Why should you get a home security system? We can give you 10 reasons. In the end, they all come down to increasing safety and saving money. The safety aspect is fairly obvious, but the fact that you can save money with a security system comes as a surprise to a lot of people. Home security systems usually have high up-front costs, but we’ll go through some of the ways having one could save you a lot of cash in the long run.
Read on to find out about some of the expected and unexpected benefits of having a security system installed in the place you call home.
1. Keep your family safe from home invaders
Burglars want to get in and out as quickly and quietly as possible, so most won’t risk entering a house if they know someone’s inside. There’s still a chance they can make a mistake though, and if they do encounter a person during their crime, things could get dangerous as they try to get away. Children, people with mobility or medical issues, and pets are particularly vulnerable to a violent encounter with a perpetrator.
The alarm from a working security system can scare off a potential intruder in the first place. It can also alert those inside the house to take appropriate action to either get to a safe place or defend themselves.
Burglary can have health effects on victims even if they’re not present at the time of the crime. Our homes are our safe havens, so when that safety is violated, it takes a toll on a person’s mental health. In one study, about 25% of burglary victims surveyed reported symptoms of anxiety and depression following a break-in,1 even if they weren’t home when it happened.
2. Protect your belongings
According to the FBI, victims lose an average of $2,316 in stolen items per burglary.2 Burglars typically go after cash and small items they can quickly sell, such as electronics, jewelry, and handguns. These items may be replaceable, but your more sentimental items, such as collectibles or family heirlooms, are still at risk of being stolen or damaged during the crime. In an ESA study of convicted burglars, 60% of burglars surveyed said the presence of an alarm on a property would prompt them to choose another target.3
3. Protect against water and fire damage with environmental sensors
A smoke detector is a common-sense necessity in your home—many states, like California, require them—and the financial and safety reasons to have fire prevention in your home should not be underestimated.
Though less deadly, water damage is more likely to cause costly damage to your home than fire, but flood detectors are far less common than fire detectors. According to the ESA, upwards of 37% of homeowners have lost money due to water damage, and a whopping 98% of homes with basements experience water damage at some point in the life of the home.4 Water damage can lead to structural problems, property damage, and mold growth, which is difficult to remove and can be harmful to your health.
Especially if you or someone in your household suffers from mold allergies, asthma, or other respiratory-related issues, it may be worth getting an air quality monitor as well. These monitors can alert you to potential problems in your home (gas leaks, water leaks, dust, and mold) so you can take the appropriate steps to purify your home’s air.
Many modern home security systems give you the option to connect these environmental sensors to your Wi-Fi—such as the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector—so you can monitor your home’s health remotely from your mobile device.
4. Manage energy consumption with home automation
If you want to lower your monthly energy bill, consider a security system with home automation capabilities. Many such systems allow you to connect to a smart thermostat or to smart lights to control the devices remotely. You can do this manually or set up schedules so you don’t have to think about it. For example, you could program your system to lower the heat when you leave for work at 7:30 a.m. and turn on a light or two when it gets dark and you’re still at work. If you want to get really futuristic, a system with geofencing capabilities will know when you’re getting close and can turn up the heat and turn on a porch light to welcome you home on a cold, dark evening.
5. Know what’s going on, even when you’re not there
Including video monitoring in your security system is one of the best ways to keep an eye on things at home while you’re at work or on the road. Not only can cameras capture video footage of a burglar but they can also help you stay connected while you’re away.
Obviously, you’re not leaving young children home alone without proper supervision, but if you have teens, you can keep them safer by seeing when they come home from school and who’s coming in with them. If you have family members with special needs, a video feed directly to your mobile device can let you know when you need to respond to an emergency when the person in danger isn’t able to tell you. Some cameras also have two-way audio, so you can verbally check in if you need to. If your loved ones at home are of the four-legged and fuzzy variety, you can identify problems or watch their cute antics from your desk at work.
If you do use video monitoring to keep an eye on people in your home (not just for security), be sure to let the parties involved know they’re being monitored and respect everyone’s privacy by keeping cameras out of bathrooms and bedrooms.
6. Give secure, remote access with keyless entry
If you ever have other people entering your home, such as contractors, dog walkers, or home aides, you’ll benefit from a home security system with keyless entry. These usually come in the form of a keyed combination (such as these locks compatible with a Frontpoint security system) or as a smart lock you can access via an app. Many smart locks let you create schedules, granting someone entry for only a specified window of time so they don’t have unlimited, 24/7 access to your home. Most of these devices also keep logs of who entered and at what time, so you always have record of who was there and when.
Keyless entry is a great solution if you ever rent out rooms to travelers or have relatives staying in your home while you’re away. That way, you don’t have to arrange an elaborate key exchange or risk putting a key under the mat—you simply give the boarder an access code and disable that code when their stay is over.
Adding a video doorbell along with your smart lock can simplify package delivery as well. With a video doorbell, the delivery person can ring your doorbell, you can answer remotely from your smartphone, and you can remotely open the door for them to put the package safely inside your house.
7. Get help in emergencies with medical alerts
One of the wonderful things about home automation is that it has the potential to allow aging adults to live in their own homes for longer. One key to this independence is making sure you can get help when you need it most, such as in the event of a fall or a heart attack. Medical alert systems have been around for a long time, but they’re being increasingly integrated with home security and automation systems, further simplifying your life.
8. Lower your homeowners insurance
Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you install a home security system because if you take measures to prevent loss in the first place, you’re less likely to file a big insurance claim, saving the company money in the long run. Having a monitored alarm system can save you as much as 20% on your annual premium. Talk with your insurance agent to see if you qualify.
9. Have backup in an emergency
We always recommend going with a 24/7 professionally monitored home security system because that way you know that if you can’t respond to your alarm, someone else can.
That means a higher likelihood of catching perpetrators and recovering stolen items when you use a system that doesn’t rely on you calling the police yourself. It also means more relaxing vacations for you because you won’t have to worry about staying connected to your phone in case of emergency. If dispatchers at the central monitoring station can’t reach you right away, they can still alert the proper authorities to deal with the situation.
If you don’t want the professional monitoring, a DIY self-monitored security system can still be a good option. These systems typically require more initial setup, but, especially if you connect your DIY system to your smartphone, you can respond whenever you need to.
10. Save yourself time and stress
If you go with a home security system that is equipped with smart home automation technology, you’ll save yourself time in the long run. All your devices will be monitored through one app so you won’t have to remember to check a bunch of different programs. Connect your motion sensors, cameras, thermostat, and smart locks to the same system so they can work together for a truly modern, convenient, and safe home.
Protect yourself now, save money and headaches later
Again, nearly every reason to have a home security system boils down to staying safe and saving money. We’re not going to pretend like home security is cheap—but we prefer spending a little money on prevention now, rather than a lot of money later to deal with the aftermath of a break-in or other safety breach in our homes.
Do you have a home security system? Do you think home security is worth the cost?
- Irish Examiner, “Report 25% of Burglary Victims Have Mental Health Issues”
- FBI, “Crime in the United States”
- Electronic Security Association, “Convicted Burglars Confirm Values of Alarms, Other Deterrents”
- Water Damage Defense, “Water Damage by the Numbers”