We often find ourselves dealing with change:
- Moving into a new home and neighborhood
- Completing a home renovation project
- Upgrading our home’s technology — smart feature, entertainment or home security
- Personal or family changes — like seniors coming to live with you or adding a pet to the family
And when you’re dealing with the changes, you may find yourself wondering, should I have my security system monitored? If so, taking the time to clarify and think through your security situation will help you make an informed decision.
Seven questions to ask when determining your home security needs:
- Do you have children, seniors or pets that are left alone during the day? What are their ages and how self-sufficient are they? Have you ever found yourself worrying about them or their safety while you are away?
- Has your job status or personal situation changed so you find you must travel more and spend time away from your home?
- Have you acquired any new expensive jewelry, electronics, or family heirlooms that would be difficult to replace?
- Do you work more than 20 – 30 minutes away from your home, making it more difficult to run home to check on things?
- Home location – does your landscaping hide your home or is it visible from the street? Are you near major roads with lots of easy accessibility?
- What kind of security does your neighborhood have? Police presence? Gated community? ACTIVE neighborhood watch?
- Do you have a pool, fireplace or fire pit?
If you find yourself worrying about any of these situations, here’s what monitoring can do for you. While deterring burglars or prowlers may seem like the main function of monitoring your house, there are also other critical aspects that monitoring offers. The key to minimizing loss of property or helping individuals in need is quick response time. Fire detection, heat sensors, air quality as well as senior/child/pet alert systems can keep a potential bad home situation from turning into a disaster.
So why monitor your home if there is an alarm installed?
The typical system will have a siren go off for approximately five minutes after it is tripped. If monitored and there is no emergency in progress, the alarm can be canceled by giving the monitoring station your password. If a burglar or prowler trips the alarm, they usually leave the premise quickly. In many cases, the intruder will then hide and watch to see if there is any activity in the home, or if police/people arrive. If so, they typically will leave quickly to focus their efforts on an easier target — a non-monitored home.
Low-voltage smoke detectors connected to your monitored alarm system give quicker responses to fires — much better than relying on someone possibly noticing smoke from your house and reacting to it.
Pro Tip: If you are away and unable to respond to an alarm, it is a good idea to have a relative, trusted neighbor, or friend know the code and meet the emergency responders if the alarm is tripped. They can let the police in and check to make sure nothing is missing.
Finally, you might want to consider this – monitoring isn’t just to alert the police or fire departments. It is there for you and your family’s peace of mind.
True Protection — Some homeowners assume a burglar alarm making a lot of noise is enough protection. In truth, like car alarms, home alarms are often ignored by people nearby, who assume it is going off by accident.
Other Home Issues – While not as urgent as a fire or break-in, a gas leak can cause serious problems in your home. Monitoring systems can be set up to alert you in case of a gas leak or to let you know your freezer is no longer on — indicating a power outage.
Assistance — Monitoring systems can also notify people that you need assistance in case of a fall or other personal accident.
Sleeping Easy — Monitoring means someone is always keeping an eye (and ear) on your home. Many security system clients say knowing someone is there offers peace of mind, making it easier to sleep at home and while away.
Bottom Line: While there is a monthly cost to monitor your home, only monitored systems have professionals to help respond to emergencies 24/7. Once you assess your lifestyle, property parameters and situation, you may see that monitoring is the right choice for you. But please be sure to always read the contract you are signing carefully to ensure you are getting the exact coverage you require for the price you deem expectable.
If you have questions or would like to discuss your security system needs, please don’t hesitate to call us!