Are Home Security Systems Worth the Cost?
Owning a security system will come at a cost, especially with the new advances of home security and automation systems. In this article, we will find out the benefit of each security device and if they are worth investing in.
Are home security systems worth the cost? The average price of a home security system is approximately $299 – $2500, with monthly monitoring fees between $15 to $65 per month. With features including burglar alarm, flood sensors, fire and carbon monoxide alarms that alert the fire department. A security system can save your life and hundreds of thousands in repairs if you catch a disaster before it starts.
The first home security systems go as far back as after world war I. For example, a group of watchmen called door shakers, were hired by homeowners to shake doors at night, making sure that all locks were secured.
But now, those door shakers have evolved into an automated home security system. With just one press of a button on our smartphone, we can now check our home with security cameras, check whether our doors are locked, see if the security system is armed, and the thermostat is adjusted correctly.
Protect and secure your home:
Home security systems are not just for detecting burglars. Today’s systems, are now composed of so much more:
- Smoke detectors that are monitored by the central monitoring center.
- Carbon monoxide detectors that will alert you and the fire department
- Flood sensors
- Natural gas detectors
- Temperature sensors
- Lock automation
- 24/7 security cameras
- Garage door automation
All of these are made to guarantee your home’s protection and security. We will go over each of these thoroughly to know if having them is worth our investment.
Smoke detectors that alert the fire department
It only takes 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a big fire and 5 minutes to burn the whole house down! According to the US Fire Administration, statistics say that three out of five home fire deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms.
However, you can reduce these deaths in half just by installing the proper number of smoke detectors in your home.
What technology offers today is not just smoke detectors that can sound an alarm inside your home.
They can also notify you and the fire department, which is especially helpful if you are not home. These smart smoke detectors offer you three benefits.
- Smoke detectors monitor your house 24/7 even if you forget to set your home security system.
- It keeps your local monitoring station alert at all times. The security system will alert proper authorities to respond to your home even when you are away.
- For parents who work and have to leave their baby with a nanny can have peace of mind knowing that their child is safe against fire hazards.
Another added feature that could be beneficial is detecting carbon monoxide.
A combination detector that can sense three in one—fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide- makes it worth the cost.
Is having monitored smoke alarms working for your family 24/7 worth the price? If yes, then this smoke detector is worth every penny.
Carbon monoxide detectors connected to a monitoring center
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 15,000 people are sent to the emergency room due to poisoning, and 480 people die every year in the United States alone. To prevent this, having this gas detected earlier could lessen the risk.
Some of the significant causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are fuel-burning appliances and heating systems that are not vented correctly.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. What you thought was normal dizziness and headache could already be a symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Since carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, it will be impossible to detect this on your own. If carbon monoxide begins to spread in your home while people are sleeping, the exposure can lead to death in bed.
Even infants, the elderly, and people with respiratory illnesses are at an increased risk. For me, having carbon monoxide detectors is worth every penny.
Knowing that the fire department is dispatched upon detection of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide is on the top of my list when it comes to home security.
I have installed carbon monoxide detectors for hundreds of customers, and I have talked to dozens of them whose lives were saved by having these sensors installed. If you see this as an indispensable part of your home to protect your family, then this definitely worth the cost.
Water damage is typically caused by leaks from weak plumbing connections or faulty appliances. Even a small amount of water could destroy your ceilings, walls, floors, and furniture.
With the installation of shut off valves, the system can automatically shut off the water supply to prevent even more significant damage to your home.
I have installed several of these systems but unfortunately, they were all installed after a major flood had occurred.
This type of flood sensor will require an additional cost for installation by your alarm company, but it is worth it for me.
I have flood sensors installed in my basement by my furnace and laundry room and having them saved me thousands of dollars in repairs a few years ago when my hot water tank was leaking.
I received a phone call from the monitoring center, warning me that water was detected in my basement.
I rushed home and found a small amount of water leaking from the hot water tank. Luckily, I caught the problem early and turned off the water.
The average cost to add flood sensors to your home security system is approximately $200 to $250, but there are flood sensors that connect to your home’s wifi that can send an alert to your smartphone for $25 to $75 on Amazon. I’ll leave a link for these flood sensors on my recommended products page for you to check out.
Natural gas detectors
Natural gas, when installed correctly, can be very safe and convenient, but gas leaks do occur either from faulty appliances or from user error, such as leaving a gas stove on by accident.
Natural gas is lighter than air, so it rises towards the ceiling, and it is recommended to install gas sensors about 12 inches below the ceiling. I have gas sensors installed in my kitchen, laundry room, and boiler room, where a gas leak is likely to occur.
When gas is detected, a signal is sent to the monitoring center, the monitoring center calls me, and the fire department is dispatched upon my request or dispatched if I don’t answer the phone.
The cost of installing natural gas detectors by your alarm company is about $250 per unit and typically an additional monitoring fee of $5 depending on the alarm company you are working with.
Unfortunately, alarm companies don’t often promote gas detectors therefore not many homeowners have them, but when you think about it, you are piping in a combustible gas into your home, and a gas leak is only a faulty fitting away from causing a massive explosion. Is this worth it for you? For me, it is peace of mind.
Installing low-temperature sensors around your home takes your anxiety away over freezing pipes and water leaks that can not only flood your home but also cause mold, which is the effect of flooding.
Low-temperature sensors can also be installed in an existing home security system. When the temperature drops reaching a preset temperature, this will trigger an alarm to the control panel, which alerts the homeowner through a monitoring service.
One added feature on this sensor is the ability to shut the water off to prevent any bursting pipe which could flood your home. This is worth the cost for homeowners living in cold climate areas.
If you want to protect your greenhouse, barn, or your home itself, investing in this could be a wise decision for you.
Monitor your kids when you’re not home
One of the most significant advancements in home security systems is helping parents monitor their children at home. Whether you are on a business trip or just working away from home, a surveillance camera gives you peace of mind knowing that your children at home are safe and sound.
A home security camera helps you better monitor your baby and babysitter with its audio monitoring and remote viewing through an app on your smartphone.
This can be a good investment for a parent, especially if your job does not permit you to work from home and monitor your kids. If you think this can be a wise decision for you, investing in it can benefit your sanity and children.
Lock and unlock your doors remotely
Smart locks offer homeowners safety, convenience, connectivity, and peace of mind. One of the benefits of having a smart lock is not having to worry when keys are misplaced or forgotten.
Entering a secure code and even a fingerprint on some models guarantees convenient authentication and unlocks the doors.
You can also program smart locks to allow certain people to enter your home, whether a family member or a visitor. You can now let them in even when you are still on your way home.
Lastly, a smart lock can also be integrated on your smartphone, enabling you to control your locks when away from home.
Being able to open your door remotely comes in handy and can be paired with a smart doorbell. Just in case a family member needs to enter the premises, the doorbell will notify you to open the door for them.
One of my favorite security products is the video doorbell. They are easy enough to Install by a homeowner without the need for professional installation and cost is relatively low considering that you are getting a high definition camera installed by your front door in a matter of minutes.
There are several video doorbells on the market, but Ring and Nest are my two favorite ones, and I have installed hundreds of them.
Make your home more energy efficient
Did you know that home automation can save you energy by ensuring proper usage of resources like electricity and water in your home? As a result, this can lessen your utility expenses.
Smart home devices such as a thermostat, lighting control, and smart sprinkler system are examples of environment-friendly devices.
The thermostat helps monitor energy usage within your home by efficiently adjusting your cooling and heating system.
Another one is lighting control, which prevents light from staying all day. Smart bulbs possess motion sensors that automatically turn the lights on or off whenever motion is detected.
Lastly, the sprinkler system helps in water allocation by planning the most effective water schedule. Home security systems provide protection and ensure the overall being of your home.
If you prioritize energy efficiency, this can be an added investment to your home security system.
Never leave your garage door open again
Have you ever left your house in a rush, and when you’re miles away from your home you think to yourself, did I close the garage door?
Garage door automation offers convenience and security. This allows you to control the door remotely through an app, smartphone, or computer.
The garage door controller can be an excellent security and access device in your home.
Some homeowners use the garage as their main entry point, and controlling their locks remotely is convenient.
Moreover, this can also secure you in multiple ways. Some garage door automation is on vacation mode, which prevents you from entering using remote control.
The only way to get in is to provide a specific code at your garage door keypad. This prevents anyone from breaking in while you are on vacation. Another feature is a temporary guest keypad code. This eliminates the frequency of changing your keypad code.
Instead, you can create a guest code which allows any of your visitor with your permission to enter when you are away from home.
Is this worth it? For me, I never had a wifi remote garage door controller until recently, and I must say, it’s a pretty cool thing to have.
As someone who installs security cameras for a living, I never actually needed cameras before I had a crazy neighbor cause all kinds of problems for me.
At this time, I installed cameras for my own home, and now, six years later, I can’t imagine not having them.
Having a security camera is part of your defensive strategy to protect your home. Below are some of the benefits you will have in owning one:
Know when someone is on your property
One of the advances in a security camera is allowing this device to be linked to your smartphone. Even when you are away from home, you can have a good view of people trying to break into your property. Your smartphone can send a notification, so you can call authorities to respond right away.
Security cameras can be a great deterrent to burglars
In most cases, thieves will spy on a home before they rob it, and if they spot cameras installed with an alarm system, they will most likely abort their attempt. Also, this camera can record any criminal incident and help capture the culprit.
Monitor people going in and out while you are away
The good thing about a home security camera is being able to monitor who’s going in and out of your household 24/7.
You can even catch a babysitter’s abusive acts towards your baby, teenagers sneaking out in the middle of the night and even unauthorized person coming in your house.
Document evidence for police and insurance
Security cameras are a good source of evidence for burglary or any criminal act around your home. Cameras provide high-definition video where you can recognize the criminal’s identity.
And, of course, after a robbery, this is the point where you retrieve your insurance claim. The video footage can easily document the act which validates your claim.
Not having proof that a robbery occurred can delay payment for damages and sometimes have your claim rejected by the insurance company.
Lower Your insurance premiums
Moreover, Insurance premiums are payments for a policy covering health, life, and even home insurance. However, investing in a home security system could lower the insurance cost.
Some companies offer a 5% to 10% discount on home insurance policies when you have an installed security system. This could save you more money and invest more on your security system instead.
For example, my homeowner’s insurance premium is about $2400 per year, and having a security system qualifies me for a 10% discount of about $240 a year.
Most alarm companies’ average cost of security monitoring is approximately $35 per month or $420 per year.
With a savings of $240, that brings the cost of central station monitoring down to only $15 per month. For me, that’s a no-brainer.
Now that you have a good overview of what a home security system is composed of and what benefit you can get from having them, it is now time to assess if these are worth your investment.
In our world today, where there are a lot of chaos, crime, and inevitable accidents, it is just prudent to invest in a home security system that could lessen the damage or prevent such circumstance.
Also, when we think about the home security system, we think about our home, family, and loved ones whom we care about. If we highly prioritize their security and protection, investing in this will protect their lives while preventing any financial loss from damages.