Today’s hi-tech marketplace offers a lot of fancy gadgets designed to add comfort, convenience and protection to your home. If you’re trying to decide whether or not to invest in a home security system, here are some factors to consider.

Home Burglary Statistics

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report on Crime in the United States 2012, there were an estimated 2,103,787 burglaries in 2012 and burglaries of residential properties accounted for 74.5 percent of all burglary offenses.

Furthermore, according to the report, “victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.7 billion in property losses in 2012,” with an average dollar loss per burglary offense being $2,230.

This is some pretty alarming data, and while statistics alone present a strong case for investing in a home security system, there are several other notable advantages.

Theft Deterrent

Things like secure locks on windows and doors and deadbolts make it harder for burglars to enter your house. But, if a thief is determined to break in, he will, and he’ll use forcible entry. It seems like common sense that a home security system offers an added layer of theft prevention and deterrence, especially when monitoring stickers and signs are easily visible on windows and lawns.

Once a thief tries and/or is able to gain access to your home, a home security system with bells, whistles and alarms alerts alarm company professionals who can contact local law enforcement and stop a potential theft or crime in progress. Plus, a burglar is more likely to spend less time in a home with a security system (thus creating less damage), as opposed to an unprotected home. According to the Electronic Security Association, the average loss on a home without a security system is $2,100 more than a home with one.

Added Emergency Benefits

In addition to theft prevention and protection, most home security systems offer some important added safety features like smoke detection in the event of a house fire and emergency response assistance.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2011, a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds and one home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds. Moreover, one civilian fire injury was reported every 30 minutes, one civilian death occurred every two hours and 55 minutes and the total amount of damage caused by structure fires was $9.7 billion dollars.

Home security systems with built-in smoke detectors alert homeowners to smoke and/or house fires as well as alarm company representatives, who notify the nearest fire department.

This critical communication also applies to medical emergencies. If an elderly person or child falls, has an accident or is injured, some security systems offer portable wireless devices that notify operators and/or emergency responders so help can reach them as fast as possible. In an emergency, this kind of help may be life-saving.

Insurance Incentives

Household budgets can be tight, and trimming insurances expenses is always nice. Most insurance companies offer discounts on premiums for having a home security system, sometimes as high as 15 or 20 percent. Check with your insurance company to find out how much you can save on your rates by having a security system installed.

Other Considerations

While thoughts of accidentally triggering the alarm and monthly monitoring fees may seem daunting, you can ultimately decide if the pros for owning a home security system outweigh the cons. You’ll also want to make other considerations, like equipment features and overall system cost.

Many modern systems are wireless, offer indoor and outdoor video surveillance, intercom systems, security alarms and allow you to monitor your home remotely via your mobile device such as an iPhone or iPad.

Get several quotes and compare system features and costs before choosing a system. You can find a lot of online reviews, service comparisons and rates for many different brands of security systems with a quick Google search.

Also make sure you have a clear understanding of any installation or start-up fees, termination fees, contract requirements and monthly monitoring fees. It’s well worth the time to do some preliminary research to find a system that best suits your individual cost and service needs.

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