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Statistically, 75% of homes in the US will be victims of a burglary attempt in the next two decades. This amounts to two burglaries taking place every minute and 3,000 a day in total.
As criminals become increasingly innovative, the old tricks like locking your doors and windows, leaving lights on timers, and a fake camera are becoming increasingly obsolete.
With these statistics and considerations in mind, taking proactive steps to protect your home is essential. But knowing where to start and how to pick through the technical aspects of the different options can be confusing.
This article looks at the basics of a home security system (HSS) and important features to look out for. We also outline some food for thought when choosing an HSS provider and what scope you should include in your security plan. This includes deciding whether to include just your home or its contents and how your HSS system is powered to ensure it is permanently available when needed.
Home security systems (HSS) come in all different types and specifications. When you are making your selection, it is important to go into the process with some knowledge about the differences between burglar alarms and home security systems.
Burglar alarms and home security systems (HSS) are not the same. Alarms do what they say on the tin – they are designed with the sole purpose of alerting homeowners about intruders and acting as a deterrent. However, they do not offer all-around protection.
Full home security systems will alert homeowners to intruders while also monitoring the perimeter of the property. They often include features such as:
o Real-time monitoring
o Video surveillance
o Perimeter sensors and audible alarms
Finding the best HSS solution will depend on your particular home and property and the type of perimeter it has. You will also need to factor in the value of the contents in your property, how often you are there and whether you go away to a second home or for business. Taking into account the localized crime rate for the area you live in is also important.
Getting the specification right is important for all major purchases, and HSS systems are no different.
Different HSS systems include features such as live monitoring, motion activation, smartphone app monitoring, two-way communications and audio, video viewing and cloud-based storage, night vision, range of vision and field of view, adjustable range of panning, tilting, zooming, and the connectivity and power source your system will have access to.
Over-specced systems can mean you incur unnecessary costs, while under-specced or incorrectly specced systems can mean there are vulnerabilities for criminals to exploit in your system.
As a baseline, a well-rounded home security system should be expected to give you access to reliable personal security for your children and pets, well-positioned sensors and cameras, and smart features to make it easily accessible whether you are at the local store or out of the country for a longer vacation.
When choosing your provider, consider the property, family members, and pets you need to keep safe and the type of service you would like to receive.
This decision ranges from the technical aspects, such as the type of monitoring service you want. But it is also advisable to take a rigorous approach to your chosen provider’s other credentials, such as license and accreditations and their existing customers.
Look for the type of customers they provide services for and their track record and reputation. This is usually available online through customer testimonials or reviews and will give you a good idea of the ’providers’ expertise and customer service levels.
If you need an extra layer of security to cover the contents of your home and the exterior, then some HSS companies also offer systems and services that also include asset protection. This solution consists of devices installed to prevent a jewelry box from being opened, for example, or alert the homeowner if a valuable object has been moved or tampered with.
Some solutions can also be configured with movement sensors to protect valuable items and your house’s specific rooms or areas.
Most home security systems are designed to operate even when there is a power or WiFi outage, but that is not always the case. Without reliable power supply and connectivity, even the best HSS systems can let you down when you most need them. In fact, more sophisticated criminals could exploit these weaknesses to render your HSS useless to burgle your home.
With this in mind, paying careful attention to your proposed HSS’s power supply and connectivity is vital. Various options are available to assist in this choice, including low voltage systems, solar power, and emergency backup systems. In addition to a backup power supply, some systems can also be triggered to switch to mobile data for connectivity in the absence of WiFi systems.
Choosing a home security system is a one-off project that requires some research. A well-scoped HSS will secure your home and your valuable possessions and will not rely on single points of power supply or internet connectivity to alert you when something is wrong.
Although it can take a little time to research and select your system, it certainly pays to put some effort into this. A well-configured HSS does not only provide you and your family peace of mind, but it also has some other advantages. From increasing the value of your home when you come to sell it to keeping an eye on your pets when you are out, and HSS is essential for all family homes.
Currently with Deep Sentinel, Tomasz specializes in home safety and security technology. Prior to joining Deep Sentinel, Tomasz has over a decade of marketing leadership experience, ranging from Microsoft to Kissmetrics.