How to find a home security system that suits your lifestyle

Most break-ins occur during the daytime when the home is unoccupied. What? You thought break-ins only occurred at night? Wrong.

But, if you’re like most people, you care about your family and what happens to them.

That’s why you’re looking for a good security system for your home. Here’s how to find it.

What’s your lifestyle like?

Are you a homebody or do you travel a lot? Do you have a family? Your lifestyle will largely determine what type of security system you need. So, for example, let’s say you are a nomad of sorts. You work a lot of jobs that are out of town. You visit construction sites or you’re stuck in an office meeting.

Your home is empty most of the time. The type of security system you would want would be very different from the type that a senior citizen who stays at home all day would want.

You may need remote monitoring, for example, while someone who stays home all day may only need basic proximity sensors, glass-breakage sensors, and a direct line to the emergency and rescue and police.

If you have a busy family, you may want upgraded security features to protect your children if they’re home alone after school before you get home from work. For example, you may want to give your children a remote control device that can arm and disarm the system so that they don’t have to fiddle around with a keypad that they may not easily be able to reach.

In fact, some popular online magazines, like Chicago Home Security Magazine, recommend you use a keychain remote whenever you need short-distance remote control over your alarm system. Not all systems come equipped with this feature, so it’s something you need to ask the salesman about before you buy.

Where should you put the control panel?

Placement of the control panel is an important decision too. You don’t want the panel in plain view where anyone can see you arm and disarm it. At the same time, you want to make it easily accessible to you and family members.

Consider having it installed in a hallway near the front door, or around a corner where it’s not easily seen, but where you will be able to get to it quickly when you come home.

Most alarm systems only give you 30-60 seconds or so to punch in the alarm code once you open the door.

What about mobile control?

Some of the newer alarm systems allow you to receive text messages and emails about important events happening at your home. Some will also come with video and audio surveillance.

For example, if you hire someone to watch the home for you, you can be alerted when the alarm is armed and disarmed. You can also be alerted if there’s a change in temperature in the home, or if something is damaged (e.g. a window), and obviously if there’s a break-in.

Some systems will even alert you if there’s flooding in your basement. These types of systems are actually more than just security systems. They’re home monitoring systems. While not for everyone, they are a great option if you need to keep tabs on everything that happens while you’re away.

How many points of entry do you need to protect?

It might seem like a silly question, but some people honestly don’t think they need to have all points of entry covered. While this might seem dangerous, it can make sense in certain limited instances. For example, if you have an inaccessible third-story window, and no way to get up there, then not having window sensors at this location may be OK. Most crooks won’t want to climb three stories to get into a home.

The potential points of entry that seem obvious to you may not be the ones that are ultimately used. For example, many homes have front doors that are equipped with advanced security features such as double locks and reinforced frames, yet these same homes may have poorly maintained or flimsy window latches.

Bathroom windows may often be left ajar to allow excess humidity to escape the room and avoid moisture. If such a window does not have bars and can fit a human head, then it is a potential entry point.

Garage doors are also vulnerable, and the problem is compounded with garages that have an internal door that leads to the rest of the house.

So consider all available security product options, get an expert to have a look if in doubt about anything and think carefully about securing all points of entry.

Roy Kropp has used a variety of home security systems in his day. An avid writer, he enjoys writing about things that can make life better. Look for his informative articles on many top websites today. 

Follow Women24 on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are you most looking forward to buying this Black Friday?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
It looks like the pandemic is still far from over, so more loungewear
17% - 25 votes
The lockdown has made me want to invest more in homeware and furniture, so I'll be adding those to my Black Friday cart
25% - 38 votes
I'm going to use it to get a headstart on Christmas gifting
38% - 57 votes
Footwear is all about comfort this year, so definitely sneakers
14% - 21 votes
It's a good time to get discounted wigs and other beauty essentials
7% - 10 votes