3 things you must-know about home security systems

July 28, 2015

Installing an effective alarm system will not only give you peace of mind, it can also be the key to paying a smaller insurance premium. Here's what you need to know.

3 things you must-know about home security systems

1. Check with your insurance company

  • To help decide which type of alarm or home security system to install, first call your insurer to find out if you can get a reduction in premium and how much that will be based on the various types of systems you're considering.
  • Typically they range from 5 to 10 per cent.

2. Choosing the right type of alarm

A professionally installed alarm can cost anywhere from no money at all to thousands of dollars, depending on the contract you sign, the size of your home and the type of equipment being installed.

  • The most basic alarm is a bells-only system. If the sensors detect an intruder the alarm sounds, but nothing else happens.
  • You're relying on a neighbour or passerby to report the alarm bell ringing, so it's a poor investment for rural or isolated homes, and even in a city it may be ignored.

The alternative is the same setup of sensors and alarm box, but with an added monitoring system.

  • The alarm is connected to a 24-hour call centre that calls your home — to catch any false alarms — before contacting the police.
  • Monitoring can add extra money to the cost, but is essential for isolated homes.

3. Benefits of professionally installed systems

You may be tempted to buy an alarm kit from a DIY superstore and install it yourself.

  • Although you can reap substantial savings, you might be wasting your money.
  • Often they use older, less reliable technology and installing them can be tricky.
  • What's more, unless they're monitored, police departments won't likely respond when they go off.

It is recommended that you have a system professionally installed. Most home security firms offer free estimates, and some will even install free of charge a security package in a leased home in order to get you to sign on for monitoring.

  • The good news: even a sticker indicating there's an alarm system on-site will likely result in lower rates of break-ins.
  • One Statistics Canada report found 37 break-and-enters out of 1,000 occurred in houses without alarms, compared to only four in 1,000 for houses with alarm systems.

The security of your home is something you cannot gamble with. Before choosing the alarm system right for you, make sure you know what features are offered and get the most out of your money.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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