We all have things we believe to be true because we’ve heard it from a friend or we’ve just never taken the time to find out for ourselves. Sometimes living with a misconception is no big deal, but when it comes to the safety of your home and family, it’s worth it to weed out the fact from the fiction.
In the quest for truth, we’ve busted 10 home security myths to share with you.
1. It’s too expensive.
There are some upfront, one-time costs for most home security alarm systems, but most homeowners end up spending less than $100 per month the first year, and that includes equipment and installation. Breaking it down, installation and equipment can run anywhere from $99 to around $1,200, with the average landing at $650, according to Home Advisor. When it comes to monthly costs, a monitored system is usually between $15 and $100, but the average is right around $30, or just one dollar per day.
2. Security systems require ridiculous contracts.
Even though most home security monitoring does involve a contract, they are usually pretty straightforward. A contract is in place to protect you and guarantee the service you will receive. You’ll still want to make sure you read through the contract yourself, keeping an eye out for any clauses that you don’t feel good about. If you feel unsure about a contract, have someone with specialized knowledge review it before you sign.
3. Burglars can just cut the line.
Thanks to the advent of wireless systems, burglars cannot simply cut the phone line to disable the system. In fact, most systems can operate completely wirelessly, which eliminates the need to have a landline before installing a security system. This also means that you’re still likely to be protected even during a power outage.
4. A dog is enough protection.
Fido definitely adds a layer of protection to your family and home. But he can be swayed by a tasty treat, and animals can also be at risk of being attacked by an intruder. And no matter how smart your dog is, he can’t call the police during an emergency.
5. Pets will set off a bunch of false alarms.
Home alarm systems have become sophisticated enough to tell the difference between a bad guy and your family pets. Just let your security company know about your pets and it will be able to configure a set-up that takes your furry friends into consideration.
6. A safe neighborhood is the best protection.
We’ve all seen an episode of “Dateline” where everyone talks about how their neighborhood was “the last place you’d expect something like this to happen.” The moral of the story is that a safe neighborhood is only safe until something happens. Nothing is on guard 24/7 like a home security system.
7. Wireless systems are unreliable.
Wireless systems are actually more reliable than older, wired systems. The number one reason is that there are no wires to cut (see Myth 3, above). Because wireless systems use cellular technology, your home is connected to the control center more often, even during most disruptions like power outages.
8. Anything stolen can be replaced.
It’s true that material possessions are replaceable, but your feeling of security isn’t so easy to recover. After a break-in, the emotional and psychological effects can be more devastating than the loss of valuables. A security system is an effective barrier that helps keep that feeling of safety intact.
9. It won’t get the police there any faster.
While a security company can’t guarantee police response time, the advantage of a monitored system is that it will automatically contact police when the alarm is breached — even if you’re across town. There has been controversy about false alarms, but when police are contacted during a break-in, response time is much quicker. You may want to check in with your local city offices and make sure you have the necessary permits (if any); some locations have put permitting in place in response to false alarms.
10. Nothing can stop a burglar if they really want in.
Because burglars want to get away with valuables, they don’t want to take more risks than they have to. Every layer of security you have will make them think twice. A study at the University of North Carolina found that 50 percent of convicted burglars would retreat if they discovered the home had an alarm system.
Knowledge is power, and the power to protect your home and family isn’t something to take lightly. Now that we’ve busted the most common home security myths, it’s time to start thinking about taking the next step to keep your loved ones safe.