DIY Home Security Systems

A home security system is an essential feature to have to protect your property. No matter if you own a home or condo or rent an apartment it is essential to protect your property to the best of ability. There are many security systems and individual security items on the market today. There are countless security companies in business today willing to set you up with a system for a price. There are also a lot of homeowners, condo owners or apartment dwellers who like to take care of maintenance and repairs themselves. DIY home systems installation is not beyond the capabilities of do it yourselfers.

A DIY home security systems kit is available with everything you need to install a complete home security system. The security company will assist you to plan an effective security system for your home and protect the things that are most valuable to you. If you can handle a screwdriver and wrench and know when to refer to the directions, you will be able to install your security system yourself.

The upside to installing the system yourself is you save on an installation fee. The downside is you may discover to late that something in the installation is amiss when the system fails to work properly, and a thief walks away with some of your stuff. That can be avoided by taking advantage of the customer service most security companies offer DIY home systems. They will often provide advice and help if a certain installation proves trickier than the directions indicate. Some companies will even perform a final inspection when the installation is complete to make sure the system is working properly. A discount on your homeowners insurance may depend on that inspection and certificate.

One other upside to installing a security system yourself is you will not have strange people in your house. If I were a thief, I might consider operating a home security system for the purpose of casing houses and picking out the ones that had the kind of things I would like to steal. If I was a home security specialist, I would know how to get around a security system. In fact, I would even design the systems myself to be sure I could get around them.

Check to be sure your DIY home security systems come with a warranty on equipment.  The elements of the system will have a predicted life bit what happens if an element is proved to be defective? The warranty will specify the coverage with qualifiers such as the equipment being installed properly, the system used as intended and not abused in any way. The security company may mandate a final inspection of your installation in order to activate a warranty. If that is the case with your system, do not skimp on that aspect.

To be sure your DIY home systems is in good working order, inspect and test the system regularly. If the security manufacturer has an inspection and testing program, follow the program to the letter. If an element needs to be replaced, replace it immediately. Do not chance your system being at risk for any amount of time.

Buying a Home Security System FAQ’s

How do I know what to buy?

Unless you’re comfortable taking all the responsibility for your family’s security and you’re an avid do-it-yourselfer, your best bet is to call a professional. Most security companies provide a no cost evaluation and will make appropriate recommendations for your home.

How expensive is a home security system?

Home security equipment costs can range from nothing upfront to well over $1,000. It depends on the features that you want and whether you are buying the equipment or leasing it along with a monitoring agreement. Some security companies will provide the basic equipment for free or a minimal fee when you sign a contract for their monitoring service but have additional charges for additional sensors and functionality. Comparison shopping for the specific features that you need can save you a bundle.

You can also buy a variety of home security equipment from home centers and electronics stores. There are single window/door alarms for as little as $10 or you can custom design a system to fit your needs. Just as using a security company, each window, door or other area of protection will generally cost more money.

Are there recurring costs for a home security system?

If you go for a monitored system, you’ll incur a monthly fee that will range from as little as $6 to well over $50 depending on the company and the options that you choose.

There are many companies in this business and they all offer a variety of plans. There are also differences in the reliability and type of monitoring from company to company. Monitoring plans are offered for basic burglary protection to live video from anywhere in the world and everything in between. The largest companies with great reputations tend to have the highest prices but generally offer the best overall service.

What do I need a monitoring service for?

Since most burglaries occur when your home is empty, your security system may not do any good without a monitoring service. A loud siren may scare off a burglar but you can bet that they’ll silence the alarm quickly if they do stick around. Some do-it-yourself systems are capable of dialing out, but beware as a telephone line won’t work after the burglar cuts it. Since most of the monitoring services use cell phone technology as the main or back-up communication method, you are protected even when your phone line is cut.

Do I have to sign a contract with a monitoring service?

Maybe; since there are so many different companies out there, they all have different terms and conditions. Generally speaking, the largest companies in the business as well as any company providing discounted or free equipment will require a contract. Three year terms are typical and I know at least one company that uses a five year contract. These are similar to cell-phone plans as they typically carry hefty penalties for an early cancellation.

If I invest in a security system, what happens if I move?

Most of the security systems installed today are easily moved. As hard wired systems are not cost effective to install, chances are you would get a wireless system that can easily move along with you. Some of the larger security companies have provisions for reinstallation upon moving built into their contracts. If you own the equipment, you can include it when selling your home as a security system does add value to a home for sale.

Can I get a security system if I rent my home?

Absolutely; in most cases the security company would require permission from your landlord prior to installation. I don’t know too many landlords who wouldn’t welcome the idea.

Do I lose my protection if there’s a power failure?

Any decent security system has a battery back-up that would power the system for hours, if not days. So when lights and other things that rely on electricity may not benefit your security during a power failure, you can have peace of mind with a security system.

Does a security company cover any losses from a break-in?

That would be a no. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers any losses beyond your deductible. The only exception to this is in the contracts of a few companies where a few hundred dollars may be payable if losses are a direct result of negligence on their part. This would usually cover your insurance deductible. The good news about insurance is that you’ll get a discount on your premium after a security system is installed!

Can a security system do more than guard my home from burglars?

Today’s security systems have matured to the point of home automation. Fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detection are very common and thermostat and lighting control are available in many systems. Communication technologies and the internet allow monitoring and complete home control from anywhere in the world.

Do Home Security Systems Actually Work? (Read This Before You Spend Anything on Security)

Today more people are using home security systems than ever before. Still, you might be asking yourself whether they really do make a difference. Before you make a final decision you may be interested in knowing some of the benefits that a home security system provides, and the reasons that you need one. After all, protecting your family and your home is an extremely important life issue.

When people think about security systems they think about intrusion and burglar protection, and that makes sense, as this is one of the primary uses of a security system. However, there are many other features and functions to high quality systems that you may be unaware of that also go a long way towards boosting your safety.

For example, you may not realize that just having a security system sign or sticker on your property has been proven in multiple home security studies to decrease the chances of your home being broken into or robbed. But just having the sign isn’t enough, because you need to be able to protect yourself should someone decide to take action anyway, and a home security system will allow you to do that.

When you install a home security system you’ll also be protecting your home and your family from fire. Fires can start for all kinds of reasons, including preventable accidents as well as ones completely out of your control. When you and your family are in your home, a quick notification of the fire department of any problems can save your lives.

Even if you aren’t home at the time of the fire, you still want your house to be protected and automatic detection and notification systems allow for that. Even with an empty house, you still have valuable and invaluable possessions inside and you probably have a beloved family pet as well.

More than all of these tangible benefits of a home security system, you’ll also be the lucky recipient of a positive everyday outlook. You’ll enjoy having a great peace of mind and a wonderful sense of security. This will not only make you a happier person, but it will also open up the door to taking longer trips and leaving the house more without feeling worried, nervous or guilty about it.

In addition to all of these benefits, you still get even more with the best home security systems. For example, with some systems you can get intricate motion detection systems for added security. Almost all systems today now come with carbon monoxide detection as well, which is important because the deadly gas is invisible and odorless.

Taking the protection of your family and your home is an important responsibility and you can’t overlook it. Don’t make the mistake and think that you can get by without a home security system. From fires to break-ins, carbon monoxide and much more, a home security is the best way to protect your family and your home at a reasonable cost.

10 Reasons You Need a Home Security System

Too many people don’t consider home security until after they’ve been victimized by a burglary or other calamity in their home. However, a great deal of these incidents may have been prevented by having a home security system.

According to recent FBI statistics, more than two million home burglaries occurred in 2010. This amounts to a home in the U.S. being broken into about every 15 seconds! As the economy and unemployment continue to place more people into a financially desperate situation, and a variety of other reasons for burglaries persist, this number isn’t likely to decrease anytime soon.

Fortunately, there are many ways to minimize the likelihood of being a victim – and owning a security system tops the list. There are many other benefits associated with having a security system as the following list points out.

1. Create a deterrent.

A crook would likely find a different target if you have a home security system. Burglars typically target their victims based on ease of entry, among other things, but the likelihood of getting caught certainly plays a role. When a security system exists, they are more likely to move on and find a less risky target.

2. Keep your family safe.

The peace of mind that comes from knowing your family is safe is priceless. Whether it’s the middle of the day when the kids come home from school, or the middle of the night when you’re all asleep, knowing that you have the protection of a security system will mean a lot.

3. Save on insurance.

Every major insurance company will give a discount on the premium for a homeowner’s policy when there is a security system installed. The typical savings are in the 10 to 20% range and will help to offset the cost of buying a system and/or monthly service fees.

4. Take better vacations.

Have you ever been away on vacation and worried about your home? I can tell you firsthand that there’s great peace of mind in knowing your home is protected while you relax in the sun. In addition to possibly preventing a break-in or notifying police should there be one, many security systems will also monitor your home for water, fire, smoke and carbon monoxide which gives extra assurance that all is well at home.

5. Quickly respond to an emergency.

With a security system monitoring your home, a break-in or other event can minimize loss and damage as appropriate assistance (police, fire department, plumber, etc.) can be notified immediately. Many security systems provide the means through the system itself or a monitoring service, that will bring help sooner rather than later.

6. Increase you resale value.

That’s right – having a home security system will add value to your home. When selling a home, a security system would be included in the listing which can give you an edge compared to similar properties. If the system is easily removable as some are, it can also be used as a bargaining chip to close the deal or maintain a price point. In addition, would-be buyers place value on the security that their family would enjoy immediately after they buy their new home.

7. Protect yourself from more than just a thief.

Most security systems on the market today either include or give the options of integrating fire, water, smoke and carbon monoxide detection as part of the system. If a fire should start or a washing machine hose should break, you and/or authorities would be notified immediately and damage would be minimized.

8. Watch your home from anywhere.

Technology today has come a long way, including what the internet can be used for. Many home security systems offer video surveillance of wherever you have a camera installed in your home. This certainly has many uses including baby or nanny monitoring in addition to just seeing who’s lurking around or inside your home. There are basic video monitoring systems available for as little as $100.

9. Cut back on energy costs.

Like sensors for water and smoke detection, many home security systems available today allow the control of thermostats, lighting and other electrical devices. This can lead to savings in heating and electrical expenses.

10. Be in complete control.

It’s possible with the technology available today to control and monitor your front door from your smart phone or any internet connected device. Imagine knowing every time your front door was opened and who opened it. Whether it’s a cleaning service, a repairman or just the kids coming home from school, there are lock-sets that will notify you with every opening of the door. You can even let people in remotely or lock the door behind the kids once they’re safely inside. There are a variety of home automation technologies that are available as part of a home security system.