Home Security System – Professional Or Self-Install?
To watch the nightly news, one might get the idea that there’s nothing wrong with the economy and that the recession is long over. Very little is talked about how the economy is still fragile, and how many people are still out of work. Worse, the reported unemployment figures only tell half the story. What is reported is only part of the reality of how many people are having a difficult time making ends meet. Considering the record number of people below the poverty level, about 16 percent of the US population, it’s no wonder that crime is increasing, especially property crime.
Property crime are crimes that have the intent of taking the things you own away from you. Over the past few years, we have seen this trend lead to criminals breaking into home during the middle of the day, as opposed to the middle of the night. These criminals know that most homes have everyone working at a job and that, most likely, the house is empty during the day. To counter this, more and more people are installing home security systems. But which is better, installing it yourself or having a professional company install it for you?
Typically, the difference between DIY (Do It Yourself) installations and those that are professionally installed is the cost of the system. Professional installation costs are subsidized with the monthly monitoring fees, as is the part of the cost of the system itself. This is why you will be required to sign a two- or three-year agreement for monitoring services.
Professional installations can also take better advantage of houses that are prewired for security systems, whereas DIY installations will rely almost entirely on wireless technology. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but generally, they will both provide you with the security coverage that you need to protect your home and belongings. Of course, there are also some self-install systems that can be more expensive than those that come with monitored systems, as there is no end to the amount coverage you can provide for your house.
To get a better idea of which system would be better for you, start by making a list of what it is that you want to protect and how you want to protect it. Start with the basic door and window sensors and add extra coverage for those special areas. One thing that is recommended is to create a floor plan of your home and mark on it where all the doors and windows are and which room is which. You should also include anything on the exterior of your home that a criminal can potentially use to gain access to your house, like a trellis that goes up to a second story window.
Once you have a floor plan and have marked the potential ways that a burglar can gain access into your home on it, you’ll have a good idea of what type of security monitoring equipment you’ll need to install to monitor that location. Keep in mind that this is only to give you a working idea of what you need to provide basic coverage. As you research home security systems, you will, no doubt, find better technology and the various ways that you can provide protection for the same area.
When you know what it is that you want to protect and have a reasonably good idea of how it can be protected, start comparing the systems available for DIY and professional installations. Some DIY units allow you to start with a base station and add components as you expand your system. Some pro systems offer the same capability.
You will also need to decide whether you want the system to be monitored by a central station, or if local alarms and possibly a phone call to your cell phone are enough notification. Everyone has different needs and only you can decide which type of monitoring is best for you. Keep in mind that while central monitoring is generally more expensive with its monthly fee, it also allows your home security system to contact a live person 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whom can make decisions and take action on your behalf.