What To Consider When Considering Home Security
So, you’re like so many others, you know you want the peace of mind that comes with a home security system, but you're overwhelmed at the mere thought of reviewing the options, costs, fees - not to mention a pushy salesman trying to make an extra buck. Today, amongst the thousands of companies, options, and methods available a few big box brands stand out. A few more prominent than others, but they have one thing in common. They invest millions in marketing and expensive advertising to ensure you know their name. So, what should we do when we’re looking at investing in the security of ourselves and our families?
Here’s a quick summary of the core areas to consider and a few items to keep in mind:
1. What are you looking to do? Most homeowners take a more reactive approach to home security. They call one of the big box brands, ask for a sales rep to come out, and let the sales rep go to work... Or, they go to another big box do-it-yourself company and purchase a cheap pseudo-security system from an electronics manufacturer and hope it works. It’s backwards. The best approach is to do a little research and find a company you can truly partner with (the smaller guys are going to take a great deal more time helping you understand the crime in your area, what’s most likely to occur in your neighborhood and help you choose the system that will meet your needs). With that being said, here are a few of the areas to know and understand before you even pick up the phone:
Today, most home-security companies can offer you everything from equipment with a loud siren to make a lot of noise; a ”self-monitor” solution for your home in the event of a break-in, fire, or medical emergency; to having 24/7 monitoring by a professional team of trained personnel. Some companies are even getting into home automation. Such features could include remote access (from a computer or smart phone) to arm/disarm or check the system status, live and/or recorded video, electronic hardware that can lock/unlock your doors, adjustable thermostats, lights, and even programmable scenarios that can activate your lights when you unlock your doors or adjust the thermostat when you arm the system, and countless other options. The first big step is to understand what you and your loved ones want from your provider and your system.
2. Equipment. In today’s day and age, most providers are going wireless, but not all. Wireless seems to be more and more prominent with the advancements in technology. There are positive and negative attributes to wireless, but for the common homeowner they work well. It both reduces the installation burden of running wires and allows for smaller, more customer-centric, firms to provide a do-it-yourself solution that’s both affordable and easy to install. This brings us to the third big decision:
3. Installation. With the advancements in technology, many providers are becoming more and more capable of allowing users to install their own systems. While not for everyone, this isn’t inherently a bad option. The challenge is finding a provider that uses high-caliber equipment and provides the resources and knowledge to ensure the homeowners aren’t sacrificing quality for price/ease of use. There are a few businesses preying on homeowners looking for a “fast and easy” security system. While it sounds enticing when it comes to security, it’s probably a good idea not to take the drive-thru solution. If you wouldn’t head to McDonald's for a steak dinner, you may not want to trust the marketing teams of these new do-it-yourself cheap security systems. If the provider markets a “we make it ourselves to save you money” that translates into “we found someone who will buy a cheap gadget, and we’re going to call it a security system.” If you’re open to a do-it-yourself installation, look for a company who offers DIY with tried and true equipment.
4. Partnering and Intelligence. We all know that in today’s age there’s data on everything. Want to know where to find the cheapest gas? Looking for the best Thai restaurant? Want to find who has milk on sale? There’s an app, website, or both ready to provide the answer. We’re entering that age for home security as well. A few companies are starting to venture down the path of helping homeowners better understand the threats in their area, crime statistics locally, etc. They are partnering with homeowners to help keep them and their loved ones safe, not just providing a product. With the prevalence of open-data sources, this is coming at low to no-additional cost. We, as consumers, simply need to decide if understanding the threats and taking an intelligence-driven approach to home security would help provide another level of security and peace of mind.
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The information contained herein is intended as informational and the opinion of Omega Six Security. We take great measure to ensure we're providing the best available information possible. But, it is just that, information. Readers must acknowledge that you are the first and last defense in any situation that could arise. Proper education, research, training, and maintaining good situational awareness will always help. We, at Omega Six Security, want to do all we can to assist in educating our members and readers alike. However, we always, recommend you reach out to local law enforcement, legal representatives and other subject matter experts to better understand your rights and responsibilities based on your individual circumstances. The information herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute any form of counsel, legal or otherwise. Readers acknowledge and hold harmless Omega Six Security, LLC and the author and accept sole responsibility for any actions taken based on implementation of any information herein.