Home alarm systems provide peace of mind for many MA home owners. It also may reduce your homeowner’s insurance rate. If you are thinking about installing an alarm, here are some MA home security system tips and other helpful information.
Home Security System Features
1. Cameras – Security cameras provide a visual watch on your home. Most of these systems will record video and save it on a hard drive for a certain period of time. You may also have the option to access these cameras online.
2. Motion Sensors – Motion sensors are often placed on lower levels in rooms with access points (i.e. doorways or windows).
3. Door and Window Sensors – Sensors can detect when doors or windows are opened. These are also often placed on lower levels. For door sensors, you may also opt for door chimes (an audible indication that a door has been opened or closed) that function even when the system is not armed.
4. Stickers and Signs – Having stickers or signs on your property can often be a deterrent to would-be burglars. Most burglars are looking for properties with the least amount of challenge. They would certainly prefer to avoid homes with alarms.
Home Security System Options
With the advancement of technology, there are many different options available to home buyers.
1. Self-Supported Systems – Cameras and other security system equipment can be purchased online and self-installed. Equipment can involve a large up-front cost. These generic kits are not typically connected to any company for monitoring service, so there would be no specific monthly cost. Since there is no monitoring, these systems may record evidence of a crime but would not necessary stop it (since no one is notified of a breach).
2. Online Companies – Some companies offer kits that you can purchase online and install yourself. The equipment connects wireless to your in-home wi-fi and can communicate with the online company for monitoring. This option is typically cost effective with reduced up-front installation costs.
3. Full Service Companies – The most common home security system is offered by companies that specialize in it. Many local cable companies have also starting providing this option and at discounted rates when grouped with cable, internet, and/or phone service. The company installs the hardware and also provides the monthly monitoring service and support. Should your alarm get tripped, the company will normally call you first (to determine whether it was a false alarm) and then call the local police department, if needed.
MA Home Security System Tips
Selecting the right home security system option and features will depend on your goals and on the layout of your home. For example, if your goal is to prevent a crime (or catch someone in the act), then a system with monitoring service is important. For equipment, it is a good idea to get door sensors and motion sensors at a minimum. Door sensors provide coverage for obvious access points. Motion sensors will detect activity should someone use an access point other than a door. If it is within your budgets, putting sensors on windows would be an added precaution. Focus on windows on the first floor and/or basement. If you have too many windows, you can narrow it down to windows in areas where someone might enter and not be easily seen.
Compare your options by inquiring about up-front costs and monthly fees. Make sure that you request the same equipment from all companies (i.e. same number of door sensors and motion sensors) for a more accurate comparison. Installation fees and monthly fees will vary. You may also want to consider the reliability and customer service ratings of each company.
Once you select the right equipment and service, do not forget to notify your insurance company. You may be entitled to an extra discount for having a MA home security system in place. Be sure to ask about other discounts for which you may qualify.