Is a Home Security System Worth the Expense?


I have a friend whose husband travels frequently for work.  After one of these trips, she mentioned how poorly she had slept because she had been listening for intruders.  I knew that she had a home security system, so I asked the obvious, “Didn’t the security system make you feel better?”

“I don’t use that!” she said in a voice filled with disdain.  “I don’t want to pay $30 a month for that!”  (She and her husband bought the house about five years ago, and the system was already installed.)

I bit my tongue from saying more, but by not using the security system she already has, I think she is making a big mistake.  People have the tendency to think they are safe in their homes and that other people’s houses get broken into, not theirs.  However, it only takes one incident to shake this view.  Still, many want to know — Is a home security system worth the expense?

The Consequences of a Burglary

My mom’s house was burglarized seven years ago.  She came home to utter chaos and lost many possessions, but what bothered her most was losing sentimental items such as her graduation ring, and her mother’s ring that I worked to save for and buy her for Christmas when I was only 16.

A mere eight months later, her home was burglarized again, and this time the thieves made a bigger mess of the house.  In fact, one of them defecated in the living room.  She felt completely violated by these individuals not only taking items she had worked hard to buy but going through her personal belongings, not to mention the mess they left behind that she had to clean up.

Home security system

Is a home security system worth the expense?

After the second burglary, the cop who was investigating told her that once a home is burglarized successfully, it becomes more of a target because the thieves know they can get away with it.  They simply wait for the homeowner to replace all of their items and then strike again.  This time the burglary is even more successful because they are able to steal brand new items.

When she contacted her homeowner’s insurance company, she was chastised because it was her second claim in less than a year.  She was told that if she made one more claim, they would cancel her insurance policy.  The threat from the insurance and the sense of violation was what finally propelled her to buy a home security system, and she has had no trouble since.  In addition, she receives an annual discount on her homeowner’s policy because of the alarm system.

Other Benefits to a Home Security System

Beyond protecting your possessions, there are a number of other reasons you should have a home security system:

Protect your home and family in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.  Many home security systems can detect smoke or carbon monoxide poisoning and contact the appropriate emergency personnel.

- Protect your loved ones from home invasion.  While admittedly this is rare, Elizabeth Smart, the young girl from Utah who was kidnapped right from her bed, lived in a home that was protected by a home security system.  The night she was kidnapped, her parents didn’t use the security system because they wanted to sleep with the windows open.

Protect you as you enter your home.  Many systems have an Ambush Alarm that allows the homeowner to enter a code that will silence the alarm but it sends an alert to the central security station that something is wrong and to send help.  This is for the chance that you are ambushed as you enter the home and are told you need to enter the alarm code.  You may also have a Panic Code that immediately sets the alarm off.  This is good if you think there is someone outside.

A home security system is an invaluable tool to protect your family and your possessions.  Usually, the monthly fee costs less daily than the cup of coffee you could buy at the local coffee joint.  Isn’t a home security system worth the expense?

Do you have a home security system?  Do you think it is worth the expense?

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Published or updated July 12, 2013.

Comments

  1. I have to say, if they are not sleeping, then $30 is totally worth sleep. I guess as long as they don’t go into debt for it.

  2. muffinandjezebel says:

    I have had a home security system for 8 years but discontinued the service when the sheriff’s layoff meant that no one would respond. Then I could have continued with the system but it would have meant 55 a month and armed security guards (not police or sheriffs). At the same time, I have three rottie mix rescue dogs that are inside dogs. I had an attempted burglary of my house about a month ago and when the first dog let out a howl, all hell broke loose with the three of them barking and snarling, and the guy practically broke his neck getting to the street (where two people in a car picked him up). Scary, very scary. So, I felt better with the alarm (at the time) but I would pick my dogs over an alarm any time. I would actually do both if it was sheriff’s that responded, since I live alone but..

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