Be Armed, Not Alarmed

By Mark J. Donovan

February 24, 2014 4 min read

Installing a home security system in your house offers many advantages. First and foremost, it provides an extra level of safety to you and your family. A home security system also provides peace of mind knowing that your home is protected whether you're there or not. A home alarm system also protects your home from burglaries that could cost you thousands of dollars in lost valuables and damage to your home. Then there's the emotional trauma that a home security system can prevent you and your family members from going through. From personal experience of having my home burglarized twice, I know there is a very sick feeling you get after having your house ransacked and robbed. For months, you never quite feel safe in your home.

When considering the installation of a home security system, evaluate the weaknesses in and around your home. Determine where break-ins to your property and home are most likely to occur. By considering these points up front, you can make a better decision as to what type of home security measures are best for your home.

When most people think of home security alarm systems, they think of expensive equipment and monthly service fees. Yes, these types of products and services are available, however, there are many cheaper home security solutions you can pursue that can be just as effective. Home security consists of more than just providing alarm systems that activate after the perpetrators have entered your home. For example, installing a tall perimeter fence around your yard and attaching motion-detector exterior spotlights onto your home can deter would-be burglars from taking a second look at your house.

You can also buy home security alarm systems that are designed to call several phone numbers of your choosing, versus a home security service company. This way, you or neighbors can take a look at your house prior to calling the police. These types of home security systems include motion detectors, temperature sensors, power-loss sensors and contact sensors that plug into a central security hub. The central security hub is then connected into a phone jack so that it can make outside calls to you if any of the sensors are activated. You can buy these types of home security systems for around $300 to $500, depending upon the number of sensors and features with the product.

Around the outside of your home, limit the number of bushes so that you eliminate hiding places. Or plant shrubs and bushes that are thorny and painful to anyone who attempts to hide in or near them.

Another solution is to purchase a pet dog for the home. A small dog can be at least a watchdog to let you know when intruders are around your home. Large dogs can be both watchdogs and guard dogs. However, with any dog, make sure to post "Beware of Dog" signs at the entrances of your property and home to eliminate lawsuits from would-be burglars. It's funny how our legal system works today when it comes to protecting criminals' rights. The effective message often understood from our courts is that burglars should be able to rob your home without suffering risk or personal injury.

Finally, every home alarm system should include alarm sensors for fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. You can buy smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that are both integrated into home security systems and independent of them.

With a little upfront thought and a moderate budget, you can come up with an affordable home security system that will protect both your family and your home from thieves, fire and poisonous gases.

Mark J. Donovan's website is

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