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Be Your Own Security Guard

When it comes to protecting your sanctuary, more commonly known as your home, it’s important to ensure it is well equipped to keep you and your loved ones safe. Unfortunately, the traditional lock and key does not always stop unwanted guests from entering your property. Luckily with the rise of technology in the 21st century, new products on the market can provide us with peace of mind and the ability to be our own security guards.

ADT, one of the largest home security companies, has reported that in 2019 alone, over 1.4 million homes were broken into with nearly $3 billion in property losses1. A break-in can happen at any time of day and is more than likely planned by the assailant. This is due in part to burglars using techniques, such as casing all the access points to your home and studying your travel patterns to determine the best time to strike.

Properties without an extra layer of security are prime targets for those looking to invade vulnerable homes. According to Forbes HOME, a study by UNC Charlotte concluded 83 percent of burglars look for some form of security before attempting a break-in.2 And even with the increase in work-from-home jobs, it is impossible to be home 24/7 to discourage burglars. This is where technology has played a significant role in providing essential security. With a multitude of options on the market, it may seem overwhelming to choose the best product that matches your needs without breaking the bank.

Top of the line security can vary in price, and depending on your budget, you may want to create a list of must haves for your home security system. Features such as motion sensors, cameras, keypads, and additional lighting are essential items to look for when considering which system to buy. When trying to price out your options there are two categories to consider: professional installation and Do-It-Yourself (DIY). Professional installation companies will give you a list of features that are included and add-ons that can drive up the cost. Add-ons can include an indoor alarm system or customizations to integrate with third-party devices. This is compared to DIY products that are purchased as a pre-packaged system.

Companies such as ADT and Vivint offer state-of-the-art technology that requires professional installation.  When browsing home security systems, features such as: three door/window alarms, a motion detector, 24/7 alarm monitoring and a digital control panel,3 could potentially be included in basic packages, but it is important to read a full list of what is included. However, home systems that require professional installation can start at $500 and reach over $1000, not including the additional monthly fee to use the monitoring system.* Although these companies offer the option to purchase equipment individually, this cost can rapidly increase when deciding which security features to keep and which to forgo. Also, it is important to note these companies mainly advertise to homeowners. Individuals currently renting apartments or condominiums who are looking for an extra layer of security may have to consider another option.

DIY security systems are an option that are not only cost-effective but can be installed at your own discretion. Products such as the Ring Alarm Pro and SimpliSafe can provide individuals with a more affordable alternative. Limited features such as a camera with motion detectors and keypad sensors may be a more practical fit for your home. The Ring Alarm Pro and SimpliSafe are ideal for those living in an apartment or condominium to provide the protection many individuals may feel they need. However, keep in mind that a lower cost may also limit the level of security that is provided. Ring provides a DIY experience with 24/7 monitoring that is not too cost-effective, but in comparison to ADT or Vivint, it may not offer a list of extended features that can tailor your home security system to your preference.

When it comes to choosing the home security system that best suits your home, make a list of features you consider non-negotiable. While some individuals may want security that is tailored to the front door, others may want a system that focuses on the backyard. Professional Installation may sit on the higher end of the budget but allows you to choose equipment that is customized to your needs. DIY installations, although sold as one product fits all, provide an essential level of security that is user friendly and can meet basic needs for many homeowners. Whether you choose professional installation or DIY, both provide peace of mind both at home and on-the-go.



*Price ranges are as of publication of this article in June 2023. Price ranges are subject to change.


MMBB does not endorse the companies or products mentioned in this article.

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