Home security is a booming industry, growing a little more every year, especially as crime has continued to increase in more recent years due to a failing economy and a wavering job market. Last year, UAE residents spent $28.2 billion on security products like alarms and motion-detecting sensors as well as CCTV Cameras. For what? Many people complain that their home security providers don’t live up to their promises. In some metropolitan areas, subscribers also complain that emergency response times have slowed, which is estimated to be the result of the nearly 80 percent false alarm rate and the low priority burglaries often take in such crime-ridden areas. So what’s the point of having home security, especially if you live in a safer area?
There are several. Many providers offer free home security systems for subscribing to their monitoring services and they provide substantial discounts on home insurance policies. Depending on your insurer, you could reduce your premium by up to 20%, the largest discount offered. Some people report savings of up to several hundred dollars, easily offsetting the cost of home security monitoring. A security system can also save you some serious cash in the event of a burglary. According to the Electronic Security Association, homes without such systems experience losses of over $5,000 per instance, while homes with security systems in place usually incur losses just over $3,000.
Beyond the monetary benefit, there are also additional benefits to your neighborhood, your children and oddly enough, the efficiency of your parenting. A study released by the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University last year concluded that security systems protected entire neighborhoods, not just the homes they serve. The four-year study found that break-ins decreased as the density of alarms within a residential area increased. It works as almost the reverse of the Broken Windows theory.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the theory, it asserts that when small problems like graffiti, broken windows and litter are ignored by a community, the overall decline of the community is imminent. People disregard, abandon or stay away from it. Similarly, when people implement home security in their homes, little by little the neighborhood responds in the same way and the level of security in the area increases, keeping burglars at bay.
Having a home alarm also reduces your likelihood of leaving a window open, one of the most common ways burglars gain access to a home. Central control panels monitor doors as they open and close, signaling which part of the house was entered or exited. Advanced systems can also monitor your garage door, another common point of entry for those hunting for an easy target.
Beyond actual security, alarm systems provide a variety of services, some are rather unexpected. One of the primary benefits of home security systems is that they assist many people with the toughest job in the world, parenting. Remember those days when you used to sneak out of the second story window, quietly crawl along the roof past your parents’ window and scale down the lattice into the freedom of the night? With a home security system your kids will never get away with it, ever. That’s because an armed system screeches when a window is slid open and won’t let you arm it in the first place when a window is left open.
I was both unfortunate and fortunate enough to have parents who implemented a home security system as a way to keep tabs on my free spirit. They heard when I came in and they heard when I came out. I couldn’t even pretend that I made my curfew because even when the system was unarmed, it still beeped when I opened the door (or window), one hour after curfew. Ever-advancing systems are even allowing parents to keep alarmed locks on liquor and gun cabinets and affordable video surveillance lets parents see beyond closed doors.
As criminals continually think up new and outrageous ways to stay “profitable,” alarm and security monitoring companies are doing the same. The most successful providers are the ones with the most effective equipment and monitoring practices, so stick with the leaders when going the home security route.