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Facts about home security: Is your house a target for burglars?

Home alarm security systems are worth more than the price you will pay for them, but you can purchase an alarm system for less than $100 or for as much as $10,000, depending on what you need it to do. The simpler types just set off a series of alarms when a contact on a door or window is broken or when an electronic beam is crossed. These alarms can be purchased at your local builder's supply company and do not come with monitoring service.

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The midrange burglar alarms need to be installed by a professional and will include a contract with one of the many monitoring companies. Often the alarm system will include fire and smoke alarms as well. If you have a fire alarm system in your house, you probably don't need to pay extra to have these included in your security system.  These systems could use a combination of sirens, blinking lights, and phone calls to the local police station.

The best home security system not only includes home security alarm monitoring with service that contacts local authorities, but also allows the owner to monitor the premises on a computer via closed circuit TV cameras positioned in strategic locations on the property. Of course, these systems are also the most expensive with the wireless systems costing as much as $10,000. The better companies may include the first one to three years of monitoring in the price.

How do you know what type of system you need? Before making your purchase, you should do a thorough analysis of both your property and your needs. Do you have school age children or elderly people who will be home while you are still at work? Is the property complex with multiple entry points and spots that are difficult to see from the road? Then a system that not only protects you from burglars but also allows you to monitor the property yourself may be a worthy investment. On the other hand, is the home vacant during the day? Would an alarm monitoring company be sufficient protection in the event of a break-in?

In addition to the cost of installation, you will pay a monthly fee for a company that provides monitoring service. These fees can range from $30 a month to over $100 depending on the services that are included. Some companies actually waive the cost of the installation as long as you activate the monitoring service, but you can count on a three to five year commitment. However, you may get a guarantee of no price increase during that time.  

Combine your GE Home Security Alarm System with common sense.
While there is no question that a home security system is important in protecting property in today's world, many people live in the same location for years and never have a break-in while a home just a block or two away may be targeted repeatedly. The difference is in the habits of the home-owner. Those who are never burglarized may just be lucky, but often they have habits that they themselves take for granted. The following simple actions could make your home less attractive while you are deciding what kind of security system you need.

  • Keep the property well lit at night.

  • Do not plant large bushes or shrubbery where they will conceal doors or windows that would be easy access points.

  • Invest in a privacy fence and leave the family dog loose at night or when you are not home.

  • Lock doors and close the garage doors whenever you leave the premises. You would be surprised at how many people leave the garage wide open during the day when they are at work; equally amazing, most burglaries are conducted in broad daylight.

  • Get to know your neighbors. Let them know where you work and when you usually get home. Tell someone if you will be away for several days so they will be suspicious if a stranger shows up while you are gone.

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