10 things you should know before investing in a home security system


If you’re considering buying a home security system, where’s the best place to start looking? Well, the answer’s simple: start at the beginning. Do your research, find out what different types of security systems are available, ask about their specifications and make sure you know all there is to know about each security system before you sign on the dotted line and part with your money. It all sounds simple and straightforward when you put it like that, but we appreciate it’s not necessarily the case: it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information you’ll have to digest and process. So to make the process a little easier we’ve compiled a list of 10 basic things you should know about home security systems, or at least be aware of, before parting with your cash. Hopefully this information might prove helpful.

What exactly are asset protection devices, and are they necessary additions to a standard home security system? 

Asset protection devices, as the name suggests, protect valuables. When you install such devices they will alert you if your assets/valuable have been tampered with or touched. You might want to install asset protection devices, as an addition to the standard home security system if you have a lot of expensive jewellery, or paintings hanging around the house. You can’t always see any physical evidence when someone has entered your property and moved valuables, but with an asset protection device you will be aware.

Do you really need asset protection devices? Will the home security system not do a good enough job protecting valuables? Well, it all depends on what you have stored in the home and how valuable these possessions are. Asset protection devices provide greater security and, most importantly, peace of mind, so they are worth it just for that alone. If you’re away from home and have workmen or cleaners coming into the property, you’ll know immediately whether they’ve disturbed your valuable items. How many asset protection devices will you need? Well, that depends on what you’ve got, and how important these valuable are to you. devices, consider how many you will need.

Burglar alarms and home security systems are not one and the same 

There are major differences between a burglar alarm and a home security system. An alarm will protect your property and notify neighbours and the authorities if there’s been a break-in: a home security system will also do that, but it will also provide additional benefits to help protect you and your family. So at the end of the day and it may be the better overall investment. However, before signing up with a security company, it is important that you know what exactly you are getting for your money, what is protected and how the system works.

A burglar alarm is the traditional type of alarm system that has sensors on doors and windows. It will alert you or law enforcement – depending on your settings and the specification of the alarm – that an intruder has entered into your home. Whilst that is great, that’s as far it goes with alarms. A home security system, however, can also warn you about environmental dangers, such as fire, the presence of carbon monoxide and even flooding.

Security systems won’t be affected by power interruptions

Many homeowners fret or are unnecessarily concerned about how the home security system is powered. They worry that if the power goes out for whatever reason, their home will be vulnerable. If they go away on holiday or for work and are notified that a storm has hit the neighbourhood and knocked out the power, they are concerned that their security systems will no longer function. Some might even consider cutting their holiday short in such circumstances. All of these worries are unnecessary, as the system will continue to work even if the power supply is interrupted.

Regardless of what type of security system you have, rest assured it will continue to operate even when there is no power at your home. A traditional system typically powered by low-voltage electricity uses very little power: so the system will continue to function effectively even when power supplies are cut. Moreover, most security systems use a large battery that will provide power back up the system when the main power is out.

There’s also the option of choosing a solar-powered home security system. You can set solar powered systems up to power a single component, like an outdoor security camera, or an entire system.  However, a solar-powered system is more expensive. The good news is, if you value your green credentials highly, then a solar powered security system will go some way to helping the environment and it can even be installed in areas where there is no mains electricity supply. 

Small and discrete security system won’t necessarily be suitable for your home

In the world of home security, the idea that one size fits all simply isn’t applicable. Some home security companies may try to persuade that this is true, but don’t believe them. There simply isn’t a security system that’s right for everyone. Systems come in all different shapes and sizes, and each can be customised to suit the particular needs of every individual home owner. Naturally having a customised system will cost more: but it’s definitely worth the extra expense as you’ll end up with higher specified system which will ultimately provide a higher level of security. The added benefit of customisation at the end of the day is that the system will be designed specifically to fit your home and your way of life.

A small, compact system might be fine for an apartment or a smaller home: however, if you own a larger home, you’ll need a system that is capable of handling a greater amount of information and monitoring. To fully protect a large property, you’ll need a system to cover all the doors and windows, as well as the grounds.

Home security systems needn’t be expensive

Even if you are on a limited budget, you should still, be able to afford a home security system. If money is really tight, you could always opt for a traditional burglar alarm system: this will give you sensors on your doors and windows, and alert you to any intruders at the property. A burglar alarm may not be anything like as advanced as a home security system, yet it will provide adequate protection for your valuables and your family.

If your budget allows, you can opt for a system that is larger, has a more advanced specification and extra features. This additional features can include fire alarms, carbon monoxide alerts and intruder alerts, and can provide you with immediate access to emergency personnel. A more advanced system can also include the use of asset protection devices. (see above)

How complicated and involved will the installation process be?

That isn’t a question you can ever give a straight or definitive answer to, because it all depends on what type of home security system you’re buying, who you’re buying it from and who is employed to undertake the installation process?

If you opt for a traditional wired home security system, then this will need to be installed by a professional. There will also be a certain amount of drilling involved in the process: holes will have to drilled through walls so that the technician can connect the sensors to the main alarm system. If you opt for a wireless home security system, then things will be a little less complicated and involved. Installation is much easier, as there will be drilling involved. Power can be provided either by battery, or solar panels. The installation could be carried out by a reasonably competent DIYer, but if you’re not too good with your hands, then it’s probably best left to the professionals.

Installation will also depend on the company you purchase your home security system through; special equipment may be needed to connect you directly to the security company or emergency personnel. Always ask the provider what is required for the installation and how long will it generally take to complete the work? In that way you’ll be fully prepared for the process and aware of what level of potential mess and disruption you’ll be likely to face during the installation process. 

Have you thought about your own personal welfare and security?

When you ask most people the question ‘what’s the purpose of installing a home security system’, they will generally talk about protection and place great emphasis on ‘security.’ People generally assume that the security system is there to simply protect property and safeguard valuable possessions. Of course, that is perfectly true, yet a home security system can offer much more that.

Some home security systems are also capable of looking after the personal welfare of the occupants. Why’s that important or even necessary in today’s world? Well, what would happen to you if you were alone in the home and slipped or fell? Who, or what, would be looking after your welfare if you couldn’t manage to get to the phone? How much time would have to elapse before a friend or neighbour realised something was amiss and came to check on you? The answer is we just don’t know. You could be lying there for ages unless you’d made specific arrangements for someone to check on you periodically.

Well, the good news is many home security systems are now equipped with technology that can be beneficial in a medical emergency. The personal welfare feature is very useful for the elderly or infirm. Many systems will provide the user with a pendant or bracelet which they can use if they get into difficulties. Once the button on the pendant is pressed, the occupant will be put through directly to emergency personnel. The added advantage of this personal welfare service is that it is available 24 hours a day for 7 days every week. So if you’re thinking about a home security system and you’re elderly, infirm or live in an isolated location, then you might want to consider this type of service when you’re doing your research. 

Choose your security system provider with care

Once you know what home security systems are available, and have worked out your needs, you’ll need to choose a service provider. Before you make your decision, find out how long the company has been in the business. Our recommendation is that you choose a company that has at least 10 years of proven service behind it, uses updated, modern equipment and has plenty of good customer feedback and. If other customers happily recommend the company, then that will provide reassurance and peace of mind. 

Also you should think carefully about the distance between your home and the monitoring location. The nearer the station, the better as far as we’re concerned. The farther away you are from a monitoring location, the longer it can take for the alarm to relay, which could delay the amount of time it takes for a company employee or the authorities to get to your home.

Don’t be tricked into paying for additional services you may not need

A lot of home security companies will try to persuade you to pay for additional devices and services which can be added to the system to increase your security. It might sound tempting, and the company might be very persuasive, but don’t be fooled. Not all the devices they will offer are worth the price you’ll have to pay.

For instance, if you don’t own valuable paintings or jewellery, or other expensive items that you want specifically protected, then there’s little point paying for additional asset protection devices. for asset protection devices. If you do, then it’s probably money well spent. 

The other high-tech device you might find worth investing in are personal alarm systems. These will give you with immediate access to emergency personnel, as well as security cameras that can be linked to your smartphone. They will also allow you to monitor your home even when you are away. 

Anything else you should know before investing in a home security system

A home security system will give you peace of mind and a sense of security. Your home and possessions will be protected so that worry is removed. However, the installation of a home security system can also bring other benefits. Many home insurance policies will offer a premium reduction for properties where a home security system is installed. Speak with your insurance provider to see whether it offers a discount, and find out what sort of system you’ll need to qualify for this before you sign up with the security company. State-of-the-art home security systems can also provide you with alerts should one of your home appliances not be working properly and potentially causing damage to your home.

Before you purchase a home security system, it pays to carry out a little research. You’ll be spending a reasonably large amount of money, depending on what you buy, so you need to know what you’re buying is the right fit for you and your property. So look at a variety of home security systems, look at the specifications of each system, and determine what you will need to secure your home and valuable possessions. A word of warning is also justified at this point: don’t spend money on any unnecessary extras. The salesman may sing their praises, but they might be completely unnecessary or superfluous. Finally, if you’re considering a monitored home security system, make sure you find a local provider. There’s no point paying for monitoring services, if the person monitoring your property lives miles and miles away. 

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