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By Deb Villeneuve
Burglaries happen on average every 15 seconds and almost $2,000 worth of property can be stolen from an unsuspecting family in the time it takes to read this article. In 2011 alone, there were an estimated 2 million cases of burglaries across America. Although property crimes have significantly decreased in past five years, burglaries remain at the top of the list.
In truth, people are not prepared for these incidents and do not have any measure of preventing such events. Here are a few reasons why you might be putting off installing home security systems:
1. It’s Expensive
If you are planning to have an iris scanner at your door and a DNA testing area in your living room, then you are looking at thousands of dollars in your home security bill. But, the fact is, there are a lot of inexpensive ways to protect your home and family. Overpaying for home security systems often roots from uninformed decision. Before buying anything, assess your security needs. In a sense, “burglarize” your own home. Ask yourself these following questions to fully understand your needs:
Are you living in a high-crime area?
What or who are you trying to protect?
How often are you away?
How far is the nearest police station?
What is the current state of your home security system?
Aside from the questions above, do a lot of research about different types of systems. Systems can cost you $100 to thousands depending on your needs. Also, consider installing your own system. This may slash a huge amount on your bill.
2. Home security systems are scams
Aside from the price, most homeowners are unsure of the how effective home security systems are. It is true that salespeople and marketing agents may trick you into paying more than what you need. Limited offers and baseless crime statistics may compel you to purchase systems that are not only ineffective, but unnecessary.
If unsure, approach the local government and ask for reports and crime statistics in your area. Look for price trends of systems on reputable sources on the Internet. Compare your data to what is being offered so you can make smart decisions.
3. The neighborhood is safe
Over-familiarity in an area can lower your guard and can lead you to believe that “burglaries just don’t happen here”. Every home is vulnerable to break-ins and you have to be prepared all the time.
For instance, leaving your doors open when leaving, even for just a second, may just be the moment thieves are waiting to grab your brand new 40-inch plasma TV. You may also be welcoming robbers yourself by leaving your windows open. An open window visible across the street may be the sole reason for your home to be selected by a burglar.
There is no need to be paranoid but, there‘s also no reason to be complacent. Talk to your neighbors on how you can keep your area safe. Secure the locks, bolts, and the materials of your doors and windows. Make sure that there is enough lighting outside the house. Ensure that plants and bushes are not too close to the side of your home. Being aware is the first step in protecting your home.
4. We’re never away
Although, most burglaries happen when there’s no one in the house, there are still a lot of break-ins that happen when everyone is at home. It is even more dangerous when you have an infant or a child. Thieves are smart and they would often plan before attacking a home.
In the instances that you are home alone, whether you have kids with you or not, always be aware of the surroundings. Don’t get too engrossed in reading a book, watching TV, or even sharing personal information on social media. Look out the window once in a while to observe your surroundings.
During the times when you are away, good neighbors can be a big help. Ask them to check your premises at least once a day. Let them know your schedule so they’ll know when something “odd” is happening at your house.
When going on vacation, ask close friends for a stay-cation at your home. They may raid your fridge and drink all your beer, but it is certainly cheaper than being robbed.
5. My current alarm system is enough to deter burglars
Unless you are living in a high-security prison, then you are not safe from break-ins (and sometimes even their security gets breached). Set your priorities and expenses properly. Buying a new laptop may not be smart if your home and family is very vulnerable. The false belief that crimes happen away from your area is very dangerous. There are may be no reported cases in your neighborhood since time immemorial but that doesn’t stop robbers from entering your home.
Home security systems installed more than 10 years ago is no better than having no security systems at all. Always check it for damages and deterioration. Be especially mindful if you have wired connections. These are easily tapped by determined burglars. If your pets and kids can sneak in or out without you knowing it, then it is high time that you upgrade your system.
6. Being Uninformed
None of the reasons above can convince you if you are simply unaware. Your area may have been safe two decades ago but, it is not going to be the same now. Be in an active communication with your local police. They can provide you with vital information that can help you in the long run. Watch the news regularly. Most of you are busy and you might miss local news throughout the day. If that happens, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be the next best thing for sources.
Also, make sure you understand how your current system works. A good know-how on the basics of burglar alarms can be helpful too. Consider self-installation if you have the skill and the tools. It is always better to prepare for things to come.
The safety of your property and your family should always be on top of your priority. Being smart, informed, and proactive in protecting them will ensure you a good night’s sleep.