Top 15 Things To Know When Buying A Home Security System

Purchasing a home security system is a big decision, especially because it’s the device that is going to protect your home, possessions, and your family. With millions of home burglaries per year, finding the right device with quality capabilities is more important than ever.

If you are like most homeowners, you may be at loss at which items are best for you – especially when there are so many options on the market. To make finding the right security system easier, here are the most important things that you need to know when purchasing a home security system.

The Difference Between Asset Protection Devices and Security Systems

When researching home security, you have likely come across numerous words and thought that they relate to home security. Two phrases that home security experts will use on a regular basis are “asset protection devices” and “security systems.” While both terms do relate to home security, the former is a device that protects your belongings and the latter is a system that protects your home.

The most common example of an asset protections device is a home safe. A home safe will ensure that your belongings stored in a secure location that can only be accessed by or others who are aware of the code. On the other hand, a home security system is designed to notify you or the authorities when an unauthorized intruder enters your home. The beauty of home security systems is that there are numerous options on the market, many of which have their own unique capabilities. This quality, however, makes it a bit more difficult to choose a system.

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Know What Qualities a Security System is Capable Of

If you don’t know what home security systems are capable of when choosing a home security system, you may assume that you have found the best system out there. Before you make a decision regarding a system, one of the best steps to take is to review your options thoroughly. For example, there are home security systems that are able to operate, even during a power outage or if the electricity lines have been cut.

Home security systems that are able to operate under such circumstances are recognized as wireless home security systems. While they may cost more than traditional security systems, they are also more reliable. The only issue with these home security systems is that some savvy burglars can interfere with the frequency of the system, which an activity is known as “jamming”. Fortunately, there are brands that work around this issue by offering you protection against jamming

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Security Systems Come in Different Sizes

There is no “one size fits all” type of security system. When choosing a security system, you should access factors such as the size of your home, the level of monitoring that you are looking for, and whether you want to self-monitor or to have a security center monitor for you. By considering these factors, you will be able to relay your needs better to the home security system sales representative so that your needs are better met.

When choosing a home security system, the larger your home is, the more monitoring you may need. In this case, you’re better off opting for a larger system, as opposed to a small one

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There are Two Installation Options

If you don’t want to spend the money to have a professional install your home security system, then you don’t have to. This type of pointer is something that you should really keep in mind when speaking to a security system sales representative. In most cases, the representative will try to convince you that you need a professional to get things done, when all you really need is a sales manual and some help from a friend or family member.


Having a professional install the security system for you does have its advantages though. For example, when a professional installs the system, the system is up and running sooner, the job is done correctly, and you don’t need to worry about the stress of whether everything is working properly.

Alternatively, a security system that doesn’t require a professional is known as a DIY security system. These security systems are exclusively made for the purchaser to install on their own. In most cases, the “do it yourself” option extends well beyond installation to self-monitoring

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Some Systems Come with Emergency Services

When browsing through systems on the market, you will come across many that offer you only security services. However, there are a wealth of others that also include emergency services such as home temperature control, medical emergency care, carbon monoxide detection, fire detection, and other emergency controls. With these services, you not only protect your home, but you also give more attention to your family and to yourself.

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Research Who You Are Buying From

research-iconA home security system is a wonderful option in so many ways, but it is also a dangerous one too. With a home security system, you are essentially relying on a second party to protect your most personal space, your belongings, and your loved ones. In a sense, this makes you extremely vulnerable.

Before you make a final decision regarding a home security system, the best thing to do is to research the company extensively. By knowing who you are buying from, you will be able to ensure that your interests are well protected and that your home and loved ones are in good hands.

When reviewing a company, determine how long the company has been in business, how large their customer base is, whether current customers are happy with the service, and how far the monitoring location if from your home.

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You Don’t Always Need the Security Tools

If you previously had a home security system and you purchased the cameras and other items from them, then you don’t always need to give those items up when you hire a new system. While a security system representative will almost always try to convince you that you need their company’s cameras and alarm features, it may be possible to use what you already own. This strategy will help you cut down on costs and it may even reduce the installation fee.

Of course, before you rely on your old security items, do your research on whether your old tools are compatible with the company’s technology. If they are compatible, you should be able to use what you have.

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The Difference Between a Monitored and a Self-Monitored System

The terminology for a home security system can at best be confusing and at its worst, it can be very misleading. When most people hear the terms “monitored” and “self-monitored,” they often think that the terms are interchangeable and simply refer to monitoring by the monitoring center.

In actuality, these terms have different meanings and being misled by the terms can cause you to choose a system that isn’t even what you are looking for. A monitored home security system is one where the monitoring center provides overview over the security condition of your home. For example, if your home is broken into, then in a monitored system, the monitoring center will be notified. Once the monitoring center is notified, they will dispatch emergency service and contact you as well.

Alternatively, a self-monitored system is one where you are doing all of the monitoring on your own. If your security system detects movement in your home from an intruder, the system will send a notification to your mobile device and it’ll be up to you to contact emergency services.

While both systems are great options, what you choose depends upon whether you want to monitor your home or if you are looking for someone else to do the monitoring for you.

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The Concept of Home Automation

home automation

Another common term that will arise as you dig deeper into the home security realm is “home automation.” Home automation is the use of technological devices to monitor and alter the condition of your home. For example, with an automated security system, you can control the lights, temperature, and locks on doors. Some home security systems even allow you to remotely control the security network as a whole.

Home automation is available in both self-monitored and monitored systems, but not all systems include this feature. Therefore, if you are interested, it’s best to verify that the security system has home automation before you buy it.

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Insurance Discounts are Available – Sometimes

When most buyers think of a home security system, one of their second thoughts is the potential to save money though insurance discounts. The danger here is that many will automatically assume that having a home security system in place will lead to a discount. Unfortunately, not all insurance companies offer discounts. Therefore, before installing a security system, you should verify with your insurance company if they provide a discount and whether the discount carries with it certain conditions.

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Look Up How the System Works

callingA security system is an investment. Before you put your money down, you should verify how the system works. You can find out this information by either calling the company or by reading information about the home security system online. Either way, having a working knowledge of the security system will enable you to make use of all the features and it will also guarantee that you are getting exactly what you are looking for in a system.

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Review All of the Fees

While home security systems are meant to protect your home, at the same time, your wallet can take a hit if you don’t pay enough attention. Before you purchase a home security system, it is advisable to determine all of the fees that are involved. Sometimes, a company will charge you for installation, monitoring costs, upgrades, and even every piece of equipment for your system. These charges can all add up to a substantial figure, turning your home security system into an exorbitant investment.

In most cases, you will be able to find information about fees involved from the company, the contract, and through online reviews of the security system.

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Door and Window Monitors are Most Often a Must

While you certainly don’t need every security feature of a home security system, some of them are more important than others. When looking into a home security system, one feature that you should be sure to purchase are window and door monitors. Window and door monitors are devices that are placed at the entry points of your home. When someone moves through the entry point and is unauthorized to do so, the system will detect the movement and notify you or the monitoring center. With this feature, you will get better protection for your space.

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Dual Element Pet Sensor

pet sensor

For those who have pets, a home security system can be an annoyance, rather than a monitoring device. Pets often run through entry points and set off the home alarm system, causing you to receive numerous notifications throughout the day.

Luckily, there are options on the market that are able to differentiate between humans and pets by reasoning that any moving mass less than 100 pounds is a pet, while any mass over that weight is a human. As a result, you don’t need to worry about the system going off at all times of the day.

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A Security System is a Personal Choice

Finally, you should always remember that a home security system is a personal choice. As you speak with companies and review information, you should stay firm on choosing an option that is right for you. A representative shouldn’t convince you that you need certain features or that some parts of the system are necessary. At the end of the day, you are entitled to choose the features that are looking for, at the price that suits you best. Never assume that what you want isn’t possible – especially because your options really are endless and home security companies cater to your needs.

Becoming a dad ignited my interest in home security. I started with security systems and quickly fell in love with the fast-evolving internet of things (IoT). I love to review home security and smart home products, and learn about new technologies in the IoT space.

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