Pros & Cons Of Security Systems For Home Protection… Are They Really Worth It?

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By Andrea

The purpose of home security systems is to provide you with peace of mind while notifying the authorities in the event of a break-in or other emergency at your residence.


Much like homeowners insurance, a home security system is something you buy that you hope you never have to use.

So, are security systems for home protection worth it?  Does it make sense to buy this type of “insurance”?

Certainly, anyone who has been rescued from a robbery or fire because of a home security system would find it difficult to doubt the benefits of a home security system. On the flip side, some homeowners have a problem justifying the extra expense.

Following are the pros and cons of security systems for home use, plus some info about the cost to install a home security system.

First, a few statistics about home burglaries and security systems for home protection…

Home Security Stats

  • 73% of burglars said that they would still rob a house if it had an alarm.
  • A home without a security system is 2 to 3 times more likely to be burglarized.
  • 85% of police officials surveyed believe home monitored alarms help deter burglary attempts.
  • The average dollar loss per burglary offense in 2008 was $2,079.
  • 60% of attempted burglaries on homes that have a home security alarm system are unsuccessful.
  • The average amount of time it takes a burglar to gain entrance to a home: 57 seconds.
  • 67% of all burglars gain entrance somewhere other than the front door.
  • Worldwide, home burglaries have dropped around 53% over the last 10 years.
  • 54% of home security system owners are unsure of how to operate their system.
  • Daytime burglaries have jumped 47% in the United States.
  • 88% of all burglaries are residential in nature.
  • Recent FBI studies have shown that security systems make your home 15 times less likely to be victimized.
  • 86% of burglaries occur when people are at home.
  • The average amount of time that it takes a home security specialist to do an in-home protection evaluation is 52 minutes.
  • 15% of American households have a home security system.
  • You can save up to 20% on your homeowners insurance policy with the addition of an alarm system.

Sources: Facts Every Homeowner Should Know,  Home Security System Sales, Basic Crime Facts & Statistics

Pros Of Home Security Systems

  • Police are immediately dispatched if someone breaks into your home.  How it works: you get a phone call when the alarm system is set off.  If you don’t answer the phone, provide a security code, and tell them you’re okay, they will immediately send someone out to your home.
  • The alarm itself often frightens away burglars.  When my subdivision was new, we had a rash of burglaries.  My alarm was set off several times when I was not at home, and the back door was found broken into but nothing was ever missing.  We believe the deafening alarm scared them away.
  • You’re alerted whenever anyone enters and exits the home.  This is especially good when you have small children in the home, because it helps to know whenever the doors in your home open or close.

Cons Of Home Security Systems

  • You can get a false sense of security, since some burglars will still enter the home with an alarm on. Not all burglars will be scared away.  There are professional criminals who know how to get in, grab what they want, and get out before the police ever arrive.
  • You have to remember to set the alarm in order for it to work.  I have woken up many nights to not only find the alarm off, but also the garage door open.  If you fall asleep before locking up the house and setting the alarm, the home security system will not do you any good.
  • Your local police department will charge you for “false alarms.”  Any time they come out to your home to find no burglar there and no obvious signs of forced entry, it will be considered a false alarm.  So basically, you can be fined if your security alarm was successful in scaring the intruder away!

Types Of Security Systems For Home Use

burglar-breaking-into-house-window-by-kylemac.jpg There are 2 basic types of home security alarms:

  1. Infrared home security systems – where infrared sensors are used to detect movement inside your home.
  2. Perimeter home security systems – that sense whenever someone tries to enter your home through a door or window.

Perimeter alarms are more popular these days — because they have a lower rate of false alarms than the motion detectors inside the home do.

In an existing home, a wireless security system is probably your best bet.  The price is a little more than a hardwired system that is built into a new home, but the cost of running the wires can be quite expensive.

Home Security Installation Costs