Home security is an important consideration for all homeowners. With crime rates fluctuating year to year, installing a burglar alarm can bring peace of mind by deterring potential intruders. But are they really necessary expenses or just added costs? There are several factors to weigh when deciding if the investment in a burglar alarm system is worthwhile or not. The decision ultimately comes down to your budget, particular needs, and personal lifestyle.
The main purpose of burglar alarms is to scare off prospective criminals from targeting your home. The loud noise letting the neighbours know something suspicious is happening can discourage break-ins. Just having an alarm system sign or sticker in a front window can give pause. Burglars typically select easier targets that don’t have alarm notifications. So, just the presence of alarm system equipment acts as an initial deterrent.
Preventing Crimes in Progress
In addition to discouraging potential break-ins, an alarm system also serves to notify home occupants and/or authorities of a crime in progress. The blaring horn or siren makes it harder for an intruder to go unheard once inside. Plus, monitoring services and/or police can be automatically alerted to the scene. This greatly increases the chances of apprehending the perpetrator. Alarms do their job best when turned on, so consistency is key.
Peace of Mind
You can’t put a price on peace of mind. Knowing your home and belongings have an extra layer of security can help you rest easier at night. Being alerted to any unauthorised entries or activities happening on your property while you’re away offers confidence. You don’t have to worry as much about examining doors and windows before heading to bed. Technology now also allows for checking your home alarm status remotely via a smartphone when travelling.
Upfront equipment and installation costs can range greatly depending on the components and monitoring plan desired. Basic systems with self-monitoring can cost a few hundred pounds while advanced systems with professional monitoring tend to cost over £1,000. There may also be wiring needs and monthly fees depending on the services chosen. Most quality home insurance providers offer discounts on premiums for professionally monitored alarm systems, so take this into account.
While alarm systems are designed to require minimal maintenance, there are some factors to consider depending on the system. Backup batteries and sensors may need periodic testing or replacing. Cellular systems may have small monthly network fees. User errors such as forgotten passwords or failure to activate can affect functionality. Testing different system components and resetting codes yearly is best practice.
Making the Decision
As with any home improvement decision, weighing the pros and cons of installing a burglar alarm system depends greatly on budget, needs, and lifestyle. Homeowners concerned with security due to neighbourhood crime, remote locations, or frequent travel may consider it a necessity. While alarm systems require some investment and maintenance, the peace of mind and layer of security tend to make them worthwhile for many. As technology advances, equipment and monitoring costs continue to lower over time.