Alarm systems are essential for protecting your well-being and your belongings. It has been proven that homes with security systems are two thirds less likely to be broken into, and if infiltrated have smaller losses. They are known to effectively deter criminals and alert authorities in emergencies. With advances in technology comes a higher demand and necessity for security systems as well as a more evolved system of protection methods. Almost 80 percent of alarm owning residents believe that their systems are effective when it comes to protecting their homes and belongings, according to the Consumer Reports National Research Center. When looking at your options to buy any kind of alarm monitoring service, it is critical to first determine your exact needs. By listing and establishing what the system must contain and what your goals are, you can easily narrow down your choices and make the decision process less tedious. Some factors to consider include:
- Cost. Determine if/what your maximum budget is. This can help cancel out several options right off the bat. There are many different options regarding cost when it comes to protecting your home, depending on how much money you are willing to spend. Simple to use and highly affordable, image sensors can be placed in any room and will take pictures day and night. For example, the Image Sensor, powered by Alarm.com, is a compact, all-in-one device that combines a traditional motion sensor, an integrated still camera, and interactive controls so you can see what’s happening at your home when you’re not there.
- Accessories. Systems vary with different personal needs. If you live in an area where it would be beneficial for higher security measures, security cameras are available. If you do not require higher levels of security but still want protection, a simple home alarm system is the best choice. Sound and light alerts are also available for some security systems, and can deter criminals as well as signal homeowners and neighbors in the event of emergencies. Aside from the standard alarm system, accessories and add-ons are available for higher levels of security. Motion detectors are helpful in some cases, and sense human presence in a room - with special detectors or settings to avoid false alarms for people with pets. Magnetic door and window monitor contacts are helpful as they sound an alarm when either is opened, alerting anyone home of any kind of intrusion. Smoke, gas, fire, and carbon monoxide detectors are also available. These can alert homeowners if they are in any danger, which are essential to have so that you are alerted before the situation gets out of hand. Panic buttons are added alarm accessories that can be put in rooms or can be portable hand-held buttons, helpful for anyone who would not be able to get to a phone quickly. Pressure mats are also available, which are placed under carpets to detect footsteps and alert homeowners when activated, usually when the house is vacant and owners are on vacation. There are also water detectors which are most commonly placed in basements, which help detect any leaks so that damage can be fixed and further prevented.
- Reliability. A system that can withstand common vulnerabilities to keep you protected when you need it most is critical. Dedicated and secure cellular communication provides safe and reliable uninterrupted protection. Having the ability to communicate directly with first responders via a security panel is key. Make sure your system will continue to work even if the security panel is damaged or the phone line is cut. It’s important to have the ability to check in anytime, arm or disarm your system remotely, and receive notifications—from anywhere. You should also be able to check on other connected devices including lights, locks, thermostats, and garage doors. You’ll want to be able to get real-time notifications by text or email the moment something happens in your home. And for added reliability, create unique user codes to know who’s coming and going at all times. Look back at activity over time or search for specific events.
- Mobility. Stay in control of your system at all times. An easy to use mobile app puts your home in your hands. Managing access to your home enhances your security with complete control and visibility over all the entry points to your home. A system that seamlessly can integrate door locks and garage door control into one intelligent platform is ideal.
- Lastly, credibility is important when researching which alarm system is the best fit for your needs. When buying any important product, especially security systems, ensure that the company has a positive reputation. Examine not only their website, but customer reviews on other websites to ensure authenticity. Before you go ahead and purchase an alarm system, knowing that the system is going to do its job correctly is important.