Are Home Security Systems Worth The Money And Effective?

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By Bryan Rucker •  4 min read

If you’re concerned about protecting your home and family from intruders, then you’re likely considering adding a home security system to the house. But, maybe you’re not really sure if they’re worth it or not. Just know that here at Tactical Smarts, we feel that home security alarm systems are definitely a good idea as part of an overall home protection plan, but they should never be your only line of defense against intruders. Below we’ll cover some of the pros and cons of home security systems and then you can decide for yourself what you think about them.

Why Do You Want A Home Alarm System?

The most important question ask yourself is why you think you need one of these. Do you just want to scare away potential intruders and burglars? Or are you counting on the police to come to your rescue in the event that your home gets breached and the alarm goes off. If the latter, then you might be surprised that cops tend to ignore home alarms, at least in the Salt Lake area, because they are usually false alarms.

You can use the surveillance cameras to catch people in the act and turn over the footage to police officers after the fact, however if the intruders are covering their faces then it’s useless. What’s worse, is that some intruders know how to disable these security systems.

Probably the biggest benefit of a home surveillance system is that simply playing the alarm sign in your yard or displaying it on your front window or door is enough to deter a large portion of would-be intruders. In fact, the Greenwich Study of Residential Security report shows that burglars are 2.7 to 3.5 times more likely to target homes without security systems. Similarly, a report by the Electronic Security Association shows that 90% of burglars will not attempt to go into homes with a security alarm system.

The Pros and Cons

As you can see, simply having one of these systems is enough to deter most intruders from even attempting to break into your home. However, the benefits are most than just offering that peace of mind.

Most modern security systems also monitor for smoke, which means if your home catches on fire, it will work to protect you. Some statistics show that homes without an alarm system have a death rate from fire of almost double that of homes with alarm systems. Many systems also have water damage sensors, which can help offer some protection from flooding losses.

But while all of that sounds good, there are some disadvantages to these systems. As you may already know, it’s not uncommon for the systems to send out false alarms. In some instances, the false alarm rate is as high as 95%! Obviously, this has the consequence of police low-prioritizing alarm system alerts.

One potentially dangerous threat to these systems is that many of them are vulnerable to hackers. In fact, when Hewlett Packard studied this they discovered that around 70% of systems are susceptible to hackers. And, of course, some burglars even know how to disable these systems.

Another thing to consider is the cost. In addition to generally high cost installation fees, you also end up paying monthly fees for the monitoring of the system. Obviously, this expense can add up and may not be worth it to you if you’re on a tight budget. Of course, one of these systems has the potential to save on the expenses from loss due to burglary, as well as fire and water damage.

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Image by I, BrokenSphere [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bryan Rucker

Brian Rucker has spent his entire life participating in essentially all things wildlife. His concern grew astronomically during the previous tensions between the United States and other nations. He also has grown a substantial interest in survival and sustainability due to the current shape of the world over the years. He believes that preparation triumphs all things.