According to the FBI, in 2012, the number of home burglaries rose by 4.7 percent. With one in six homes being broken into, have you considered a home security system to prevent theft at your residence? Here are five things to consider helping you choose the most effective system.
What Features Does the Company Offer?
Image via Flickr by vagawi
It’s important to make a list of features you want in your security package. Some possible options are:
- Alarm and monitoring services only
- Fire and smoke detection and monitoring
- Carbon monoxide alarms
- Surveillance cameras
- Motion sensors (indoor and outdoor)
- Home automation and remote control features
- Wireless service in you don’t have a landline
- Window or window screen alarms
- Monitors for measuring water levels or home temperatures
- Identity theft protection
- Pet monitoring
- Medical alert monitoring
- Affordable service contracts
Make a list of all the home security features you need before you begin searching for the right company.
Is the System Easy to Use?
No family wants a system that’s so complex, it’s too hard to use. A good security company will not only offer adequate training but also systems that are easy-to-use—even for young children.
If you have out-of-town guests coming but can’t be home to let them in, can they easily enter using verbal instructions from you or via remote disarming?
If an alarm is accidentally tripped, what are the next steps and how do you inform the company to cancel emergency medical, fire or police from coming to your home? Will the company be able to cancel these organizations from arriving in time so you avoid “nuisance alarm” fees that some counties charge?
Do you own or lease the equipment? If it’s owned, does it come with a warranty? If leased, what are the lease terms and buy-out options? If elements are defective or not functioning properly, how quickly can they be replaced?
Considering your desired features, how long will it take to install the system? Do they use employee and company-wide security controls so your passwords aren’t leaked?
Will the System Fit Within Your Budget?
Based on the features you choose, how much will you pay each month in total? Figure this dollar amount into your monthly budget to see if you can afford it. If it’s beyond your budget, you may need to prioritize the system a bit, keeping the features that are most important to you, and eliminating anything you can do without.
How to Choose the Right Company
If you’re seeking home security systems in Nashville TN, once you have made a list of desired features, what should you look for before choosing a company?
Before making a selection, call various companies and ask if they:
- Have positive ratings from the Better Business Bureau
- Participate in the community by supporting non-profits and other community events
- Provide free videos that demonstrate and teach how to operate their systems
- Have made the top 100 ratings list compiled by the Security Distributing and Marketing organization
- Offer in-home training until everyone in your home is properly educated on the system
Will You Save on Homeowner’s Insurance?
Call your insurance carrier and ask them if they offer a discount for homes equipped with security systems. You may also want to ask if the amount of the discount depends on the type of system and the number of features.
If you consider these five things before choosing a home security system, the process will be much smoother.
About the Author: Susan Pizarro is a freelance writer based out of Florida with a degree in Marketing. She loves writing about personal finance, health, and frugal living tips; and she enjoys travelling the world and trying different foods.