If you've recently purchased a home in a neighborhood with which you're not familiar, you may be looking for ways to ensure the physical safety of your family and belongings. However, you could be reluctant to sink thousands of dollars into a security system or commit to ongoing monthly maintenance fees just after taking on a new mortgage and moving expenses. Fortunately, there are now a number of innovative and inexpensive options that will allow you to monitor your home and maintain its security from anywhere with a wireless internet connection. Read on to learn more about the types of home security or alarm systems that win the cost-benefit analysis.
Look into a wireless system
Some alarmed security systems require you to maintain a landline (even if you don't have a telephone hooked up) so that the police or fire departments can be immediately notified in the event of a burglary or fire. If you don't plan to use a landline, it may seem wasteful to have one installed simply so you can have a security system.
Many wireless alarm systems don't require landline access. However, if your home suffers a power outage, preventing your wireless router from emitting a signal, you could find yourself temporarily without home security. Fortunately, you should be able to purchase a backup battery pack for your router at an electronics supply store, often for less than you'd pay for a few months of landline service.
Consider systems that do double duty
Each family's home security needs are different, and you may not need all the bells and whistles that come with a high-end system. However, it's a good idea to select systems that both monitor and deter unwanted activity. While it's good to have an alarm that immediately alerts law enforcement when your door or window has been breached by a stranger, you also want to deter would-be burglars from ever making it to your doors or windows.
For example, you may want to install a security system that includes motion-activated lights and door and window alarms. Some enterprising companies have even developed security systems that trigger a realistic-sounding dog bark or turn on interior lights whenever someone gets close to your home's entry points. Often, these signs of life are enough to send would-be burglars packing for an easier mark, and are relatively inexpensive (especially when compared to the cost of feeding and housing an actual security dog).
Evaluate whether your family needs access to home security on the go
If you and your family spend a fair amount of time away from your home, you'll likely reap the most security benefits from a system that allows for remote access and monitoring. By placing a few wireless security cameras around the perimeter and interior of your home, you'll be able to get a live feed of activity simply by logging into your secured cameras on your smartphone or computer.
You'll also be able to determine how much live video your security system should save for later review, and set parameters for recording and storage (for example, recording only when prompted by a motion sensor). If you live in a high-traffic area, this can be a great way to monitor the comings and goings around your home, as well as to spot anyone attempting to case your home or otherwise acting in a suspicious manner.
Before you pull the trigger on a home alarm or security system, you may also want to speak with your homeowners insurance agent. In many cases, your installation of a certain type of security system may decrease your homeowners insurance premium enough to recoup any initial costs you may incur. However, you'll want to be armed with information on which types of systems qualify for the greatest discount before committing to a system that may not be the most cost-effective one.