The Real Estate Encyclopedia
Security Systems_ Protecting your Investment
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Itís a home ownerís worst nightmare. You come home to find that you have been burglarized. The sanctity of your personal space has been violated. You call the police, but other than taking a report, there isnít much they can do.

So how do you protect your family and personal safety as well as your property against unlawful entry, burglary or vandalism? More families are turning to affordable CCTV systems to protect them and give them peace of mind.

Choosing an Alarm System

The first thing that comes to mind for most people is to install a security alarm system. With so many options out there to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? In order to make the right decision based on your needs you should consult with a consumer review site
 that has the most comprehensive comparison requirements. The choices are almost limitless but some things you might want to consider.
  • Passive infrared detectors (motion detectors)
  • Ultrasonic detectors (picks up changes in frequencies)
  • Microwave detectors (usually used in combination with passive infrared detectors)
  • Photo-electric beams (uses infrared or visible light beams)
  • Glass break detection (placed near glass)
  • CCTV camera (video monitoring)

Used independently or in combination, CCTV systems can do a wonderful job at protecting your home. Most companies will offer a comprehensive package that will provide a combination of these to suit your homeís specific needs. The average home will have a combination of passive infrared detectors and glass break detectors as a basic installation package.

As varied as the types of alarm systems that are available, so are the types of monitoring that is available. Most security systems engage when you key in the proper code and allow a time delay before setting in order to allow you to exit the home. Many of these systems are connected to your home phone line. If an alarm is tripped, the alarm company will call the phone number you have registered with and ask you to provide the password or passcode in order to verify your identity. A failure to identify as the property owner can result in an immediate patch through to the proper local authorities for investigation.

Some alarm companies even offer to set up an ďambush codeĒ. This is a separate code from the one used to activate and deactivate your alarm. By entering this code instead of your normal access code, you stop the alarm from ringing but trigger a silent alarm to the monitoring company which informs them that you are in trouble. The person who forced you to turn off your alarm does not realize that by activating this code, you have sent authorities to your aid. This feature is largely marketed as an extra piece of security for the elderly or single dwellers.

Does an Alarm Prevent Crime?

In 2011, it was estimated that a burglary takes place every 14.4 seconds in the United States. However, according to the United States Census Bureau, the rates of crime involving property and robbery (which occurred in residential properties) decreased by approximately 1.8% between 1990 and 2009. It isnít a coincidence that the popularity of home security systems coincides with the drop in thefts.

Although it generally takes less than 60 seconds for a burglar to gain entry into a home, it is estimated that those homes with a security system are 3 times less likely to become targets. Those are some pretty good reasons to consider installing a home alarm system.

It is estimated that 9 out of 10 burglars would move on to try a home without a home security system installed. Why is this?

  • If a security system is installed correctly, it can alert the authorities that a crime is in progress
  • A burglar would have to know how to disable the system in order to stop the alarm from going off
  • A CCTV camera captures the crime on video and can be used to identity the thief
A burglar wants to be in and out of the house as quickly as possible and leave undetected. Catching them on a CCTV camera increases their chances of getting caught and charged for their crimes.

Will a security system help with resale value?

There are many things you can do to improve the overall resale value of your home. A savvy home buyer that will recognize that by purchasing a home with a home security system already installed, they can benefit from the additional security and peace of mind. Some home buyers will appreciate a pre-installed home security system simply because it saves them the effort of having to have one installed later. Some home buyers will consider a home with a security system already installed because they know they will get a better rate on home insurance as a result.

Donít forget the outside of your house when considering how a security system can help with resale value. Many homes will already have indoor security systems. Add a CCTV camera to the outside of your home, and watch the resale value soar. Add some proper lighting and low shrubbery and you have a security system that will be the envy of the neighbourhood!

The Bottom Line

As technology advances and we can stream images faster and clearer, a security system that does not contain a CCTV camera is probably not going to be as valuable to you as one that has that feature. We are moving away from the simple home monitoring system where an alarm goes off and twenty minutes later the police show up at your door. Technology is now allowing us to stream live video feeds right to our computers and phones. Security systems are becoming so sophisticated that we no longer have to be at home to see what is happening on our property. Burglars and vandals will have second thoughts before choosing your home if they suspect they will be caught on camera.

The purchase of a home is probably the biggest financial investment most people will make in their lifetime. It only makes sense to ensure that you have done all that you can to protect that investment and the safety of your family.

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