We’ve always had security in some form or another to offer peace of mind – a city gate, a moat surrounding a fortress, a fence around your land, or just a lock on your door. Home security systems became increasingly popular in the early 1990s, resulting in a significant reduction in home burglaries, but with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. Before we look at the top home security firms, there are a few things to consider.
Home security basics
A keypad unit or base station, at least one or two sensors, and a monitoring station are the fundamental components of a home security system. The keypad, which is generally installed on a wall in a high-traffic area of your house, is the system’s brain. You can arm and disarm your system using the keypad, and some systems can even be armed remotely using a mobile phone. Sensors are made up of two parts. One piece will go on the edge of a door/window, and the other will go on the door/window frame next to it. When a window or door is closed, the door and window sensors will detect it.
An alarm will sound and an emergency signal will be transmitted to a remote monitoring service station if the system is activated and a motion sensor detects that a window or door has been opened. These remote monitoring stations have representatives who have been educated and accredited to respond to home security emergency signals. They’ll be able to call you and inquire whether the signal trip was a fluke, and in the event of a genuine emergency, they’ll alert the police.
Fees for installation and activation
An alarm provider may claim to charge a cheap monthly price, only to slap you with a slew of additional expenses upfront. They’re usually referred to as activation or installation costs, and they may go into the hundreds of dollars, so be cautious. If a salesperson from an alarm company comes to your door to offer you a contract, be sure you’re completely informed on the upfront expenses. It’s possible that you’re paying more out of pocket than you’d want. Some top-tier home security providers, on the other hand, will not charge for installation or activation. If you want to learn more about the top-rated home security providers, read our home security evaluations.
Warranties and contracts
A home security provider will often lock you into a three- to five-year contract. A three-year contract is more convenient since you have more flexibility with a shorter deal. While a five-year contract may result in a reduced monthly price, this relies entirely on the firm. In any case, you must be certain that you will not be relocating within the next three to five years, or your home security provider may punish you. You may be able to transfer the contract to the next homeowner, but if you insist on retaining your system and relocating it, you’ll almost certainly have to pay a relocation charge and renew your contract. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you ask a home security salesperson all of these questions.
Options for monitoring
Wi-Fi, landline, or cellular connections connect security systems to a monitoring center. Although cellular connections are becoming increasingly prevalent, landline connections are still useful in lower-cost systems. Even if the power goes out, landline connections can still reach the monitoring center. In the event of a power outage, most cellular security systems will have backup power that will last a few days. When it comes to Wi-Fi-enabled security, you’ll need a reliable broadband connection, or your home security system will be rendered useless.
Automating your home
As home automation gets cheaper, it is becoming increasingly popular. Light control, remote door locks, temperature management, doorbell cameras, and even minor appliance activation are all available through a smartphone app. Using sophisticated z-wave technology, these gadgets can interact with your smartphone app and each other. It’s crucial to note, however, that these functions are nearly never included in simple alarm systems. If you want home automation, you’ll almost certainly need to acquire a sophisticated system from your home security provider.
Household Safety Most Commonly Asked Questions
How do home security systems contact the police?
When the home security system is activated, one of the peripherals detects a door or window opening and sends a signal to the keypad unit. A loud alarm sounds within the house, alerting you to the fact that your home has been broken into. If you do not respond to the false alarm promptly, a signal is transmitted to your local police department that your home has been broken into. Law enforcement should arrive shortly.
Can’t I just get security cameras?
Yes, but it wouldn’t have all of the features of a comprehensive home security system. The bulk of today’s Wi-Fi security cameras don’t have the means to call a monitoring service in the event of a break-in. The camera may detect movements and send push alerts to your phone, but it is up to you to call the appropriate authorities. You’re out of luck if your house is broken into and you’re not near your phone or it’s switched off. This is why, while a security camera can be an excellent addition to a home security system, it will never be able to fully replace one.
Why can’t I just get a dog for home security purposes?
As a home security precaution, you may consider getting a dog. When it comes to burglary prevention, it’s critical to think of a lot of “what ifs” for your possible burglar. What if it takes a bite out of me? What if it begins to bark and make a racket? More variables make for a more difficult target, therefore your burglar should just go on to the next one.
That said, some dogs are so nice and calm that they’ll treat your intruder as if he or she were another visitor. If your dog is hyperactive, false alerts may cause a ruckus. Some expert thieves may use a piece of meat or another distraction to distract a dog, therefore it’s essential to get your dog specific training to educate them on how to combat predators. Special guard dog training, on the other hand, might take years and cost thousands of dollars. It’s wonderful if you already have a dog, but it shouldn’t be your major source of security. Home security systems may give protection and coverage that your dog can’t, and security firms can also provide excellent customer service and help, making home security more manageable.
What’s the difference between DIY and professionally installed systems?
Most reputable home security providers prefer to send a qualified agent to professionally install your security system. This implies you’ll have to be home at a certain time while they put everything up. These individuals should have undergone extensive training to get certified in the installation of home security systems.
In recent years, do-it-yourself home security systems have grown in popularity. Because some alarm systems rely entirely on Wi-Fi and cellular technology, there’s no need to run extensive cords between sensors and the control panel. This also makes relocating your system much easier if you need to relocate, and apartment owners won’t have to worry about nail holes and wall mounts bothering their landlords.
In essence, one isn’t always superior to the other. It all boils down to personal choice. Check out alarm system reviews while researching home security businesses to discover if consumers preferred the do-it-yourself or professional option. This may assist you in determining which option is best for you.
How do I know what kind of system I need?
To begin, consider the number of windows and doors in your home. Naturally, you may get away with a smaller system if you have a smaller house. If you have a large house, you’ll want to invest in the largest, most reliable system available. A professional installation will know where to put sensors for the best security, but if you’re doing it yourself, prioritize the back entrance, basement windows, and floor-level windows.
What are some low-cost ways I can enhance my home’s security?
There are several low-cost and simple methods to improve the security of your house. Here are a few examples:
- Reduce the number of hiding spots around your home by trimming shrubs and removing trees.
- Small solar lights should be placed along sidewalks and driveways.
- Ladders and other tools should be kept safely within the house.
- Things that are difficult to climb over or move should be placed in front of windows.
- When you leave the house, leave the lights or televisions on.
What is the best home security company?
The top home security provider is selected based on our criteria and consumer home security reviews. Best Firm usually ranks the company with the most positive customer ratings first, although this isn’t always the case. At Best Business, we consider pricing, upfront costs, contract durations, monitoring choices, the equipment offered, and nationwide coverage when determining which company is the best. The most essential thing is that consumers obtain high-quality items and dependable services while saving money, so you can relax and feel certain that you’re getting high-quality products and excellent customer service when you choose the top-ranked company at Best Company.