On Lock Down — protecting homes from thieves
Locking the door before leaving the house may not be enough to keep the bad guys out, but a security system can help.
Homes without security systems are on average 3.5 times more likely to be burglarized, according to a research study conducted by Temple University, so consider these points if thinking about an alarm system for your home:
Burglary victims suffer an average of $2,096 in property loss, according to the FBI. Some of the most popular targets for thieves include cash and items that can be easily carried and resold such as jewelry, hand guns and electronics.
In Broad Daylight
Burglars do not typically break into homes under the cover of darkness. Instead, most break-ins occur during the day when homes are less likely to be occupied. Break-ins are also most common during the summer when owners tend to spend more time away from their homes for vacations or local activities.
Alarm systems come in two varieties; unmonitored and monitored. Both systems use devices such as window and door sensors and motion detectors to protect the property. When tripped, both systems will sound an alarm. However, a monitored system will also send a signal to a monitoring station so local law enforcement can be sent to the house.
Look; No Wires
Conventional security systems rely on the home's telephone line to communicate with the security company's monitoring station. However, some new, high-tech security systems use cellular devices to send wireless alarm notifications. This advancement eliminates the need for telephone service and adds an additional level of security because there is no telephone line would-be burglars can cut.
The cost of a security system will vary from one provider to the next and will depend heavily on the options that are selected. Do-it-yourself systems that include door and window sensors can be purchased at a home improvement store for less than $100. A professionally installed security system with a keypad, door sensors and a motion detector can cost $500 and up for equipment and installation. A monitored system will have an additional fee for monthly monitoring.
Choosing a Provider
Selecting a security provider is a big decision, and it is not something that should be taken lightly, according to T.J. Kilgore of NorthStar Security in Atlanta, Ga.
"Take your time and choose the right company and the right system for your needs," said Kilgore. "It's important to make sure you're working with a company you feel you can trust. If they are difficult to work with or use high-pressure sales tactics, immediately show them the door."
If trying to choose a security system and a service provider, ask these questions to ensure you get what you want and need:
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