Consumers who believe that security systems only guard against theft haven’t done their homework. Surely the most obvious benefit of a home security system is burglary prevention, and that’s for good reason. According to the FBI crime stats, the average home theft in the U.S. results in $2,185 lost. Alarm systems work in both low-tech and high-tech ways to deter break-ins.
On the low tech side, yard signs and window decals often are enough to ward off potential intruders. Most criminals are cowards. Seeing that your home is protected with state of the art technology, burglars will think twice before breaking and entering. If they decide to proceed anyway, sensors by windows and doors detect when someone has entered or exited your home. When your system is armed and an intruder enters your home without punching in your security code, an alert is sent to a monitoring center, manned by security experts. Authorities will be dispatched nearly immediately.
But, as the late night commercials say, “Wait! There’s more!” Following are other ways your system can protect you from common problems:
Fires pose a threat to your family, home and belongings, so you don’t take fire prevention lightly. You make sure to repair broken electronics, smoke outdoors and watch over lit candles. Security systems boost your protection from fires. Heat and smoke sensors send a signal to your system when they detect a threat. An alert then travels to monitoring center where security professionals will quickly make sure you are safe. If needed, firefighters will be sent to your home to handle the situation.
The threat of carbon monoxide makes homeowners and parents nervous and for good reason: This poisonous gas is tasteless, colorless and odorless, which makes it nearly impossible to detect. But carbon monoxide sensors added to a home security system can sniff out the presence of this gas and alert your security system, much like heat and smoker sensors do for fire. Security experts will of course assess the situation and dispatch emergency professionals to your residence if necessary.
Disasters are sometimes manmade. Medical emergencies come about all on their own. Your father might fall in the tub or you break your leg while no one else is home. The truth is that accidents and severe illness can come out of nowhere. For these scenarios, security systems can be triggered manually. Instead of sensors detecting a menace, household members can trigger the alarm. Your system will contact a monitoring center, where a security professional will make sure that everyone in your home is all right. If anyone requires medical attention, an ambulance will be dispatched to your house.
Very often the elements take their toll on homes. In addition to carbon monoxide, heat and smoke alarms, you can purchase freezing temperature alarms for your home. Frozen pipes are no frivolous matter. You want to make sure that your pipe system stays in working condition. While you can take some precautionary measures, you shouldn’t leave the state of your home up to fate. Sensors can alert you to the presence of temperatures below the freezing temperature of water. Keep an eye on your pipe system with a home security system.
You can also buy water sensors to alert you to the possibility of flooding in your home. Water can damage floors and furniture within a matter of minutes. With these sensors you can minimize damage when rising waters enter your home or a pipe bursts.
Home security systems protect against a wide range of dangers, and they have the potential to pay themselves off. With an alarm system, you can potentially earn a sizeable discount on your homeowners insurance. Savings could be as great as 10% off your premium. Twenty-four-hour monitoring for your home can be quite affordable, too. Considering you might save yourself $2,185 in lost valuables to burglary, the investment is worth it. Knowing that you are saving money and protecting yourself, family, home and belongings is key to peace of mind.
This article was contributed by Carrie Van Brunt-Wiley, Editor of the HomeInsurance.com blog. Carrie has been writing insurance news and consumer information for HomeInsurance.com since 2008. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington in 2005 with a B.A. in Professional Writing and Journalism.