to happen.
3. Accidental Threats
If you forget your code, accidentally trip an alarm, or even just take too long to get to your alarm once it's been set off, you may have to deal with a lot of calls and possibly law enforcement showing up at your doorstep. This can be especially difficult for older people who need help getting to their system, or people who are absentminded (or who always carry in a ton of items).
Some companies will charge you a fee after the first “accident.” So if you move slowly or are forgetful, it may be hard to find a home security system that works well for you.
The average costs of home security systems range from $250 to $1,500 for installation and $30 a month for monitoring, though it ranges depending on your area and which system you choose. If you opt for a DIY home security system, you may be looking at anywhere from $100 to $750 for a new one.
The Bottom Line: Are Home Security Systems Worth It?
If the pros weigh out the cons for you, a home security system is worth every penny. But it’s important to get the one that’s right for you.