You can't have eyes on all of your home's entry points and potential hazards day and night. Like many homeowners who are testing the waters of modern home technology, you may be wondering, are home security systems worth it?
Break-ins and other property crimes happen in virtually every neighborhood. Regardless of your zip code or the strength of your home's locks, it's well worth your time to think carefully and to be proactive about added security.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 2018 saw 3,370 burglaries every day in the United States. That’s over 1 million break-ins. In most cases, the intruders force their way in through a door or a window.
Digging a bit deeper into the data, the average residential burglary in 2018 resulted in $8,407 in damages. For stores and offices, this figure is $10,183. Still, for many homeowners, the concern that home security systems are cost-prohibitive is enough to keep them from researching their options. The truth is that home security systems with around-the-clock professional monitoring are within reach for most budgets.
They can start as low as $19.99 per month, making it an affordable way to enjoy state-of-the-art security.
Most burglars are opportunists who go after easy targets: the unlocked door, the open window or the garage door that wasn't closed. They rely on being able to slip in and out quickly and undetected. Savvy burglars are on the lookout for tell-tale signs of home security systems, like cameras or lawn signs from monitoring companies, that make homes less desirable targets.
Home security systems are effective because they provide around-the-clock monitoring, making it impossible for uninvited guests to come and go unnoticed. If they break into the home, the incident can be responded to quickly, reducing the odds of personal possessions being stolen. Footage from cameras can also be useful in identifying the intruder.
Modern home security systems go beyond keeping out burglars. They also can provide protection against other threats to a home's safety, such as fire and carbon monoxide. While traditional smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors may activate, if no one is home or able to respond, these alarms have little benefit.
Fire and carbon monoxide detectors that are linked to a central monitoring alarm enable first responders to be alerted quickly. This allows them to arrive on the scene within minutes, perhaps helping prevent tragedy and property loss.
Leaks and flood damage pose as significant a threat to your property as smoke and fire damage. Left undetected, a leaking pipe can result in expensive and time-consuming repairs to drywall and flooring and the loss of precious belongings. Flood sensors can be as low as $35 and can help prevent costly repairs that may or may not be covered by renters or homeowners insurance.
Speaking of homeowners insurance, having a home security system installed can be a simple way to cut down on your premium. Homeowners with home security systems are less likely to file a claim for theft, fire or flood damage, so they often score discounts on their coverage. For example, with some homeowners insurance, you can save up to 10% on your premium with the right home security system. Speak with your homeowners insurance provider and note that you may need to contact your security company for an alarm certificate to receive your discount.
This brings us back to our original question: are home security systems worth it? While you can’t appraise peace of mind, you can calculate the cost of a break-in. Home security is an investment, yet costs far less than damage from a burglary, flood or unmitigated fire. This is especially true when combined with discounts for homeowners insurance. Plus with professional monitoring starting at $19.99 for AAA Members, you can protect your home and your wallet in one fell swoop.