Home Security Systems: Holiday-Proof Your Home - Compare The Market

Home Security Systems: Holiday-Proof Your Home

 
 
 
 
 

We always remember to lock our doors when we leave the house, and some of us even go to the trouble of installing security features, like sensor lighting, to deter would-be thieves. We take these precautions because we know home burglaries and break-ins are common crimes and account for over one-fifth of all offences reported to police.

Between 2011 and 2012 there were an estimated 372,400 break-in incidents in Australia. And the holidays are prime-time for thieves: many residents are away from their homes during the festive season and criminals take full advantage of this. Taking proper home security precautions, however, may prevent you from being a target.

The safest and securest way to protect our homes is an alarm system (with CCTV adding an extra level of protection), however, many of us don’t take the leap to because we assume that home security systems are too expensive. But actually, there are plenty of affordable home security alarm systems on the market, and many can even be tailored to suit your budget!

The Basics

The basic features of an alarm system are a control panel, interior and/or exterior devices for monitoring, and alert sirens. A control panel allows you to set the alarm system to secure your whole home or different parts inside it; you can set the alarm for both staying in (particularly good if you’re home alone) or if you are going out. The control panel is connected to the devices that monitor your home and will sound the alarm if they are set off, so make sure your control panel always comes with built-in back-up batteries and an anti-interference trip-switch in case thieves attempt to tamper with it or cut the power.

The basic features of an alarm system are a control panel, interior and/or exterior devices for monitoring, and alert sirens. A control panel allows you to set the alarm system to secure your whole home or different parts inside it; you can set the alarm for both staying in (particularly good if you’re home alone) or if you are going out. The control panel is connected to the devices that monitor your home and will sound the alarm if they are set off, so make sure your control panel always comes with built-in back-up batteries and an anti-interference trip-switch in case thieves attempt to tamper with it or cut the power.

Monitoring devices vary, from CCTV cameras to motion detection sensors. Most devices will monitor for entry-point interference at doors or windows. Some systems are fitted with magnetic switches which will trigger the alarm when doors, windows or locks are opened or broken, while others use sensors to monitor for shock, vibration, and motion, and you can even get passive infra-red (PIR) detectors that monitor for changes in infra-red (like body heat).

You can also get devices for monitoring that are sensitive to the movement of pets, which will help to avoid false alarms caused by your family’s precious pooch. Like monitoring components, alert sirens can be fitted both inside and outside your home; they will sound for a specific period of time when triggered. Sirens can be highly effective deterrents for would-be-thieves, and can also help to alert your neighbours to an intrusion. They will be more likely to assist, though, if your system isn’t prone to false alarms – particularly in the wee hours of the morning.

Many professional alarm systems offer a back-to-base 24 hour remote monitoring service or include personal alert features like sending a text or calling you if the alarm is triggered.? With the 24-hour remote monitoring feature you can pay an additional fee or monthly subscription to have security guards react to an alarm, or be able to send for police, an ambulance, or the fire department if your system incorporates smoke detector alarms. These systems are more expensive, often around a thousand dollars or more, and usually require a quote either online, over the phone, or in the home.

Bottom Line

Most basic alarm systems cost less than a few hundred dollars and can often be installed by the home-owner. Wireless ‘do-it-yourself’ alarm systems are relatively low-cost and widely available, and an excellent option for those who are renting their homes. There are also various apps available for remote monitoring your home alarm system, turning your tablet or smartphone into a control panel that you can carry in the palm of your hand! However, it is important to remember that a reputable alarm system installer will always know the best positions to place monitors and detection devices, and can fit and test your system to maximise protection and most effectively prevent false alarms.

The Final Word

Whatever system you choose to install, it’s very important to make sure the suppliers and their systems meet the standards required by your state and that they are compliant with Federal regulations. Having a security system in place may also reduce your home and contents insurance premium. Double-check your cover and compare providers to ensure you’ve got the right level of cover for your home this holiday season.

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Author comparethemarket.com.au

Launched in September of 2012, Comparethemarket.com.au – operated by Compare the Market Pty Ltd (CTM) – has teamed up with a range of Australia’s insurance providers so you can compare some of the latest deals, in one place, side-by-side. The team behind comparethemarket.com.au have experience in insurance, comparison, customer service and digital. If this was a stuffy corporate monologue, we’d tell you that we’re a bunch of subject matter experts specialising in User Experience, Customer Insights & Online Strategies. But to be honest, it’s just as accurate (and a whole lot easier) to say that we’re a bunch of people who want to make your experience with online comparison better. We pride ourselves on the fact that we’re forward-thinking, that we share an entrepreneurial spirit, and the fact that we like to have a bit of a laugh too. We’re all a bit too addicted to chocolate, but no one’s perfect, really.

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