Home security systems give you peace of mind that your home is protected when you’re away or asleep. Fortunately, today’s home security systems are as technologically advanced as they are convenient.
You can usually buy a feature-rich home security system without spending a fortune. A smart home company like Vivint can give you a better idea of the costs and benefits of a home security system. Get a free quote today!
Understanding how these systems work and the benefits they offer can help you make a smart choice when purchasing a home security system.
What is a home security system?
As its name suggests, a home security system is a method of securing your home and property through a system of connected components and devices. These electronic devices connect to a master control panel that sounds off — and emergency response can be alerted — when intruders open a protected entrance or space in your home.
When purchasing home insurance, you can choose to have your system professionally monitored or do it yourself. Professional monitoring, which requires a monthly fee, provides 24-hour protection from security agents who are alerted as soon as your alarm sounds. If necessary, these specialists can contact emergency services on your behalf.
You can avoid monthly fees by opting for DIY tracking and you’ll still receive notifications when your alarm goes off. However, you should also notify the authorities yourself in the event of an emergency.
Check out what different smart home companies — like Vivint and ADT — have to offer.
In general, modern home security systems include the following:
- Door and window sensors
- Motion sensors
- Base station
- Security cameras, which may include a doorbell camera
- Glass break sensor
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Temperature sensors
- High decibel siren or alarm
How a home security system works
Most home security systems on the market today work wirelessly using your home’s WiFi and radio signals to create a complete home defense system.
- Video monitoring: Wireless cameras use a radio frequency or radio transmitter to send the video to your receiver, which is connected to an internal storage device. This device usually stores security video content in the cloud so you can store and access videos remotely. Your monitor or receiver should display a link to view video images.
- Door and window sensors: These entry sensors are another key element of any security system. These sensors consist of two parts, a magnet and a sensor that form magnetic fields when placed in close proximity, such as near an entry point. But when a burglar or intruder opens the door or window, that magnetic field is interrupted, causing the sensor to signal the control panel to activate the siren.
- Motion sensors: Unlike entry sensors, motion sensors activate the alarm and notify you when motion is detected in protected areas within your home. Motion sensors act as an added layer of security to protect specific objects or areas, such as near expensive works of art or collectibles.
Your home security system could include a wide range of additional features, including; smart House integration, environmental sensors, glass break sensors and key fob or keyboard input.
5 benefits of home security systems
In general, most systems today are wireless and can be controlled using your smartphone no matter where you are. And that’s just the beginning of the benefits and perks of a home security system, which include:
- Protect your home. If you have irreplaceable or expensive items that you want to protect, a strong security system can scare off intruders and alert local authorities of a break-in.
- Potentially deters burglaries. Potential burglars may be more likely to move and look for a different target if there is an alarm on the premises.
- It can lower your homeowners insurance costs. A home security system and other security measures can reduce you home insurance premium of up to 15%, according to PolicyGenius.
- Monitor your home remotely. If your system has security cameras, many providers allow you to monitor your home from your phone. Depending on your system, you may even be able to remotely control thermostats, keyless door locks, and other smart devices in your home.
- Receive gas and fire alerts. Depending on your system and provider, you may be able to receive alerts when smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors go off while you’re away. Some providers even offer instant notification to the authorities when these emergencies arise.
If any of these benefits appeal to you, consider getting a new home security system now.
How much does a home security system cost?
Generally, there are four costs to consider when purchasing a home security system:
- Monitoring costs
Equipment costs may vary by manufacturer and your system. When choosing a system, it’s wise to look for the best value with the features you want – not the cheapest price.
Installation fees usually cost around $200, or you can save money by installing it yourself. Note that some providers charge an activation fee, ranging from $25 to $100.
If you choose a home security solution with a professional audit, be prepared to spend up to $60 (possibly more) per month for the service. While the fee may be annoying, it could be worth the peace of mind knowing your home has an extra layer of protection from intruders.