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5 reasons to buy a home security system

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Close-up on an automated security system at a house
When you purchase home security, you can choose to have your system professionally monitored or do it yourself.  Getty Images

Home security systems offer peace of mind that your house is protected when you're away or asleep. Fortunately, today's home security systems are both technologically advanced and convenient. 

You can typically buy a home security system with plenty of features without spending a fortune. A smart home company like Vivint can give you a better idea of the costs and benefits of a home security system. Get a free quote today!

Understanding how these systems work and the benefits they deliver can help you make an intelligent choice when purchasing a home security system.

What is a home security system?

As its name suggests, a home security system is a method to secure your house and property through a system of connected components and devices. These electronic devices connect to a main control panel that sounds off — and emergency response may be notified — when intruders open a protected entryway or space in your home.

When you purchase home security, you can choose to have your system professionally monitored or do it yourself. Professional monitoring, which requires a monthly fee, provides 24-hour protection from security agents who are notified once your alarm sounds. If necessary, these specialists may contact emergency services on your behalf.

You can avoid monthly fees by opting for DIY monitoring and you'll still receive alerts when your alarm is activated. However, you'll also have to alert the authorities yourself during an emergency.

See what different smart home companies — such as Vivint and ADT — have to offer.

Generally, modern home security systems include the following:

  • Control panel
  • Door and window sensors
  • Motion sensors
  • Base station
  • Security cameras, which may include a doorbell camera
  • Glass-break sensor
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Temperature sensors
  • High-decibel siren or alarm

How a home security system works

Most home security systems on the market today operate wirelessly using your home's WiFi and radio signals to create an integrated system of home defense.

  • Video surveillance: Wireless cameras use a radio frequency or radio transmitter to send the video to your receiver, which is connected to an internal storage device. This device typically stores security video content on the cloud so you can save and access video footage remotely. Your monitor or receiver should display a link to view video images.
  • Door and window sensors: These entry sensors are another primary component of any security system. These sensors consist of two parts, a magnet and a sensor which form magnetic fields when placed close together, like near an entry point. But when a burglar or intruder opens the door or window, this magnetic field is disrupted, causing the sensor to signal the control panel to trigger the siren.
  • Motion sensors: Unlike entry sensors, motion sensors set off the alarm and alert you when motion is detected in protected areas inside your home. Motion sensors act as an additional layer of security to protect specific items or areas, such as near expensive art or collectibles.

Your home security system could include a wide array of additional features, including smart home integration, environmental sensors, glass-break sensors and key fob or keypad entry. 

5 benefits of home security systems

Generally, most systems today are wireless and can be controlled using your smartphone no matter where you are. And that's just the beginning of the benefits and perks of a home security system, which include:

  1. Protect your home. If you have irreplaceable or expensive items you want to protect, a loud security system may scare off intruders and notify local authorities of a break-in.
  2. Potentially deter burglaries. Potential burglars may be more likely to move along and look for a different target if an alarm is on the premises.
  3. May reduce your homeowners insurance costs. A home security system and other safety measures may reduce your home insurance premium by as much as 15%, according to PolicyGenius.
  4. Remotely monitor your home. If your system has security cameras, many providers allow you to monitor your home from your phone. Depending on your system, you may even be able to remotely control thermostats, keyless door locks and other smart devices in your home.
  5. Receive gas and fire alerts. Depending on your system and provider, you may be able to receive alerts when your smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors go off while you're away. Some providers even offer instant notification to the authorities when these emergencies arise.

If any of these benefits appeal to you, consider getting a new home security system now.

How much does a home security system cost?

Generally, there are four costs to consider when you purchase a home security system: 

  1. Equipment
  2. Installation
  3. Activation
  4. Monitoring costs

Equipment costs can vary depending on your chosen manufacturer and system. When choosing a system, it's wise to look for the best value with features you desire – not the cheapest price. 

Installation fees typically run around $200, or you can save money by installing it yourself. Keep in mind that some providers charge an activation fee, ranging from $25 to $100.

If you opt for a professionally monitored home security solution, be prepared to spend up to $60 (possibly more) per month for the service. While the fee may be an annoyance, it could be worth the peace of mind from knowing your home has an extra layer of protection against intruders.

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