Home Security Systems

By HomeAdvisor

Updated November 9, 2017

Home security

Home security is very important to peace of mind, and many factors go into determining how secure a home will be.

Most people find home security issues confusing and end up spending money on measures that aren’t really effective or appropriate for their home. Here are the issues you should consider in making your home more secure.

Outdoor Home Security Factors

While installing a home security system is very effective, it is also important to address the low cost items first.

Burglars want to get the most loot in the shortest time with the least amount of risk. To improve your odds, use motion detectors to activate outdoor lighting and increase outdoor lighting. Make sure entrances and windows are visible from a distance. Eliminate or trim shrubbery and trees that can provide cover for thieves. When going out of town, make arrangements for lawn care, get someone to retrieve the mail and newspapers, and use timers to mimic the lighting pattern of an occupied home.

Once a burglar decides to target a home, he attempts to gain entry as inconspicuously as possible. Good window and door locks (such as deadbolts) can stop or at least slow down the intruder. Most give up if they meet too many obstacles.

Home Security Systems

If the intruder is persistent, anything from a barking dog to a sophisticated alarm system can also help. Alarm systems vary enormously in their cost and sophistication. However, the average alarm system cost is about $675. If your home has many valuables or is in a neighborhood subject to many thefts, it makes sense to go with a more sophisticated system.

All home security systems can be compromised or bypassed, but high-end systems stump all but the most masterful of thieves.

Most alarm systems include a system to initiate an alarm manually if you suspect an intruder. This can be very important for your personal safety. Ideally, any unauthorized entry should trigger an alarm, encouraging the intruder to flee.

Many people choose to place the alarm keypad for their security system at the front or back door of their home. It’s a handy place, but thieves know that as well, so you might want to have a second keypad installed in your bedroom or office or use a dual system that needs two different disabling mechanisms.

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Security doors won’t be kicked in as easily as regular doors and can’t be seen through. Motion detectors are a simple way to detect intruders, but sound, lasers and infrared (heat-tripped) detectors work even more effectively. A good rule of thumb is to choose a system that makes you comfortable.

Home Security Check

Call your local police department to see if they offer free security checks of your home.
Adding extra security features should be driven by the “ambient” risks (e.g., location of neighborhood, the home’s attractiveness to thieves) and your own psychological well-being. Very little can stop a determined criminal, but every home protection service or feature you install will add to your peace of mind.


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