When people think “security systems,” they often think of burglaries. It’s an association the security industry does little to dissuade, as break-ins are both relatively common and thus a primary motivation for home and business owners to purchase a security system. Many people invest in a security solution for the sole purpose of keeping their business, home, and family safe, and since security systems have been shown to deter almost 60% of burglars into choosing a different target, it’s a sound investment.
However, with so much focus placed on preventing burglary, several other key features of a comprehensive security system are often neglected. A professionally installed, maintained, and monitored security system can also help alert you to and protect your home or business from water leak damage and the threat of fire. Both water and fire damage cost vast sums of money to repair, and in the case of fires, the threat to life is greater on average than that of burglary. There is a strong statistical argument that true, comprehensive safety for one’s property and people requires a multi-dimensional approach covering the three biggest threats to their lives and livelihoods: water, fire, and intrusion.
Burglaries get the attention—but what does the most damage?
Burglaries are frightening events. The thought of someone invading your home and making away with your hard-earned property and sentimental mementos is both a violation invasion of your privacy and sense of safety. The public hears more about burglaries because such stories are more attention-grabbing than more “mundane” topics such as water leaks. The more alarming a story is—and the more devastating the destruction—the more likely it is to get picked up and disseminated by the media.
Around 1.2 million burglaries occurred in 2017 and nearly 1 in 10 businesses experience burglary or theft annually. The average cost of a burglary was around $2,800. Overall trends show a steady decline in burglaries over the last few decades, but the average cost of each burglary has been trending upward—perhaps due to coveted goods such as electronics becoming smaller over time and thus easier to steal. Whether due to the increasing amount of security systems in homes and businesses, increased efforts by law enforcement, or other environmental and sociological factors, burglaries are becoming less common but more and more costly to recover from.
When it comes to the most common cause of damage to the average home, water leaks are far and away the greatest culprit. It’s estimated that 14,000 people a day experience water damage at their home or place of business. Simply repairing a leaking pipe and fixing the necessary damage caused by the repair can reach beyond a thousand dollars—and that’s not counting the damage to the structure itself, which can cause the cost of repairs to skyrocket past the $10,000 mark depending on severity. Water leaks may be less exciting to read about, but they’re more common and usually more expensive than the average burglary.
Fires are similarly devastating regarding property loss. In 2018 alone, $25.6 billion dollars in damages were caused to structures by fires. Overwhelmingly, most of these fires occurred in residences, though large-scale commercial fire incidents saw higher fiscal losses and greater loss of life on average. And loss of life is what truly differentiates fire protection from other threats. Looking back at 2018, 2,820 lives were lost in home fires, while 835 lives were lost in commercial property fires. Where water and intrusion alarms primarily protect your property and possessions, fire alarm systems protect what truly matters most—the lives of those within your home or business. Despite some of the more alarming stories that get broadcast on the news, fire deaths are actually far more frequent than deaths caused by a home invader. At the start of the past decade, only approximately 100 deaths were attributed nationwide to burglary-related homicide. When compared with the 3,500+ deaths from fires—not to mention the hundreds of deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning, an accident that can be sensed by detectors on a fire alarm system—it becomes apparent that the attention paid in the media to high-profile burglaries and their associated crimes are due to their sometimes lurid nature and not necessarily out of any interest in public safety.
Securing your home and business on three fronts
Water, fire, and intrusion threats come with their own unique dangers to property and/or life, so it makes little sense to choose a security system that only protects from one of the three. Professionally engineered and installed security systems contain devices for early detection of threats to your home and business and to alert you and authorities in the event of an emergency. Security systems can include flood sensors to detect rising water levels near sump pumps, sinks, or any other place water may leak. There are also low temperature sensors to detect when an area of your home or business becomes unnaturally cold, which can cause pipes to burst. For fire, a wide variety of sensors exist—smoke detectors, heat detectors, CO detectors, and more—for sensing life safety threats as early as possible. Intrusion systems can be designed with any number of unique devices—door contacts, motion sensors, glassbreak detectors—that will sound the alarm in the event someone tries to break in. Best of all, high-quality professional alarm systems can cover all three of these concerns and help to mitigate the threat to both lives and property.
The best professional alarm systems include alarm signal monitoring. Most homes are broken into during the day when no one is home, which means an alarm system that just goes off inside your house isn’t going to do you much good. If you’re incapacitated by smoke when your fire alarm goes off, who is going to alert the authorities? If a pipe bursts Friday night in your business, how much damage will it cause before you come in on Monday?
Professional alarm system monitoring takes the pressure off you to be everywhere at once. When a sensor detects an alarm event—smoke in a smoke detector, motion in the range of a motion detector—it alerts the control panel to the event and the control panel notifies a dedicated alarm signal monitoring center. The monitoring center will then contact you and, if necessary, the proper authorities depending on the specific alarm event. In the event of life safety alarms—say, your heat detector going off—the monitoring center will contact the authorities immediately to get them to your aid as soon as possible.
The EPS Advantage
It’s evident that comprehensive security capable of monitoring threats from burglary, fire, and water damage is critical in protecting your home or business. Investing in a top-quality system with professional alarm system monitoring can potentially save you thousands of dollars over time—not to mention the incalculable sum of the lives of your family or employees. Don’t leave the protection of your life and livelihood in the hands of anyone less than the best. EPS Security has been custom engineering multi-faceted security solutions for Michigan’s homes and businesses for 65 years. Our highly trained staff designs, installs, services, and monitors security systems of all shapes and sizes to fit our customers’ specific requests and unique layouts. Choose EPS Security for your full-spectrum security needs and discover the benefits of more than six decades of dedicated alarm system experience.