SafeWise security expert (and closet penny pincher), Logan Bryant, gives us his take on making important home security decisions.
I pride myself on living a simple life. I live in a small home with my wife and have no intentions of upgrading, I drive a base-model Versa, and I wear $30 jeans. Most people who know me would agree that I work hard to keep expenditures down, and indulgences minimal.
Being the penny-pinching kind of guy that I am, it’s easy to look at home security systems as an expensive lifestyle addition. Specifically, the monthly monitoring fee doesn’t always sit well with minimalists like myself. And when you live in a relatively safe area, you know that your chances of avoiding a home break-in are good. My own city, Woods Cross, was listed as the 11th safest city in Utah. Knowing all this, why would a guy like me be advocating for home security systems?
Because the benefits of today’s security systems outweigh the costs for most homeowners. It’s a bold statement, I know, but read on to hear my case.
Safeguard Against the Improbable
Think about viewing home security in the same context as car insurance. When I’m behind the wheel of my trusty Versa, I have a very low probability of being engaged in an accident. This, of course, doesn’t eliminate my need for car insurance.
But insurance isn’t measured only by probability. I also need to account for the severity of the incident I’m protecting myself against. The more severe an incident might be, the more important it is to insure against.
I recommend looking into these money-saving aspects of home security systems because the amount you can save will vary, depending on your homeowner’s insurance company, energy usage, and the market value of your home. You may be able to save more than you think, and while these savings may not necessarily cover the entire cost of owning a security system, they can certainly help penny pinchers make a little more sense of that monthly monitoring fee.
Best Case/Worst Case
One trick I use when making financial decisions is to look at the best- and worst-case scenarios. This helps me get a clearer picture of what I stand to gain or lose in every buying decision.
This best/worst case analysis is a useful exercise for home security.
Worst-case scenarios: Think about what you could lose if a home invasion were to occur without a monitored alarm system. A worst-case scenario would risk my family’s safety or the loss of valuables. Some of my valuables are irreplaceable, and burglaries in homes without a security system average around $5,000. Even if no physical harm is done, a $5,000 loss would take a very long time for my household to recover.
Best case scenario: In the best-case scenario, your home security system is never battle-tested in the line of fire. To some financially conservative people, this is where a security system purchase becomes hard to justify. If my home is never broken into, is the purchase a total loss? Here’s how home security can benefit you, even if your home is never broken into.
Deterrence: Owning a security system has been proven to deter burglars from breaking in, so if my alarm system hasn’t actually caught a red-handed criminal, it may have still done a good job of deterring other potential break-ins.
Protection from Fire and Carbon-monoxide: I have actually been involved in two occasions of nighttime house fires. Once as a child, and once when I was 20. Both events were frightening and make me wonder what could have happened if my family had been trapped. Having 24-hour professional monitoring from fire means I can trust that no house fire will go undetected.
Peace of Mind: There really is value to peace of mind. When you know your home is protected, it makes other aspects of life less worrisome. Everyday activities like going to bed, or leaving the house are a little easier, and family vacations won’t leave you with that “Home Alone” panic of wondering what has been happening to your house since you left it.
All things considered, home security systems can provide a lot more value than we realize. So if you’ve ever wondered, like I have, about the ROI of investing in a home security system, keep in mind the benefits you can bring to your home and shop around to see which system would be the most affordable. After accounting for risk and factoring in the benefits and savings, even a penny pincher like me can make sense of getting a home security system.
Written by Logan Bryant
Logan is a writer and safety evangelist. He has a background in English and Creative Writing, along with experience in Security sales. He enjoys exercising, reading, and coaching Track and Field. Learn more