According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, there is a burglary in the United States every fifteen seconds, and nearly three-fourths of those crimes occur at residential properties. The National Fire Protection Association reports that a home fire is reported every 85 seconds. Seeing how your home should be a happy and safe haven, what kind of home security system is worth your investment? Let’s take a look.
Basics: The basic elements of a home security system include:
- A control panel, which includes the backup battery for your security system.
- A keypad to arm/disarm your security system using a personalized code or other identifier.
- A siren, both to alert you that your home has been breached, and make an intruder aware that they’ve been caught.
- Motion detectors, which use a variety of technologies to sense an unauthorized human presence.
- Door and window contacts that signal the security system if opened or broken.
Optional Monitoring: Some security services offer a central monitoring system that sends emergency transmissions to the police department, fire department or emergency medics as indicated, for an additional monthly fee.
How Do I Choose a Security Company? Like any major service provider, choosing a home security company requires due diligence. Checking with family, friends and colleagues, reading reviews on sites like Angie’s List and seeking out members of the Electronic Security Association will help make your task a bit easier. Here are a few top companies for these services.
Frontpoint: One of the top companies on Angie’s List, Frontpoint, employs a General Electric wireless control panel with a cellular link and includes free fire, smoke, flood freeze and medical monitoring.
ADT: ADT is the most recognized security brand in the United States and the most popular consumer choice.
Protect America: Protect America offers a comprehensive solution that includes home security, monitoring solutions, automation, remote connections and auto security. With simple but effective equipment, Protect America may offer the most home security solutions, given their reasonable price.
Vivint: The high-end choice. While this service is far more expensive than other companies’ services, Vivint offers a comprehensive package combining home security, monitoring and automation, along with a lifetime warranty on products and a deep focus on customer service.