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Should I Get A Smart Home Security System?

We have all seen the commercials for home security systems. 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported each year in the United States. About 30 percent of all burglaries are through an open or unlocked window or door. In 2013, the average home invasion rate was four per minute. But do you need a home security system?

What Should I Look For in a Home Security System?

In addition to the alarms, home security systems have many additional security measures such as:

  • wall and window sensors,
  • motion detectors,
  • video cameras, and
  • yard signs.

Additionally, modern security systems have additional features as well, such as:

  • fire, smoke, carbon monoxide, and flooding detection,
  • home automation, such as Alexa from Amazon, and
  • power outage backups.

Depending on your needs, you can go with a system that you monitor yourself. Or you can pay a subscription fee to have home surveillance by professionals who will contact your local fire and police departments when alarms are triggered. Of course, the more coverage you have, the more you can expect to pay.

Choosing a Home Alarm System

Visonic, a developer of home security systems, provide a step-by-step guide to aid in your security system decision.

Step 1 

Survey your home and document the number of windows and doors you need protected from possible intrusion.

Step 2

Determine where you want your control panel and keypads. Generally, a convenient location for a keypad is near your front door and close to your bedroom.

Step 3

Measure how far away the windows and doors are from the control panel. The installer will need to wire the systems in some circumstances and knowing this distance will make their life easier!

Step 4

Do you want a monitored security system? Monitored security systems are connected to a central monitoring station that ‘watches’ your home for a monthly fee. If you need a less expensive alternative, install a self-monitoring system. This system will dial your private phone and/or other preselected phone numbers if the alarm system triggers an alarm.

Step 5

Consider your family’s daily habits. Do you often get up in the middle of the night for a snack or to go to the bathroom? Do you have a pet that roams the house? These circumstances influence the type of motion sensors you will need.

Step 6

If you decide you want a home security system, ensure that it monitors your entire house. Each window, door, and device defines a zone and your provider will set up how many zones your home needs.

Step 7

Be aware that if you choose a wired system, the installer will have to drill holes in the walls. If you choose a wireless system, the transmission range must be cover your entire premises. The system must be able to cover the zone farthest from the control panel.

Step 8

Choose a system that works with home safety sensors, such as carbon monoxide (CO) sensors, gas detectors, flood detectors, etc. Likewise, choose a system that can include panic and personal emergency buttons.

Step 9

Pick a user-friendly home security system. Can you program the device? Can everyone in your family learn the system quickly?

By carefully considering all of these factors related to a home security system, you can work together with your security system company to find the best security package to meet your family’s needs.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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