Any number of events may prompt you to start looking at home alarm systems. Maybe there's been a string of burglaries in your neighborhood, or you have a new baby and have started thinking harder about the importance of keeping your family safe.
Fortunately, there are more home security options than ever before. The age of technology has brought with it diverse choices, from professional home alarm companies to complete DIY systems.
If you've already decided to install a home alarm, you're making a wise decision. A security system is one of the best ways to deter thieves, making it more difficult - and riskier - for them to break into your house.
In This Guide
Key Considerations When Choosing a Home Alarm System
The only question now is what kind of system to install. Should you choose from the top home security companies or one of the many DIY home security systems on the market? In this guide, I'll outline the available options so you can make the best choice for your family's safety and peace of mind.
There are a few things to keep in mind as you evaluate the best home alarm systems. The factors that apply to you will depend upon the type of setup you choose.
- You may need a permit. If you opt for professional monitoring as opposed to MIY (monitor it yourself), your municipality may require you to register your home alarm system. The fees are nominal. For example, if you live in Miami-Dade County, FL, you'll be charged an annual $25 registration fee. In Los Angeles, the fee is $37 and $30 to renew yearly. Check with your local law enforcement agency about permit requirements in your area.
- False alarms may also cost you. False alarms make up about 10% to 25% of calls to law enforcement. Local police departments have become frustrated with the manpower and other resources that must be spent responding to these calls. Many now charge you a fine if your system contacts them and they come to your home only to find nothing amiss. These fines range between $25 and upwards of $100 per incident, and some cities raise the fee for every subsequent false alarm.
- You can save money on your insurance. Some of the best home insurance companies offer a discount if you subscribe to professional home alarm monitoring. According to the Insurance Information Institute, you may save between 5% and 20% on your homeowner's insurance premium by installing a home alarm.
There's no question that home security alarm systems reduce your risk of being targeted by criminals. Even better, they can have an effect on your entire community. A comprehensive study by Rutgers University showed that the more security systems installed in a neighborhood, the more crime in that area decreased overall. That peace of mind can prove invaluable for you and your family.