Home Security Systems - What You Need to Know

Here's how to pick the perfect system for your unique needs



Whether you have children, pets or just a collection of valuables at home, security should be a primary concern for you. While there are countless home security systems on the market to choose from, narrowing down the many options and selecting just one can sometimes feel overwhelming to the buyer. This guide can help you pinpoint the factors that customers need to consider before investing in home security systems.


Your Major Safety Concerns

The first factor to consider when browsing through home security systems is what your biggest safety and security concerns are. For parents, the primary concern may be the safety of their children or teenagers who might be at home alone for an hour or two in the afternoon. Others might be most concerned with emergency medical response, particularly if a retiree is living at home alone. In areas with high crime rates, burglary and theft could be the biggest reasons to invest in alarm systems, but others could be most interested in a video surveillance system to pinpoint any criminals on the property. Addressing the biggest concerns can help you determine whether you should be investing in a home security system with 24/7 monitoring, a medical alert system, a driveway alert that lets you know when someone arrives on your property, or perhaps even a camera that lets you watch your children at home while you are still finishing up at work.



DIY Installation vs. Professional Installation

Another major factor you will need to think about when choosing between home security systems is whether you feel confident in your ability to handle DIY installation of the system itself. Homeowners who choose DIY systems typically purchase equipment and install it themselves around the house; this can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and it all depends on your knowledge of the process and the size of the home. The upside to DIY installation is a big reduction in price compared to professionally installed security systems. However, those who are busy, or who simply want the guarantee that their system is installed perfectly, may prefer to pay a little more for the professional installation of their security system. At BrickHouse, all of our home security systems are easy to install yourself and, with unlimited lifetime tech support, there is always someone there to help guide you through the process.


Home Rental or Home Ownership

Although this might not occur to you right away, a key factor in choosing a home security system is whether you rent or own a home, which will help determine whether you invest in a wired or wireless system. A wireless system is one that is not wired directly to the home's landline, and it is a much better pick for someone who rents their home. If you decide to move in the future, you can unplug your wireless security system, pack it up and take it to your new home with ease. A wired system, on the other hand, typically stays with the house. If you own your own home and have no plans to move, you can choose either a wireless or a wired security system.


Frequent Travel Away from the Home

Those who travel frequently for business or pleasure may need to factor in home automation as part of their home's security system. Unless you pay a housesitter a substantial amount of money to adjust the lights in your home frequently throughout the day, your house can be a sitting target for thieves. A home automation system, however, can let you take control of the internal settings in your house at a moment's notice. Through your laptop or your smartphone, you can quickly turn the lights on and off throughout the house or even adjust the thermostat for pets who might be staying at home in your absence. You can have the option of turning on the television at night, something that is proven to keep burglars away by leading them to believe that someone is in the house.



Various Forms of Home Monitoring

Almost every home security system includes 24/7 monitoring, which means that the monitoring company is contacted when the alarm is triggered. How you communicate with the company is a big decision, and there are three major options for you to choose from. When the alarm is triggered for carbon monoxide, intruders, smoke or anything else, the monitoring company can call you directly on the designated landline in the house. While landline monitoring can be an effective option, many homeowners today prefer the cellular phone option. Your phone will get a call when the alarm is triggered and if there isn't an answer, or you confirm the alarm trigger, the police, fire department or necessary agency will receive a call. The third and final option is broadband monitoring, which is the fastest and least expensive option. Ultimately, the best way to monitor your home's security system will depend on your preferred method of communication. If you rely on your smartphone regularly and keep it on your person at all times, then that will probably be the best option.


Security Cameras as a Part of the Security System

Finally, homeowners should decide whether they want to have cameras included in their home security systems. If you have children at home alone, babysitters or other staff, you might want security cameras to be your eyes when you can't physically be in the house. Security cameras can also be an effective way to identify criminals, speeding up the process of finding the perpetrator after a crime. They can also act as a deterrent, particularly if they are installed visibly outside of the home.


With so many different options for home security systems, it's important to give some thought to all the various factors involved. Wired versus wireless systems, the addition of security cameras, whether you rent or own your home, how you monitor your system, and even total price are all factors that might influence your final purchase.