Written by: Kevin Gardner
The idea of home security, or lack thereof, keeps plenty of people awake at night. This may be especially true if you've ever experienced a burglary or seen strangers hanging about your property at night. A home security system can be a great way to protect your home and family, but not all systems are the same, and you may want to first consider your needs before you go shopping. If you think you'd benefit from a new home security system, here are some things you should consider.
1. System Size
You may be tempted to use the smallest and cheapest security system, but there are a couple of reasons why this may not be the best idea. If you automatically go for the small system, there may be gaps in your coverage that you won't notice until later. For example, a smaller system may not cover all of the doors and windows on your property. A smaller system may also become overloaded trying to monitor a larger property than it is meant to.
2. Energy Source
When shopping for a home security system, keep your energy source in mind. It’s important to have a system that operates even if you lose power, since this will be when you are most vulnerable. If you use solar panels instead of an external power source, you may want to take a second look at the types of solar panels you have to make sure the home security system will be compatible. It's not a bad idea to prepare a backup power source.
3. Levels of protection
Think about the type of security you want for your property. You can get a simple alarm, which will likely deter burglaries, but it may be a good idea to think about more comprehensive types of coverage. Consider whether or not you want a system that will alert the police in the event of an emergency. Do you want video or audio coverage? It is also a good idea to confer with your insurance company since certain systems will help provide evidence if you ever need to make a claim.
4. Provider History
Before you settle on a system make sure you research the system provider. If they haven’t been in business long it may be more difficult to verify the quality of their product. A company that has been in business for years likely has plenty of reviews available online and customers that are happy to talk to you about the service they have received. History aside, it’s also important to know whether or not they have modern technology and equipment. If they’re using outdated equipment, this may be a sign of potential consequences for your system. Plus, distance can matter in an emergency, and it takes time for signals to transmit and be received. If you’re far away from your security provider, it may take precious seconds for anyone to respond to the alarm.
5. Installation process
While some systems can be easily installed within minutes, some home security systems require a more invasive installation process. This can mean drilling into or opening up walls, so make sure that someone who’s familiar with the structure of the home is present for the installation. You can also contact your provider ahead of time so you know how to prepare. You may need to move furniture or wall decor, and doing so ahead of time can speed up the process. This is a great opportunity for you to see and understand how the system will operate as well as ask any questions of your provider.
Choosing a home security system is a huge step and can go a long way in protecting you, your family and your property. When you consider your specific needs and conduct your research ahead of time, you should end up with a system that makes you feel more comfortable in your daily life.