How to Choose a Home Burglar Alarm System


Thirty minutes in front of the television at the local news hour should convince anyone of two facts: first, the number of burglaries and home invasions is not declining, and, second, these types of crimes are being committed in places we always thought were safe. Crime is no longer restricted to the cities; burglary and home invasion are now happening more and more frequently in rural areas. Yet only about one-fourth of the homes in America are protected by a burglar alarm system. In fact, almost half of the residential burglaries each year are accomplished without forcible entry into the home.

Understand your Burglar Alarm System Needs

The first step in selecting your home burglar alarm system is to assess and understand your needs. One way to approach this task is to sit down and simple make a list of your concerns. What are the fears that haunt your dreams? Are you concerned about the safety of your children? Do you struggle to keep track of an aging parent who has a tendency to wander off? Do you have valuable electronics equipment in the home? Do you have a collection of art, jewelry, or antiques?

The next step is to review in your mind recent news stories that have made you feel less secure. Has there been an increase in the crime rate? Has there been a home invasion nearby? Has there been a rash of car thefts?

Now think about your property. Does your yard adjoin a wooded area? Are you in a high-crime neighborhood? Is your street heavily traveled or not? Is the street dark at night or well lit? Do you participate in a neighborhood watch program?

Finally, think about your family and their lifestyle. Do you have small children, teenagers, someone with a physical or mental disability, or someone with Alzheimer’s Disease in the family? Are people coming and going at all hours? Is the house empty for most of the day or evening?

How Much Burglar Alarm System Do you need?

If you think you will be on a tight budget, you might want to think through your burglar alarm system options in terms of what you need and what would give you greatest comfort. Think about the components of security systems and how important they are to you. For example:

– Gate and Fence alarm
– Open/opening doors
– Open/opening windows
– Activity in your yard
– Movement in all or parts of your home
– Alarm or alert for lack of customary activity
– Glass Breaking
– Smoke detection
– Fire/heat detection
– Detection of temperature extremes
– Carbon Monoxide presence
– Radon Gas
– Flooding
– Keeping children away from harmful substances

Before you leave this section, take a minute to think about the flip side of intrusion alarms. Are there people you need to keep inside? Do you want a way to know if someone has gone outside or left the yard? Do you need a burglar alarm system that can help you with this?

Other Questions to Consider

There are a few other questions you might want to consider before you select your burglar alarm system.

1. Do you want a hard-wired or a wireless burglar alarm system?
2. How long do you plan to remain in your present home?
3. Do you anticipate significant changes in the makeup of the family in the near future?
4. What kind of monitoring of your burglar alarm system do you want?
5. Do you want to be able to monitor or record activity in or around your home?

With this information in hand, you will be well prepared to have a discussion with a home security professional. Even if you think you want to install the burglar alarm system on your own, it is important to feel certain that you have covered all the necessary bases. Some home security professionals offer consulting services billed on an hourly basis. Work with a reliable home security professional to choose the burglar alarm system that fits your budget and meets the needs of your family.

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