Pros and Cons of Residential Security Systems

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With the loss from a burglary averaging more than $2,000 as of 2010, some people find themselves considering some type of residential security system to limit their risk of such losses. Understanding the pros and cons of these systems will help make the decision a bit easier.

Pro - Deters Crime

The majority of police officers agree that having a monitored alarm system makes burglary attempts less likely, as these criminals are looking for the easiest places to get in and out of quickly without being noticed. They look for homes where nobody is home during the day, especially those that leave doors or windows unlocked. Anything that makes it harder for a burglar to achieve this can be beneficial. Not having an alarm system makes a home between two to three times more likely to be robbed. Should a burglar manage to break into a home with an alarm, the losses from the burglary are likely to be a lot less because the burglars leave more quickly than they would otherwise because the alarm will draw unwanted attention. So proudly place those stickers and signs given by the alarm company so that potential burglars will see them from whichever direction they approach your house -- it may keep at least the majority away from the home. Remember that your alarm system will only work if you turn it on.

Con - Doesn't Mean Burglars Will Be Caught

Police only catch about 10 percent of burglars. Part of the problem is that the burglars are in and out very quickly, usually more quickly than the police arrive. The police can't respond until they're notified by the alarm monitoring company, and even then the response time ranges anywhere from about six minutes to 45 minutes, according to a New York Times article. Response time is faster in small towns than big cities and also faster when there is video or voice confirmation that the home is actually being burglarized. More than 80 percent of alarms are false alarms, so these typically get relatively low priority.

Pro - Can Help Provide Evidence If the Burglar Is Caught

Residential security systems that include video recording can help the police to narrow down suspects or potentially can be used as evidence in court if the burglar is caught. Having video surveillance on motion detectors and having this surveillance sent to your phone in real-time can make it so you can quickly call the police if there really is a burglary in process and increase the chance they'll respond quickly and be able to catch the culprit.

Con - Charges for False Alarms

Because of the high number of false alarms from both residential and commercial alarm systems, police in many areas have started to give fines for each incidence of false alarms, often with the fines increasing with subsequent false alarms. They typically start off around $25, but in some places they can be $200 or more, especially if it isn't the first false alarm. You can limit false alarms by understanding how your system works, as many false alarms are due to consumer errors. Having the security company attempt to reach you at least twice before reporting the alarm and getting a system that sends alerts to your cell phone (so you can cancel the alarm right away if you know you set it off) can also help with this problem.

Pro - Potential Insurance Discounts

The New York Times article notes that insurance discounts can be as much as 15 to 20 percent, depending on the alarm system chosen and the insurance company. This can go a long way toward paying the monthly monitoring fees for alarm systems and make it a bit more affordable for people.

For more information about whether a home security alarm is right for you, talk to a company like Tele-Plus.

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18 November 2016

Why a Landline is Still Important Today

When cell phones became mainstream and affordable for everyday people, it changed my life! Not only do they make life more enjoyable, but now that I am used to carrying a cell phone in my car for emergencies, I feel unsafe without one. However, I want to remind everyone that landlines are still useful, and they are also important to have for emergencies. I learned that lesson the hard way when the power at my home went out in the midst of a bad snowstorm, and my cell phone was dead. There was too much snow in my driveway to get out of it, and I had no way to call a plow company to come plow my driveway so I could get to work. Thankfully, a neighbor was home and let me use her landline. Enjoy my blog and learn from my mistakes!