What Kind of Home Security Do You Need?
Home protection does more than protect your possessions; it gives you peace of mind. You have a right to the quiet enjoyment of your manufactured home whether you own it or rent it, and an invasion of your personal space denies you of the privacy that you deserve. Protecting your home from unauthorized entry usually requires you to use a security system, and thousands of them are on the market. Taking a realistic approach to the kind of security that you need can help you select an affordable one that provides ample protection.
Understanding the Objectives
No matter how simple or sophisticated the design of a security system, its main purpose is to provide home protection in these ways:
- by preventing unauthorized entry
- by preventing theft of possessions
- by creating an alarm
Devising a Secure System
The components of a security system are relatively simple, including sensors, a control panel, a siren and an optional remote device for the panel.
Small magnetic devices that come in pairs must stay in contact when your system is activated. Placed on doors and windows at points where they form a bond, they react to any movement that separates them. You need one set of sensors on each door and each window.
- Control Panel and Optional Remote
The brain of a system is the control panel that is usually located in a remote area, such as a closet in your master bedroom. Each time you enter your home, you must deactivate the system at the control panel to prevent creating a false alarm. Placed at a height that your children cannot reach, it must provide easy access for adults. Using a remote to deactivate your system allows it to react immediately to the sensors without waiting the seconds required for you to reach the control panel.
The enforcer in a security system is the alarm siren, and the noise that it makes is capable of creating an extremely effective deterrent. A system that includes a high decibel (dB) siren is the best choice, with the capability to produce a high pitched, piercing sound. Normal conversation between adults standing three feet apart is 60-65 dB, and a jack hammer 50 feet away is 95dB. Your system needs to provide a seriously annoying sound, almost as loud as a motorcycle that registers 100 dB. A low decibel alarm does not offer the level of deterrent that you need.
Calculating How Much Security is Enough
Law enforcement experts report that visible signs that a home has a security system is often enough to convince a burglar to try somewhere else. A barking dog is a deterrent that discourages entry by drawing the attention of neighbors, and the fear of encountering a vicious dog instills fear in most burglars.
Some elaborate systems include motion detectors in each room, multi-camera surveillance, remote activation and monitoring services that add to the price of ownership. Home improvement stores offer an affordable way to secure your home, often using your Ethernet broadband to power it. A system that calls attention to a break in is the basic requirement for security, and you can choose to add other features if you choose.
Confirming the Deterrent Capability of Alarm Sirens
Burglars need to work quickly and in privacy to get in and out unnoticed. Unlocked windows and doors make it easy for them, and a survey by Consumer Reports showed that a quarter of respondents leave windows open when no one is at home. Almost as many admitted that they leave doors open when they go out.
Stopping delivery of mail and newspapers removes an obvious sign that a home owner is away, and a timer that activates lights and radios or television sets in different rooms adds to the impression that a home is occupied. A report by the alarm industry revealed that homes with alarm systems reduce burglaries by more than 66 percent when used in combination with simple deterrent measures.
A successful break in by an experienced burglar takes only 60 seconds or less. A siren that is activated by breaking the connection between sensors makes a piercing sound that is nearly impossible to tolerate, and it creates panic as well. Reports show that the dollar value of stolen items is reduced significantly when an alarm is present.
Determining the Value of a Monitoring Service
Many systems today are monitored by a service 24 hours a day, but the value is questioned by security experts. An article in the New York Times cited these reasons for skepticism:
- police response time of 30-45 minutes
- loss of power due to storms
- damage occurs within minutes
While the police may help you recover lost items in some cases, one of the main purposes of a security system is to prevent loss. Insurance companies report that only 21 percent of stolen property is returned to owners, making it essential to prevent theft with preventive measures that work.
Balancing Costs and Benefits
Having a security system is an essential part of having a home, and the selection of the right one for you depends on how much you want to spend to get the benefits that you want. Losses from a burglary include much more than the loss of property, and having a stranger in your home is a violation of your privacy. Security systems are available in a wide range of prices, and you can easily find one that fits within your budget.
By counting the doors and windows in your home, you can find a do-it-yourself kit at a home improvement store to protect each entry point. Denying easy access to your home is the first step in burglary prevention, and providing an abhorrent noise to prevent an intruder from lingering inside is equally important.