Home Security: Do-It-Yourself or Professional Services?

March 20th, 2017

Protecting your home, and the loved ones and cherished belongings within it is one of the highest priorities of home ownership. As recent as a few years ago, the term “home security” meant calling a company to come out and install an alarm system that would alert emergency services — and you — in the event of a break-in or a fire. However, that term has taken on a whole new meaning these days. Here is the run down of what home security means and the systems and services that are available for you.

Professional Services
You can still get a home monitoring system from the big-names in professional security. According to a report from Gear Brain, the companies generally charge a fee for equipment and installation ranging between $99 to $199. Often, however, these fees are reduced or waived for special promotions. They provide in-home consultations in order to identify vulnerable points in your home, and locate an area of the home with a strong cellular signal in order to place a wall-mounted or counter-top controller.

DIY/ MIY?
Many of the newer home security companies are providing options for installing equipment yourself, and — if you wish — monitoring it yourself. Rather than relying on a touchpad monitor installed by the company, a DIY system relies on your smart phone or tablet for control of the system. With a DIY installation, you purchase window and door sensors and place them along vulnerable areas. You can also purchase and install wifi security cameras and motion lights.

Even if you choose to do the installation yourself, most security companies will offer professional monitoring services for a monthly fee that starts at about $15-25 per month, Gear Brain notes. However, you generally are not tied to a contract, instead being able to keep the service from month-to-month, and switch to self monitoring any time you wish.

One benefit of professional monitoring is that you can often get a break on your homeowner’s insurance by having professional monitoring of your home security system. In addition, you can have the peace of mind that your home is being constantly monitored.

Doing It All Yourself
DIY/ MIY is typically the most cost effective method of home security. Once you’ve paid for the equipment, you no longer have any fees beyond the cost of internet service to connect, and perhaps a small fee for the program that will enable you to monitor the various components of your home security system from anywhere via your tablet or smart phone. A number of companies offer a packaged system to meet your security equipment and monitoring needs. Additionally, you can choose to build your own security system with items such as a DVR/ security camera package, stand-alone wifi security cameras, monitors that connect to your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, solar-powered motion sensor lights, and even wifi equipped doorbells that allow you to see and interact with a person at your door.

Which Is the Right Choice for You?
You know you need a home security system. So which of the above-described methods works best for you? As explained in a post from The Survivalist Blog, there are a number of factors to consider.

Do you want constant monitoring? Do you want someone else to install the equipment and a warranty provided for the services? Do you want professional help in determining the vulnerable areas of your home and how best to secure them? If so, then you will probably do best with services provided by a professional home security company.

Are you on a tight budget? Are you wanting to avoid being tied down to a contract with a home security company? Do you want full control over which of the products and services you will use in your home security system? Then DIY installation, either self-monitored or with a month-to-month professional monitoring option is likely your best bet.

If you’d like more information about homes and home security in Southern California, contact us today.

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