More than 60 percent of all break-ins are residential. And if your home doesn’t have a security system, you could be up to 300 percent more likely to experience a burglary. If you’ve decided that it’s time to invest in a home security package, you’ll have several important choices to make when choosing what to include. While there is no one-size-fits-all home security system, there are some features and products you’ll want to consider including.
An increasingly popular feature with home security systems is doorbells that have a small camera included. When someone presses the button, you’ll receive an alert that activates the camera on your phone, so you can see who’s at your door, even if you’re not at home at the time. Smart doorbells often include motion sensing capabilities, high-resolution video, and two-way audio so you can communicate with the person at the door to see who they are and what they want without having to open your door.
The control panel is the heart of any home security package. It’s where you can set up things like your surveillance range and how you prefer to get alerted if there’s an issue. Since many members of your family will likely need to access the control panel at one time or another, look for a system that includes a panel with a simple interface anyone can use.
Usually, when a home security system is set up, you’re still able to access your home with locks and keys. Some newer home access control systems have adopted biometric technology that allows for entrance to your home with fingerprint-activated locks. Because access is based on each person’s unique fingerprints, it’s more difficult for your home’s locks to be compromised. You can still have an excellent home security system without this feature, but it’s worth considering if you don’t want to risk losing track of copies of your home keys that may be found by potential intruders.
At one time, having a security system meant drilling holes into walls or finding ways to hide unsightly wires. Today, many systems use wireless cameras that incorporate Wi-Fi connections. Cameras that work without cables are also appealing because you’ll have more location possibilities since you don’t have to worry about finding room for a bunch of wires, although you’ll still need one cable for power. Receivers on cameras without wires can also be placed several hundred feet away from the main camera, allowing for even more placement options in and around your home. For instance, some homeowners prefer to put some of their cameras indoors near entryways so they can see when their children come home from school.
With cameras placed outdoors, you don’t always want them to continuously record footage. In some situations, non-stop recording may be a violation of a neighbor’s privacy rights. One solution is to use cameras that only record when movements are detected. With some motion-activated cameras, detection ranges can be set to avoid activation issues when neighbors are on their own properties. Cameras with motion detection can also be wireless, which means not having tell-tale wires showing that possible intruders could attempt to cut.
Another common feature in home security systems is thermostats that can be controlled remotely. As is the case with other home security features, smart thermostats can be linked to your home’s WiFi and accessed remotely via an app. You’ll be able to instantly see what the temperature is in each room of your house, which can help you make adjustments to save energy. Some of smart thermostats are capable of “learning” your preferences with temperature settings. Some apps linked to thermostats also send out alerts if your home suddenly becomes unusually hot or cold, which could suggest burst pipes or a fire. Some security systems also include options to remotely control and access lights and smoke detectors. When you install your smart thermostat, also take the time to inspect your home for possible damage. Damage to your home’s windows and siding can affect the temperature in different rooms of your home. Your smart thermostat will be much more effective if you ensure that your home is secure against the elements.
Price is a common concern with home security packages. However, advances in technology have made many of the components typically needed to provide sufficient peace of mind more affordable and accessible. And if you opt for wireless cameras, you can also avoid the expense of having to make extensive adjustments to your home’s existing wiring. You could even enjoy added savings with your homeowner’s insurance if you make your home more secure.