Home security technology: Keeping you ahead of the burglars
Back in the early days of home security “systems,” around the end of World War I, it was common for homeowners to hire “door shakers”—night watchmen who would literally walk around and check doors to make sure they were locked. The most advanced product at the time, according to the Electronic Security Association, was an alarm system that used electromagnetic contacts on doors and windows and rang a bell if disturbed.
Things are just a little bit different now, thanks to expanding technology and decreasing costs. Regular homeowners now have access to the types of tools and systems that were previously attainable only by celebrities and the wealthy.
It’s especially important to be thinking about security with the increase of online shopping. More packages are being delivered on a regular basis and porch pirates can easily swoop in and snatch your new items.
If you’re into tech, you might even find that getting set up is fun. And if you’re into saving money, many companies offer insurance discounts for having specific home-monitoring systems, so check your policy or ask an agent for details.
Here’s a rundown of some of the options you have to protect your home, from all-in-one systems to separate components for do-it-yourselfers.
There are a number of companies that offer full-service security systems with central monitoring—and the list is growing, with cable and wireless companies (Xfinity, AT&T, etc.) getting into the mix more prominently along with familiar names such as ADT and Brinks. These systems can feature video surveillance, remote access, smoke and carbon-monoxide detection, even medical alerts in case you have an emergency. Many now offer home-automation tools so you can control lighting, heating, cooling and other appliances when you’re away from home.
Most systems also can be configured to send you alerts via text message—so you know when the kids have gotten home from school safely, for example.
Full security systems such as these often have installation costs, along with equipment fees and monthly bills, of course. But if you don’t feel tech-savvy enough to install your own system, you don’t want to deal with the hassle, or you want something with central monitoring, a full system might be right for you.
If you’d rather set up your own system, many companies offer starter packs with a few components to get you going, allowing you to add what you need and exclude what you don’t. Some provide security features without much in the way of home automation, while others can serve as[…]
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