5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Home Security System

Your home should be a safe haven. It’s the place you spend years of your life, raise a family, and grow old. You probably consider what neighborhood you want to live in, what color to paint the walls, and which pieces of art to hang, but you may overlook ways to protect your home and property.

Your home and family’s safety and security are vital. With more than 5,400 burglaries occurring daily in the United States, a home security system is a worthy investment. Home security systems monitor for intrusions and can include smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, glass break and flood sensors, medical and personal safety alerts, and home automation features. All of these capabilities increase the value and safety of your home.

With all of the possible home security system features, how do you choose which type of security system is best for you, your home, and your budget? Before choosing a security system, ask yourself these five questions.

Do I own or rent?

Your living situation influences which security system you choose. If you rent, you will likely want a wireless system, like Frontpoint, you can install yourself and take with you. These systems communicate wirelessly—usually over Wi-Fi—with a central hub. When you purchase a wireless security system, you will receive all the equipment and instructions you need to install it yourself in less than an hour. If you rent, this is a great perk because you own the equipment and can take it with you from place to place.

Homeowners are likely to be in the same location for years at a time, so they can choose from many security systems with a variety of features. Homeowners may want to consider security systems that communicate with the monitoring center via landline, as these systems are less vulnerable to storms and intense weather patterns. Cellular monitoring is also a great option as the alarm system will not go down if the telephone lines are cut. Homeowners can also look for systems that offer automation features, 24/7 protection, and the choice between DIY and professional installation.

Do I move frequently?

If you move frequently, you want to choose a security system through a company that offers a flexible contract—and always read the fine print. You also want to consider a security company, like ADT, Guardian, Pinnacle or Vivint, that allows you to transfer services and equipment from location to location for free.

Do I want mobile access?

In a tech-driven world, most people want access to everything through their smartphones. If this is the case, you’ll want a security system that gives you remote control so you can adjust your lights, thermostat, and sprinkler system from anywhere. These types of systems allow you to remotely arm and disarm them, lock and unlock doors, monitor water and flood sensors, receive security alerts, see which doors are open, and view live video feed.

Do I want indoor and outdoor video cameras?

Security cameras are a great feature to include in your home security plan. In addition to catching burglars, you can use them to check in on your home when you’re away if you have mobile access. Indoor security cameras are great for parents and pet owners, as they allow you to check in on your loved ones while on vacation or even at the office. You can also use them to make sure maintenance workers are on task or see who is at the front door. Many security companies offer indoor and outdoor security cameras in their packages.

What do I want to spend?

You’ll want to see if the system is included in the monitoring cost or if you pay for the equipment on top of monitoring fees. Usually, when you pay for the equipment upfront, it is yours to keep—even if you move. The monitoring fee covers monitoring services, 24/7 assistance, and emergency response.

Because burglaries of residential property account for more than 70 percent of all offenses, home security is a must. After asking yourself these five questions, you’ll have a better idea of which system to invest in.

Update: Our friends at ADT are extending a special offer to Housely.com readers. Click here for the details.

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