What is the Best Home Security System for You?

by | Apr 11, 2021 | Blog, Children and Family, Escaping Domestic Abuse, Keeping the Home | 0 comments

!Good News!  Home alarms have become more affordable, more user friendly and much more useful in the past few years!  The bad news is with all the choices out there, it can be hard to decide upon the best home security system for your families unique needs.

Best Home Security System

If you need a home alarm system to keep your family safe after leaving domestic abuse, I am here to show you how to find the best system and features for your personal needs.  Yes, you can have a great home security system and stay within your budget!

You can do much more these days then just keep out the bad guys!  Todays fully featured home security systems can do things like:

  1. Let you answer the door without anyone ever knowing you are not home!
  2. Allow you to know that package you have been WAITING for from Amazon has arrived.
  3. Help you keep Fido and Fluffy OFF the sofa and kitchen counters when you are not home.  With remote operated pet doors you can even let your dog out to your yard and lock up when he comes back in!
  4. Allow you to greet your kids when they get home from school and you are still at work.
  5. Tell you if your pipes are in danger of freezing or if you may have a leak.
  6. You will know when your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are activated when you are not home.
  7. Let you lock or unlock your door remotely.  If you got kids, then you KNOW they forget their key more often than they remember it!

So, lets get started!  First, you need to know about what features and functions are available to you.   Then you need to decide on your budget and monitoring options.  Lastly, select what you are looking for and get your system set up.  Voila Mama!  You are now rocking life improving home security!

DIY or Professional Installation and Service and Monitoring

Todays “smart alarm” systems use cellular and wifi technology so they have become super easy to DIY install, should you choose this option.  I installed my security system myself in under 20 minutes, no drilling required!  All my components came with double sided non marking tape, so it was literally about “sticking” things where I wanted them to be, having my smartphone locate the device in the security system app, and then configuring things.  Voila!

If you prefer a more traditional system, the big box companies like ADT all have plans for different needs and price ranges.  They will come and assess your needs, and then install the system for you.  For a fee, of course.  But, if it is in your budget and needs, it may be worth it to pay for a security consultation and professional installation.  If you are nervous, it might be very helpful to have professional advice to be sure your needs are met.

The next thing you need to consider, is if you prefer to self monitor your security system or pay for a professional monitoring subscription.  I choose to self monitor my system, but I do pay a very small annual fee to have video recording.  Mostly because I have better things to do then sit around watching my security video!  But if anything ever were to happen, I like knowing I have a full year of footage.

Also, as I have children and critters- well stuff DOES happen! My alarm was tripped accidentally once this year, so I wanted to make the decision myself to call the police if required.  My system alerts me to everything on my cellphone, and if it is tripped I will be notified right away.  I can then check and see what is going on at my house from wherever I am, and if I must call the police, I simply hit “call” and report the incident.  Because all my footage is 24/7 recorded on cloud service, I can send a digital copy of any events to the authorities with a few clicks.

If you are more of a ‘don’t want to think about it’ kind of girl, professional monitoring might be the thing for you.  The only caution I would have, is to ask about false alarms.  I live in quite a rural area, and the police here will issue fines if more then ONE false alarm is triggered each year.  So it made sense for me to self monitor (see kids and critters, above!).

Choose the home security system components that meet your needs

So, you have even more options to choose from!  Things to consider are what you are trying to protect, and how you want to use your new home alarm system.  This will help you decide the best features and components for your family needs.  I love having mine, it has lowered my home insurance costs, helps me be sure my ex is not about and violating court orders or otherwise prowling.  As a bonus, it helps me parent my very independent 15 year old!  This mama will KNOW if there is a teenaged heart throb warming the sofa after school!  (post Covid naturally!)

So here are the kinds of features you can expect to find available in todays systems:

  •  Smart Doorbell with camera and two way voice
    It records who comes up your walk or stands by your front door.  It notifies you of movement in the doorbell camera range, and gives a distinct chime when someone rings the bell.  You can answer from your cellphone, wherever you are- you can speak with them remotely.  It is great, if you have a delivery your kids can stay locked in the house and nobody needs to know you are not home!  At my house, I can wait until I see the delivery van pull away, and then tell my daughter to bring the package inside.  It is also great for politely (of course) turning away sales people.  My smart doorbell camera also has great night vision, which is very helpful for when you are trying to call your cat indoors in winter!  You can call your kitty and SHUT the door and watch for her to come on camera, even during short winter days!  I tried everything to convert my kitty to an indoor cat.  So its really great having the door camera let me know when she wants in during cold weather!
  • Indoor cameras
    These often have two way talk features.  They are helpful to help you know what is going on INSIDE your home when you are not there!  Is fido lounging on your freshly laundered white bedspread?   (You should have seen the look on my poodles face the first time I “barked” at him over the camera system!  I am pleased to say he stays out of the trash can when I am not home now!) Is your teen helping himself to far too much “snack” 45 minutes before you are coming home for dinner?  Or perhaps you live with aging parents, and they need to speak with you?
  • Exterior Motion Cam with Spotlight
    Super handy!  I have one by my parking area/garbage cans, one by my back door and another inside my shed.  This way I don’t have to leave exterior lights on!  I can walk from my car to the backdoor where I prefer to get into our house with bright led light that only comes on when i need it!  Its also really great, when I park in my driveway, I can turn off my alarm AND unlock my door before i get out of the car, so if my hands are full of bags or kids, voila!  The local racoons do not appreciate the spotlight either, and- at least to date, stay away from my garbage bins.   Oh yeah.. and nothing like a spotlight clearly attached to a camera with night vision to scare off an actual bad guy!
  • Portable Panic Button 
    I have a few of these in key areas around the house.  If my kids are home alone and you know who arrives they can just hit the button.  Our panic buttons are coded to dial 911 and send an urgent call home request to my cellphone.  This is great for children, aging parents or those with disabilities.  They can and do save lives.
  • Door and/or window sensors-
  • These are fabulous!  I know every time an exterior door or window is open or shut at my house!  Do your kids tend to forget to close doors and windows?  You can now remind them you do not wish to heat or cool the great out of doors.  Want to keep your kids out of your bedroom or the basement when you are not home?  Just stick on one of these contact sensors to an access door and voila- you get a notification when the door to the off limit area is open.  Also VERY helpful if you are a busy gal like me!  There is no point in having an alarm on if a window is open!  This way, I know what window is open so I can close it without checking every room, and my home can be very secure when I am leaving for the day.
  • Glass break sensor- 
  • Just what is sounds like!  You will get an alert (a very loud siren and a notification in your security app) if a window is broken or if there is another loud, sharp noise.   Glass break sensors can be helpful.  However, I thought it would be overkill, in our case.  Also note, you have to install and then calibrate your new glass break sensor! You definitely don’t want a screaming alarm if your kid drops a drinking glass off the kitchen table by accident!  Or when the TV plays an explosion!  So, don’t use one in your kitchen or living room.  However, it would be a great idea in basements, bathrooms and bedrooms.
  • Motion sensor- 
  • It is a simple motion sensor, for if someone enters an area with monitoring.  Motion sensors are perfect anywhere you do not want or need camera surveillance.  In general, they are not a good idea in areas of your home where your pets are allowed.  In my home, we put them at about chest height so my great dane will not set them off.
  • Smart home integration-
  • This is a great idea!  Smart home devices that you may already own will integrate with your security system.
  • Carbon monoxide (CO) detector, Fire/Smoke alarm, Flood sensor and freeze sensors-
  • They do exactly what you think.  It is awesome that you can be altered of problems even when you are not home.  If you catch potential problems quickly, you can often avoid a lot of damage!

Using your New Home Security System

First and most importantly, you have to remember to USE it!  There is no point in having the best home security system if you forget to turn it ON!  lol!  For me, never having had a home alarm system- I set reminders on my phone to turn it on at night.

I got my pre-coffee nerves jangled a few mornings when I was getting used to the alarm system though!   I went to let the cat out and forgot to turn it OFF!  Thankfully, it made warning beeps so I had a chance to de-activate it before the sirens started blaring at 5am and woke the whole neighbourhood!

My system allows me to set a different access code for each user.  For example, I know my daughter is home from school because I get a notification that she turned off the alarm when she comes in.  Then I can chat with her via the two way indoor cameras.   I have also heard of people using codes for when work persons are in their home.  If, for example your cleaning lady charges an hourly rate, you know how many hours to pay her for.

I suggest as soon as possible as your new security system is working, you test it out.  Involve your family, and teach them how to turn it on and off easily.   Show them that the alarm can not work if windows and doors are open.  Most systems these days have both a manual keypad and a cellphone/ipad app.  In case a cellphone is not handy, have everyone know how to use the manual keypad.

My kids had great fun when our system was first installed “testing” it for me! “Mom, does it say my bedroom window is open?” and “Mommy the light went on when I went into the yard, did you see me?”  It was great fun when it was a novelty.  I am not so sure they love our home security system now though!  The kids know I can see and hear what is going on when I am not home!  Its a comfort to them, except when they are trying to get away with stuff!

In Summary of Best Security System of Home

Todays home security systems are multi functional and life enhancing!  In addition to keeping people you don’t want out of your home, they can enhance and ease your life!  With so many affordable components and options on the market today, its easier then ever to put together the components and build the best home security system for your unique needs.

I find my home security system be a great kid and pet management tool!  I found most of my components on Amazon at very reasonable prices.  Everything was super easy to install, with no tools required.  So if you need your very own home security, look around to find the features you need and check prices.  Before you know it, your home will be secure and comfortable.  Do you like to save money?  Call and ask if your home insurance rate can be reduced now that you have security!

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