With 5,400 burglaries occurring every day, there is a need to make sure your home is as secure as it can be. There are several things to consider when choosing any security system, whether one professionally installed or one that is more do-it-yourself in nature. Here’s a list of features you should think about when upgrading your present system, or installing a new security apparatus from the ground up:
- Make sure your home security system incorporates home automation features such as a doorbell camera. In lieu of a doorbell camera, you can install one of the smart lights from Kuna that incorporates a camera into the actual light fixture and notifies you anywhere in the world you may happen to be via a smartphone application.
- Consider adding electric and smart locks, which enable the homeowner, teenagers, or house sitters, to unlock the home with a simple push of a button. Smart locks can also be programmed to open via biometric fingerprint identification or via Bluetooth from any Bluetooth enabled device. Physical keys, like we’ve all grown up with, are actually becoming a thing of the past as more and more smart locks are coming down in price and becoming more main stream. With a smart lock there is no risk of losing a key or having one stolen. Most of the locks I’ve tested are very user friendly and can be easily installed when replacing an existing lock.
- When thinking about a monitored security system, that is one that is monitored by a central station, make sure you choose one that can’t be disarmed by the alarm panel being destroyed by an intruder. Many of the panels manufactured over the last 10 years could be disarmed by a somewhat savvy burglar locating the panel, they are usually always placed in the same place by an installer who takes the easiest route, at least with a wired system, to keep from having to run extra wire. Find one that sends an alert to the monitoring station immediately after a sensor is tripped, such as a window being opened or a door sensor being breached. Even if the panel is destroyed, the alert has already been sent and if the central monitoring station doesn’t receive a disarm notice within a few minutes, law enforcement will be dispatched. Frontpoint has such a system, but there are other companies that do as well, so do your research and see which system makes the most economic sense for your individual situation.
- Take your security to the micro level. I recommend installing devices that alert you if your valuables have been tampered with, the liquor cabinet has been opened, etc. Known as Asset protection devices, they can be programmed to let you know if a particular closet has been opened, a treasured jewelry box has been moved or opened, a safe has been tampered with, you get the picture. These will give you peace of mind, especially when a house cleaner or repairperson is present in your home or office.
- A traditional alarm system, commonly referred to as a burglar alarm, has sensors on doors and windows and will alert you or law enforcement, usually both, whenever one of those sensors has been tripped. While a home security system can be programmed to also warn about environmental dangers such as flooding, carbon monoxide and fires. When planning out your security, don’t forget the environmental dangers!
- As the population ages, one thing that you should consider is a medical emergency and how technology can be used to address those. Many security systems have the option of adding medical alert buttons that can be activated when an event has occurred. A slip and fall, a potential heart attack, are just a few of the types of medical events that a security system can address. There are also stand alone technologies that can help where the elderly can wear a pendant or bracelet that immediately notifies emergency personnel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s one piece of technology that can allow the elderly to remain independent and in their own home much longer than would have been possible before the advent of this technology.
- Check with your insurance company to see if they offer a premium reduction for security upgrades. Many of them offer substantial discounts, some as many as 20-25%, for a variety of security measures you might put in place, including the aforementioned fire, flooding and carbon monoxide monitoring.
About the Author: R.L. Walters is the founder of FortifyMyHouse.com and acts as its chief contributor. He has over 30 years experience in security and investigations. He's an avid biker and also enjoys hiking and photography. Besides managing Fortify My House, Lee also consults with a variety of corporations and private individuals in the area of security and investigations.