You’ve just bought a new home in South Florida. Maybe it’s not really new, but it’s new to you. This is the largest investment most people make. You worked hard to get this house and you will work even harder to maintain it. If you’ve purchased an older home, maybe you got it for a good price and have a total makeover in mind. Or perhaps you are doing it piece by piece as your budget allows. If you’re in a new home you are enjoying the unblemished surroundings and the feeling that you will be exempt from worries about your home- for the time being anyway. But as you lay your head down one night you hear an unfamiliar sound. Suddenly your new home doesn’t seem so safe and cozy.
You heart jumps a beat, your hands sweat, and you sit as still as can be, listening for the source of that noise until you identify it as the boiler kicking on. You lie back in bed and tell yourself to relax, it’s nothing. You laugh at yourself for being so scared. But the thought stays with you and you begin to wonder if a home security system might be worth looking into.
According to the United States Bureau of Justice, approximately 3.7 million home burglaries were committed each year in the span of 2003-2007. In most instances the homes were unoccupied at the time of the burglary, but an unlucky 28% of these homeowner families did experience this crime while a member of the family was home. An even unluckier 7% of burglary victims were assaulted during the commission of the crime. In those instances, the burglary is classified as some variation of personal assault instead of a property crime.
Breaking it down, this translates to one million instances of people being home at the time their home was broken into. Two hundred sixty-six thousand assaults occurred in the homes.
If these numbers are enough to make you uneasy, there are steps you can take to protect your home- and your family- from victimization.
Locking your doors and windows, keeping your travel announcements and pictures off the internet until after your trip, not allowing mail to pile up while you are away and having someone drive over fresh snow in your driveway while you are on a beach somewhere can all deter would-be burglars. One or more loud dogs are even better deterrents and finally, a home security system can be the difference between your home being burglarized or not.
Don’t have a dog? Don’t want one? Not friendly with your neighbors or are your neighbors on the list of people you’d like to keep out? A home security system could be your key to feeling safe while at home, and safe while your kids are home without you. But with all the choices out there, how can you know which one is right for you?
Just like your other home projects, price will matter. What is your budget for a home security system? What are your primary concerns? What do you feel is the biggest vulnerability in your home and how do you want to address it? Do you want cameras in your home? Do you want a security company to have access to these cameras and their video stream or do you simply want to record the scene in the event that footage is needed after an invasion? These are all questions you will want to ask, and the process can be tedious. To make your search a little easier, Consumer Affairs has compiled a list of the 15 Home Security Systems it believes top the field. Additionally, you can click here for a Guide to Choosing and Installing Motion Sensor Camera Systems.
Word-of-mouth can also be a great way to find the security system that’s right for you. Ask your friends or family if they can recommend a company.
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