Deciding if, when, and how to protect your home is a major decision. With a range of options and price points in the market, there’s a lot to consider, but the first question you’re likely asking yourself is, “Are home security systems even worth it?”
Whether you're evaluating budget, overall need, technological features, ease-of-use, installation, or security monitoring, it can be tough knowing where to begin.
You should feel confident that you’re making the right decision about protecting what matters most to you. In continuing our mission to make life easier and safer for our communities, we’re here to break down the nuances of this significant question.
Want to jump to a particular topic? Click the one you’re most interested in to learn more:
- Home Break-In and Burglary Statistics
- Why Do I Need a Home Security System?
- How Do Home Security Systems Work?
- Monitored Home Security Systems vs. Self-Monitored
- Who Installs Security Systems and Cameras in a Home?
- How Much Is a Home Security System?
Home Break-In and Burglary Statistics
According to the FBI’s 2019 U.S. crime statistics on burglary and other property crimes, there’s no doubt about it: property crimes like burglary, theft, and larceny remain a serious issue.*
Property Crime Overall
In 2019, there were nearly 7 million property crimes in the U.S., including burglary, larceny, theft, and motor vehicle theft.
Property Crime Costs
Excluding arson, victims of property crimes suffered a whopping $15.8 billion in 2019.
Burglary is defined as “the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft” and can include forcible entry, unlawful entry without use of force, or attempted forcible entry. In 2019, there were an estimated 1.1 million burglaries.
Excluding arson, burglary victims suffered an estimated $3 billion in property losses as a result of those crimes.
An estimated 83% of would-be burglars check to see whether a home or other structure has an alarm system before they attempt a break-in.
Why Do I Need a Home Security System?
A home security system keeps your home, family, pets, and valuables safe. Even if you live in a great neighborhood with low crime rates, there are many reasons why a smart home security system is important. At a glance, you're able to take advantage of perks like:
- Keeping your loved ones safe
- Having both a safe and smart home with custom activity-based automations**
- Giving you 24/7 awareness of what’s going on around your home
- Reducing your insurance rates
- And much more!
Keep Your Family Safe
The statistics above don’t include violent crime, and of course, no one wants to think about something bad happening to their loved ones. But by protecting your home, you’re also protecting the people who live there – the people who matter most. Home security systems give you extra peace of mind about your family’s safety because of the heightened awareness and protection the right tools offer.
Improved Convenience With a Smart and Safe Home
You can even take it a step further with a smart security system that integrates your security and home automation.**
Smart home security systems can do far more than just deter theft. They can help you see what’s happening on your entire property with security cameras, arm and disarm your system remotely, provide custom access codes for keyless locks – even adjust your thermostat to lower your energy bills.
Imagine getting a notification on your phone when your teen gets home from school and uses their access code to unlock the front door - or being able to arm the system remotely when they race back out to practice and forget to lock up.
Or what if your security system was smart enough to shut down your HVAC in the event of a fire emergency? A smart security system can do all that and more.
Keep Your Pets Safe
According to the American Kennel Club, approximately 2 million dogs are stolen each year.*** If your home or yard is accessible, your longtime pal (or new pandemic pup) could be at risk. Even fully indoor pets like exotic birds can command a high price on the black market.
But if your monitored alarm system includes outdoor cameras, you can keep an eye on Fido while he’s out in the yard – and if your outdoor camera is advanced enough, scare off any potential pet thieves with an audio and visual alert.
Protect Valuable Items and Areas in Your Home
Unfortunately, simply locking your doors and windows isn’t a match for an intruder with enough motivation. A home break-in without a security system is like giving an intruder extra time to raid your belongings.
Although it’s a hassle, you can replace clothing, furniture, even personal technology. But what about photo albums that go back generations? Or an heirloom engagement ring whose story is worth way more than its stones? Not all value is measured in dollars, and some things are irreplaceable.
But what about other important areas in your home, regardless of a burglary? Just like outdoor cameras can protect your property’s perimeter, indoor cameras can help you keep an eye on no-entry zones like home offices, medicine cabinets, gun safes, liquor cabinets, and more.
Reduce Insurance Rates
Here’s a riddle: What increases your peace of mind and decreases your home insurance premiums?
If you guessed “home security system,” you’d be correct!
Because they’re effective at deterring would-be burglars, your insurance provider may give you a discount for installing an alarm system, especially if it includes a security monitoring service. Usually, you just have to show proof of security with an Insurance Certificate.
Enhance Peace of Mind
From keeping your packages to your family safe, unfortunately, there’s more to worry about today than ever before. It’s easier to work or relax while you’re away from home (or on your couch) when you know you’ve got things covered – one way to do that is with a monitored home security system.
Not only can you control and check your security system from your app, but a monitored system means there’s a monitoring team ready to answer your alarm signal 24/7. Depending on the security provider, in the event of an alarm, the monitoring team can verify the emergency and contact first responders on your behalf, saving you precious seconds when it matters most.
Knowing your family, pets, and property are safe is the gift that keeps on giving.
How Do Home Security Systems Work?
Security systems can do more than deter burglars. The right system can keep you connected to your home no matter where you are while making life more convenient.
One thing to clarify before moving forward - some think that if you have a stand-alone video doorbell, you have home security. This is a major misconception in the market today.
A home security system is just that, a system of products that work together to protect your home.
Start With a Panel
It starts with a central control panel, like the SmartHub. The panel serves as the central computer that communicates with the rest of your products to identify and alert you to problems. Depending on the provider you choose, the panel is also connected to the 24/7 professional monitoring service.
From there, you can add a variety of products to fit your needs.
Include Your Sensors
Door and window sensors are placed throughout the windows and doors of your home, and will alert your panel if there’s unexpected activity. They can identify instances like when something’s been left open or when a secured location has been breached.
There are other sensors on the market as well, like motion sensors, which detect motion, and glass break sensors, which detect glass breaking. If the system is armed and motion or the breaking of glass is detected, an alarm will sound, and the central panel will contact your security monitoring service.
Keep an Eye Out With Cameras
Surveillance cameras are an invaluable part of most monitored home security systems. They can be placed at entry points like front doors, garage doors, and rear sliders. They’re also helpful in protecting outbuildings or hard-to-see areas of your property.
Not only do they record footage (and create evidence!) if there’s an emergency – they also help keep an eye on deliveries, contractors, and even your own family as they go about their day.
Add Your Smart Home Tech
Other technology components of a monitored home security system might include light and appliance controls, smart locks, and smart thermostats. Being able to control and connect to it everything from a single app gives you the freedom to protect your home while you go about your day. Home automation products put the “smart” in a smart security system.
So, How Does it All Work?
Again, it depends on the products and system you choose, but if you have a smart security system like CPI, each of these products communicates with each other and your panel, which then communicates with your app day to day, and your professional monitoring team in an emergency, providing you with a comprehensive smart and safe home.
So now, if you decide to add a security system to your home, when someone asks you “how do home security systems work?” you’ll not only be able to answer – you’ll be able to show them using your own home as an example.
Monitored Home Security Systems vs. Unmonitored
Home security is supposed to make your life easier. When we talk about “monitored” alarm systems, we’re not suggesting you should be glued to your phone checking your security app all day, ready to call the police or fire department on a moment’s notice. (Although, that may be your experience with a DIY or other subpar home security system.)
In fact, that’s why so many people have buyer’s remorse with certain DIY solutions – the “yourself” part. If you’re in danger, coordinating emergency services is the last thing you should have to worry about when you’re just trying to stay safe during an emergency.
With professionally monitored home security systems, your system is connected to a security monitoring service. This means you’ll have security experts and emergency personnel available to you 24/7, ready to respond when there's an emergency to protect you and yours.
Who Installs Security Systems and Cameras in a Home?
If you’re evaluating different home security products or systems, one question to ask is whether you’ll need to install it yourself or whether you can leave it to the experts. It can be tempting to choose a DIY solution, but many people who go that route end up frustrated after having paid for products that don’t work as expected or are too hard to install.
Instead, consider the benefits of professional installation, especially if you’ve chosen to include security cameras in your system (and want to save your drywall):
- Professional Positioning – The experts understand why home security is important to you. That’s why they evaluate your home and property to make sure everything is properly positioned to maximize your security.
- Professional Installation - They’ll also hide wires and ensure the system fits seamlessly into the look of your home. They’re experts for a reason - they know what they’re doing and have the necessary equipment ready to go, saving you countless trips to the hardware store.
- Testing and Hands-On Education – After they’ve installed your system, your home security professionals will make sure everything’s connected and working properly. They’ll also spend time showing you how to use your system, cameras, automations, and other features and functions.
- Confidence and Peace of Mind – Unlike that “did I do this right?” voice that lingers after a DIY project, you’ll rest easy knowing your monitored alarm system was properly installed.
How Much is a Home Security System?
It’s easy to gather prices and compare the costs of a variety of home security products and systems. But it’s much more difficult to answer: “How much is a home security system going to save me in peace of mind when it comes to the safety of my household, family, pets, and valuables?”
When you consider it from that angle, the word “priceless” feels appropriate. But don’t worry – there are plenty of cost-effective ways to make sure that the answer to “are home security systems really worth it?” is an absolute “yes.”
By working with a provider who can help you customize your system and cameras in a home, you’ll see the savings and gain peace of mind right away. While evaluating the cost of a monitored alarm system, keep the following in mind:
- Equipment – Ensure the products you choose are designed to work with each other and communicate with your central panel, without being subpar or compromising your privacy.
- Professional Installation – Who will need to install and configure your system’s products? If this is a valuable service to you, it's an important factor to keep in mind.
- 24/7 Monitoring and Emergency Response – Does the company have their own professional monitoring team or do they subcontract that service to another company? A professional monitoring team that can not only verify your emergencies and contact local authorities, but is trained to be familiar with your specific system and products is priceless. Just because a company claims they offer monitoring doesn’t mean it’s their own monitoring team. It’s important to ask these questions while shopping.
Once your system is purchased and installed, the monthly cost of a home security monitoring service is actually lower than many people think – and the peace of mind gained, is well worth the investment.
So, how much is a home security system really? While there’s no simple answer because every system (and every home) is different, there are countless, precious reasons why home security is important for you and your family.
Getting Started with Monitored Home Security Systems
When taking everything discussed above into consideration – the answer to “Are home security systems worth it?” becomes clear. The peace of mind that comes from knowing your property is protected, your valuables are secure, and the people you love most are safe is truly priceless.
If you’d like to learn more about why monitored home security systems are worth it, visit us today.
*FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR), "2019 Crime in the United States."
***American Kennel Club, "How to Keep Your Dog Safe When Pet Theft Is on the Rise."