Keeping Your Home’s Security System Intact

Keeping Your Home’s Security System Intact

Home Security
By Dikran Seferian December 09, 2021

Keeping your home secure involves more than a decent lock and an alarm. Many modern technologies have redefined household security systems, making burglars think twice about going ahead with the robbery. While surveillance and other security features do most of the work, certain measures such as reinforcing entry points and investing in a safe are also crucial steps you can take. Besides protecting your home from theft, home security also provides elements that allow you to possibly stop hazards such as a house fire or a flood. Getting to know the common solutions of theft prevention — among other protective measures — can give you a better idea of how to be prepared for the worst. 

What Constitutes a Security System?

A complete home security plan normally consists of several elements working in harmony to keep you and your family safe. These elements may include high-tech devices such as motion detectors that transmit data to your phone. However, you will also need to take some measures into your own hands by knowing where to hide your valuables and keeping your digital information secure. 

Motion Detectors

You will most likely find motion detectors hidden in corners and concealed places. As the name suggests, these devices react upon detecting motion within a certain radius. Advanced varieties are combined with security cameras which start recording video when the detector senses movement. Many systems even allow you to watch the footage in real-time from your mobile phone, laptop, or other Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

Security Cameras

While there is a  variety of cameras that you can directly connect to CCTVs, other models are completely wireless for easier installation. These may also have a wide range of features such as recording footage, capturing images, as well as connectivity to mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. Advanced models will also feature motion-detecting functionalities as well as graphics with better resolution.

Common Security Measures to Consider for Your Household

Common Security Measures to Consider for Your Household

Protecting Doors and Windows

Besides tech-operated security systems, securing the doors and windows will be your first line of defense. Laminating or double-glazing your windows, for instance, will make it harder for the intruder to break them without making noise. Another solution involves sensors that detect when a window glass breaks. Alternatively, you could prevent a thief from entering through your window altogether by installing metal bars or window security coating.

Security measures for your door include smart door sensors that activate an alarm or send an alert to your phone whenever it detects suspicious activity. You can also install smart locks that restrict access to authorized users only.

Smart Lighting

Security system lighting involves programming light fixtures to turn on when you’re away from home. You can set the smart lights to turn on and off at certain hours; this would make potential intruders think that there is someone in the house, making them reconsider the break-in. You can also link this system along with the motion detectors and the security cameras to your mobile device. This will allow you to control the lights whenever you receive an alert. Nothing deters a burglar more than a light suddenly turning on as they're trying to make their way into a property.

Securing Wi-Fi Network

Your personal information can be at the risk of cyberattacks just as your valuables are at the risk of theft. Securing your Wi-Fi network will protect any data you hold in digital format. However, it is also important to bear in mind that hackers often have sophisticated ways to gain access to your web info. Consider keeping your online presence safe with complex passwords, protecting your router with a firewall, and updating your firmware constantly. Other measures include setting your network to WPA2 Personal and changing the username every now and then.

Hiding Valuables

One important fact to consider when hiding your valuables is that robbers often prefer to work as swiftly as possible. They will often search the most obvious places such as drawers, cabinets, and cupboards. You may also want to avoid stashing precious items in flowerpots, toilet tanks, and even the freezer. Burglars have been known to check such places. Instead, consider clever spots such as false wall sockets, false vents, as well as bookcase boxes.

How to Protect Your Most Valuable Possessions

How to Protect Your Most Valuable Possessions

Home Safe

A home safe is usually the best place to hide any precious belongings that are irreplaceable and have significant financial or sentimental value. It can be nearly impossible to find, gain access to, or remove from the premises. Make sure to choose a model that is waterproof and fireproof so that it remains intact in the event of a flood or a fire. Consider having your safe built into your home’s framework. Alternatively, you could place it behind a heavy piece of furniture, within stairs, or in secret compartments inside existing cabinetry.

Benefits of Having a Security System

The term "better safe than sorry" doesn't get any truer in this case — especially when it comes to having a home security plan. While the main advantages of securing your home from robberies and other unfortunate incidents are tangible, others are simply unquantifiable. 

Increased Protection

Being prepared for unwanted incidents is usually the best measure you can take for your family and home. This also applies to your security system. Having an alarm with a high frequency, for instance, will give you enough time to take action in case of a security breach. A monitored system may also allow for direct connection to your local police department, often leading to a quicker response rate. A recent survey revealed that 60% of convicted robbers admitted they would avoid homes that are protected with a security system.

Besides preventing your house from being burgled, many security systems such as CCTV cameras can serve other purposes. Configuring a wireless camera to your phone can also allow you to remotely keep an eye out on your pets, toddlers, and family members with medical issues that require attention. 

Having Peace of Mind

Besides the obvious advantages that security installations offer, you also have intangible benefits that you can’t really quantify. The peace of mind that you get from having a security system is truly priceless. Whenever you’re away on a vacation or taking a much-needed nap, you can rest assured that your home is safe and sound.

Intangible Benefits of Securing Your Living Spaces

Intangible Benefits of Securing Your Living Spaces

Financial Benefits

Installing home security can offer a worthy return on investment. When potential buyers find out that your home is secured with a variety of devices like motion detectors, their offer will be much closer to your asking price. Even if you don’t plan on selling your house anytime soon, you may still get approximately 10% a month on your home insurance premium.

Costs of Installing a Security System

Whether you're going for a basic home security plan or upgrading to a high-end system, being prepared for a home invasion is worth the costs involved. Before deciding on a plan, make sure to account for the size of your property as well as the presence of pets and children. Security systems normally entail both upfront and monthly costs.

Upfront Costs of Security Systems

Upfront costs mainly cover the equipment that goes into setting up your security system. Devices such as control panels, sensors, and alarms are included in the upfront bill you have to pay to have them installed. These devices range from basic ones to advanced equipment. Basic plans consist of a limited selection of devices, typically including a control panel, a wireless remote, a few motion sensors, and a couple of warning signs. This plan can be ideal for smaller homes and will cost an average of $300.

A slightly more comprehensive plan may feature flood, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors as well as fire alarm systems. Such intermediate systems also offer home monitoring devices which are ideal for those who travel on a regular basis. Depending on the equipment included, you can expect to pay $500 to $700 on average for these plans. If you wish to go above and beyond with your home security, you can go for advanced plans that include several sensors, live footage from security cameras, and other smart devices. Such advanced systems are ideal for large properties and may cost over $800.

Monthly Cost of Home Security

While the upfront costs cover the equipment, the monthly costs cover maintenance and professional monitoring. Regardless of the security plan you choose, the monthly cost is almost always the same. Essentially, you would be paying anywhere from $20 to $60 per month for systems that are monitored by a trained professional. While you may go for unmonitored systems and only pay a monthly fee of $10 to $15, it is recommended that you choose the former option — again, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Getting Familiar with Home Security Solutions

Getting Familiar with Home Security Solutions

Security Camera Regulations 

Whether you're installing security cameras inside your home or outdoors, there are a few laws you may need to be aware of. In most cases, it is completely fine to conduct surveillance in a home or public setting. You may not, however, do so in places where privacy is expected. Such places include bathrooms, bedrooms, and other private areas.

Another law to bear in mind has to do with the fact that audio and video recording are not the same. Several jurisdictions prohibit the use of audio recordings as they are considered a breach of privacy. This is why most CCTV footage that you see on the internet or on the news is silent.

Hidden surveillance cameras, on the other hand, are legally allowed to be used without a person's consent — home security cameras included. For instance, this means you may use "nanny cams" to keep an eye out on your living spaces when you're away. You may also hide a surveillance camera inside a decoy item on your front porch so that people aren't aware of its presence. Then again, you should avoid placing the hidden camera where there is an expectation of privacy (bathrooms, bedrooms, etc…).

You may want to think twice about where you're pointing to outdoor cameras. Directing a surveillance camera towards a neighbor's property can result in a penalty. Unless of course, the device is in a wide space such as a driveway where its field of view probably includes your neighbors' front lawn. In this case, you won't be subject to a fine because privacy is not expected outdoors. Pointing your surveillance camera towards a neighbor's window, however, is considered spying according to law — which is a breach of privacy.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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