What are home security systems and why you need one

Have you ever thought about how safe your home is? To many, homes are our sanctuaries, providing a temporary escape from our busy lives, hectic schedules and the worries of the world. Certainly, “there is no place like home”.

However, with the alarming rise of break-ins and burglaries, how safe are our homes really? Over the next 20 years, it’s projected that 75% of the homes in the US will be broken into. Predictive analytics show that three out of four homes in the US will be burglarized at some point in the next 20 years.

Although we can never be fully prepared and anticipate such unfortunate occurrences, taking a few necessary precautionary measures might be in your best interest. This is where home security systems come in, and transforming your safe space into a secure fortress has never been easier. In this article, read about what home security systems are and their various types, how home security systems work, and why you might want to invest in one.

What is a home security system?

Thanks to the Internet of Things, we are able to connect our devices to the internet and have them communicate and exchange data with one another without human intervention. Typically, any smart devices in your home, office or workplace all share data with other related devices and act on the information they receive from one another. The Internet of Things is also highly relevant in home security systems and have made it pretty easy and relatively affordable to monitor your home from anywhere at any time.

In a home security system specifically, various electrical components and smart devices are interconnected and work together to protect a home. Some of the most common devices seen in any home security system are:

-Security cameras

Smart security cameras are easy-to-operate and are connected to your existing Wi-Fi network to monitor outdoor areas of the house and record all movement with the motion feature. Security cameras send push notifications to the user’s mobile phone whenever motion is detected, giving you instant insight into what’s happening. With a wide-angle lens camera and full HD resolutions, outdoor security cameras can cover a wide area, offering you the ultimate monitoring experience.

-Doorbell cameras

Also known as a smart doorbell, doorbell cameras allow homeowners and residents to view who is at/approaching the door from where you are in your house, leaving plenty of time for you to assess whether you want to receive the visitors or not. Equipped with sensors, the camera lens capture the visitor’s image and reflects it on the application.

-Sensors: contact, motion, smoke and gas sensors

Entry or contact sensors alert the homeowners or residents when a door/window has been opened. They can also be paired with siren alarms. Similarly, motion sensors allow residents to detect movement in various parts of the home and trigger an alarm when paired. Smoke and gas sensors can trigger alarms when they detect smoke, natural gas and CO2.

Top 3 types of home security systems

There are a few popular types of home security systems trending nowadays. Here are the top three:

-DIY: DIY home security systems do not require professional installation and can be easily set up by the homeowners or residents. Users set up the security systems themselves and monitor it through their acquainted mobile apps. Some DIY home security systems can have professional monitoring as well.

-Professional: Professional home security systems can mean professional installation through electricians/technicians who wire it into a home’s existing electrical system. Or it could mean a system that comes with professional monitoring — a team of individuals respond to any triggered alarms, alerts or motion sensors. However, professional systems do not always require professional installation and can also be self-monitored,

-Smart: Smart security systems include the aforementioned devices and many more, all of which connect to the internet. The user can access their smart security devices, view live footage, receive any push notifications or important updates from a single mobile app, and therefore be controlled remotely as well.

How do home security systems work?

Typical home security systems allow their components to connect to a base station. And from there, they are connected to a mobile app that allows users to monitor and control their devices remotely. Smart security system devices, for example, are all connected to the user’s Wi-Fi network, while other systems can opt for landline/battery backup in case of any power outages.

Users can keep certain security system devices disarmed when inside their homes, such as indoor cameras and indoor motion sensors. Outdoor security cameras, doorbell cameras, and gas and smoke motion sensors remain on 24/7, whether the system is disarmed or not. Users can disarm their system through keypads, voice commands (most reliable), or using their mobile app.

Pros of a home security system

Before choosing/not to invest in a home security system, let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing one.

An obvious advantage is the increased control and security of your home. And although installing, disarming, paying monthly fees and dealing with frequent false alarms sounds like a nuisance, there is evidence of crime deterring if even one house in a neighbourhood has a home security system installed as compared to those that don’t. Burglars and robbers are three times more likely to rob a home void of a home security system since they are opportunistic by nature and are constantly on the hunt for easy targets.

However, home security systems aren’t just limited to that.

1. Allows remote access to your home

Many smart security systems allow you to control various features of your home, regardless of where you are. For example, you can control the temperature using smart thermostats and even the lighting using smart light bulbs.

2. Convenient safety alerts

Majority of the time, humans themselves are usually responsible for many regrettable events. We can all admit to leaving the front door unlocked or even forgetting to close a window. With a home security system that has your back around the clock, you won’t have to worry about such issues anymore. The system will automatically solve any possible security breaches and notify the user as well.

3. Lowers homeowners insurance

Many home insurance companies offer discounts that can lower insurance up to 20% to homeowners that have a home security system installed.

4. Livestreaming

If you have any elderly individuals in your home or pets, the 24/7 live streaming can be a great convenience. Users can monitor their family members or mischievous pets remotely.

Cons of a home security system

1. Expenses of a home security system

With great ease comes great expenses (unfortunately). Home security systems are not a cheap option, costing an average of $400 on equipment only. And when you add in the 24/7 monitoring or cellular backup monthly fees, the total cost can add up to quite an amount.

2. False alarms

False alarms can be a nuisance, especially when the police get involved. And with smart home security systems, you can expect a ton of them, which can prove to be an embarrassing occurrence and simply a waste of time.