Is a Security Alarm System right for your situation?
Security alarms are a deterrent and may limit the amount of property stolen or damaged in a burglary event. For decades security alarms have been the most commonly used form of home security, however in recent years home security camera systems have become increasingly popular due to modern technology and affordability.
The cost of installing an alarm system can be relatively expensive depending upon the existing wiring configuration of your home. Most security systems will activate a local alarm when an armed zone is tripped, but not all will dial-out to a security firm. There are additional costs of alarm monitoring services for this service.
First you need to determine whether you want both external and internal areas covered by a security alarm as most alarms are designed for internal use. If you only need internal intrusion monitoring (you live in an apartment for example) an alarm system may be perfectly adequate.
Before deciding on an alarm system you should consider the following questions:
- Do you want a security alarm system that you can self-install?
- Do you need a back-to-base monitoring service for the alarm?
- Do you have pets or other animals that could set off motion detectors?
- Do you want a security alarm system that will dial-out to a security firm or your cell phone when intrusion is detected?
- Do you want a security alarm system that will sound a local alarm only when intrusion is detected?
- Do you need a back-up system in case the power goes out?
Advantages of Security Alarms
Home security alarms can be an effective deterrent to unwanted intrusions. Amateur or opportunistic thieves in particular may be scared off by the unwanted attention an alarm might attract and find another target once they become aware that there is an alarm system in the home.
If they are not aware that your home is alarmed and unwittingly set off an alarm during a home intrusion they are less likely to hang around. More importantly they will probably flee without most of your valuable possessions.
Disadvantages of Security Alarms
Professional criminals know that even if they do activate an alarm they probably still have enough time to grab the most valuable items and get out before someone comes to investigate.
An alarm will do nothing to stop an opportunistic thief from entering your home and snatching purses, wallets and other valuables while you are in another room or out in the back yard because you won’t have the alarm switched on.
A security alarm probably won’t help protect your car, boat or other outside possessions from being stolen or damaged.
If you do become a burglary victim there will be little, if any way for police to identify and track down the intruders and convict them.
An alarm can also be a hassle – having to turn it on every time you leave the house and then remembering to turn it off as soon as you open the door upon your arrival home is a bug bear for some people. Also an alarm system can easily be triggered accidently with pets and children being the main culprits.
Types of Security Alarm Systems
The first decision you need to make with an alarm system is whether to choose a hard wired (fully installed) system or a wireless system.
A hard wired system is usually more effective, however it will also come at a greater price due to installation costs. With a wireless system key components of your home security system are battery-powered and communicate with a monitor device inside your home.
A wireless alarm system is easy to install and will save you money on installation costs. A wireless alarm system is also portable, meaning that you can take it with you when you move. For people who rent or move house regularly, a wireless alarm system is ideal because they can easily pack up a wireless system and set it up again in their next residence.
One issue to be aware of with a wireless alarm is that the signal can be disrupted by other household interference so you need to be careful with placement.
Regardless of what you decide upon it is important to understand that a security system is no substitute for a lack of basic security awareness at home. Being careless or carefree with basic security procedures all but invites opportunistic thieves.
For example, leaving valuables and keys etc. in full view from outside of the house with windows open and doors unlocked when you are in another part of the house is not a good practice.