In this day and age, sad as it seems, more and more homeowners are choosing to install home security alarm systems. While choosing a home security alarm system may seem like a straightforward task, there are actually many considerations involved in choosing the correct alarm system for your home.
Your home alarm system can be as simple as a few relatively inexpensive devices placed at each door and window, or as complicated and as expensive as you wish to go. You can choose monitored services and unmonitored. You can choose to have security cameras, not have security cameras, or put up fake security cameras. You can choose home security systems which alert you in case of fire or carbon monoxide, or again, you can have a monitored system where someone on duty is alerted to your danger before you even become aware and calls emergency personnel for you.
As you can see, one factor which WILL have to be considered is cost.
HOME SECURITY SYSTEM COSTS
Obviously, it is difficult to place a price on the peace that comes with knowing that you have adequately protected your home and your family. However, in the real world, we often have to evaluate the costs of things we desire or need, and this extends to home security systems. Parts and pieces for a home built security system are available from such sources as Radio Shack, which you would expect, and Wal-Mart, which you might not! Even do-it-yourself systems such as these can cost a few hundred dollars and, while providing basic home security, usually will not provide monitoring in the event of your absence. Some do-it-yourself components can be found which will notify emergency response activities without you having to take action yourself, but with every bell and whistle (literally) which you add, the cost will go up.
Now, when I was talking about a do-it-yourself home security system, you probably thought I was giving the good news first. As you read about how expensive this can get, you probably thought that was either the bad news, or the good news going sour.
Wrong. I started off with the BAD news.
The two major advantages I see to do-it-yourself security systems is that you can buy one unit at a time for a relatively low cost, and, if you are the handyman type, you can have the joy of installing the stuff yourself.
Here's the good news.
There are many good quality home security companies out there. You may or may not have heard of ADT, Brinks, and Great Alarms, but you may NOT be familiar with their services and costs. While offers change from time to time and vary from company to company, prices are actually quite reasonable considering services provided. At the time of writing this article, a quick survey of just a few companies found installation costs ranging from free to a little over $300.00. Since these generally are monitored systems, you can expect to pay a monthly fee for the monitoring service, but it usually is only about $30.00 per month. Again, this may vary from company to company, so by all means, shop around.
I personally believe that when you consider what you get with a professionally installed and monitored home security system, you will probably skip the trip to Radio Shack or Wal-Mart and hire one of these companies to install your system.
COMPONENTS AND SERVICES OF A MONITORED HOME SECURITY SYSTEM
Actual components and services will vary from company to company, but here is an overview of the components and services you might expect to get from a home security system.
Home Security System Components
*Command Stations: This may be referred to by various names depending on the service provider. Great Alarms calls it a "command station", ADT a "touchpad", and Brinks a "keypad". From this command point, the system can be armed or disarmed, help can be summoned, warnings can be given to others in the house by means of a device such as a horn, whistle, chime or similar item. It is often possible to get more than one station or keypad installed, such as one in the living area and one in the bedroom.
*Door And Window Sensors: These are generally simple devices, but when you buy them one by one yourself, their cost can really add up. Many professional companies expect to make their money off the monthly monitoring. home security systems can acquire these items in bulk at much lower prices than you or I would pay, and that is why installation as a package, is often much less than what you would have to pay just for the items, if you bought them individually yourself.
*Motion Detectors: Should an intruder approach your home or by some means gain entry, motion detectors can be used to sense their presence and activate alarms or summon help.
*Remote Controls: In addition to the command station, touchpad, or keypad, many systems include a remote device which you may carry with you. These range from small units suitable to be carried on a keychain to larger units intended to be carried from room to room within your house.
*Sensors: There are sensors available to detect fire, carbon monoxide, heat, moisture, breaking glass and flex.
*Alarms And Other Warning Devices: The old familiar "alarm" is almost passé. You can get sirens, chimes, and even strobe lights to warn you of break-ins or other emergencies.
*Security Cameras: While most home security systems that the average family can afford will not use security cameras, this is still an additional option.