Heaps of available data reinforce the concept that home security systems are a major deterrent against burglary. A study by criminologists at the UNC Charlotte surveyed convicted burglars and found that 83% of respondents would check for a home security system before deciding upon a target. Furthermore, 60% of them will choose a different target entirely if they were aware of the presence of an alarm. These numbers don’t even reflect the benefits of a home security system in the event of an actual break-in or life safety emergency, especially in situations requiring the dispatch of emergency services.
While home security has proven time and again to deter criminals and protect families from security and environmental threats, only an estimated 27% of houses in the United States have a security system installed. Many reasons exist for why a higher number of homes are devoid of these potentially life-saving investments, but one of the most prevalent reasons focuses on a common misconception: a security system is simply too expensive for the average homeowner.
Admittedly, home security technology was a little pricey in the early days. Technology that has become standard in security devices such as infrared detection had yet to be produced in a cost-effective way. Think about it like flat-screen TVs. Back when the technology first became available to the public, they were incredibly expensive. Nowadays, similarly built TVs are significantly cheaper and higher quality. The same goes for home security systems. Unless you’re gunning for Ocean’s Eleven-level gadgets, a highly rated home security system is within the fiscal reach of most homeowners.
Even if the perception of home security as a luxury is a misconception, there’s a more effective argument to be made: can you afford not to invest in a security system? As you’ll soon see, a security system is an investment that quickly pays for itself by protecting your home and family from far costlier threats down the line.
The cost of burglary
A single break-in may cost more than you think. Within the 90 second to 12 minute time frame for the most burglaries, the culprit can make off with an average of $2,416 worth of your property, including highly-sought goods including:
While a two grand loss is a tough pill to swallow, imagine being burglarized twice within the span of a few months. Unfortunately, this is more common an occurrence than you might think with some studies suggesting as many as a third of burglary victims finding themselves the targets of repeat victimization. If you’re one of the unlucky homeowners who get hit twice, the cost of not having a home security system doubles to more than $4,000.00.
These risks and costs are exacerbated by a prevailing myth surrounding home security: that burglaries occur most often at night or at times when a homeowner is otherwise present. This misconception causes homeowners to invest in other forms of home security such as a “guard” dog or firearms. Studies show that most professional burglars will strike during the work day to ensure no one is home at the time of the crime. In fact, only about one out of every four burglaries occurs when someone is home. Homeowners who are overly reliant on guns or dogs to guard their home have effectively invested in security measures that ultimately fail when faced with a seasoned burglar. Given the fact that firearms are amongst the most stolen items during a burglary, their method of defense could potentially wind up as a burglar’s trophy.
There’s also a cost that can’t be measured in dollars. If your work documents, personal information, or family photos and videos are on the laptop or smartphone that was stolen, you’ve lost valuable items and memories that cannot be replaced. Furthermore, with the rate of identity theft incidents doubling between 2019 and 2020., the theft of a single sensitive document can cause havoc and grief for years to come.
The cost of fire
Of course, a home security system doesn’t only protect from uninvited guests. A comprehensive home security solution also includes monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. While all homes are required to have smoke detectors on every floor, they aren’t sending alarm signals to a dedicated monitoring center. This means if a fire breaks out when you’re sleeping or away from home, it will spread uncontrolled until it’s too late. A monitored alarm system sends a signal to the monitoring center at the first detection of fire, helping the security dispatcher to alert first responders before things get out of hand. Given the fact that modern homes can burn down within minutes, every second counts when it comes to the expedient dispatch of emergency services.
Home fires are catastrophic from whatever angle you look. Assuming your home doesn’t burn down completely, low end fire restoration services can cost homeowners hundreds of dollars. For the unluckier victims of more intense infernos, restoration can cost 100 thousand dollars or more. And that’s just the cost for fixing the house itself! These numbers don’t take into account the thousands of dollars of stuff that could potentially be destroyed in a blaze or the emotional cost of losing a childhood home, a family keepsake, and other irreplaceable memories.
The most devastating thing a homeowner stands to lose in a fire is their life or the lives of their loved ones. While improved fire safety has brought the number of fire fatalities down in recent years, almost 4,000 people die annually in house fires. And it’s not just fires that threaten the lives of homeowners, either. An estimated 430 people die every year and another 50,000 are hospitalized from carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide gas is an especially tricky threat, as it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Inhaling a high volume of the gas can make you groggy and eventually render you unconscious, meaning it can claim you as a victim before you’re even aware of what’s going on.
Investing in your future
The statistics included above make homeownership seem like a constant hardship. It isn’t all doom-and-gloom, however. A monitored home security system can dispatch rescue services while you sleep or when you’re otherwise incapacitated. Even then, the cost-saving benefits of a professional home security system extends beyond intrusion and life safety protection. For example, an EPS ProSeries home security system includes less obvious protection devices such as flood and water detectors that alert homeowners to leaks as soon as possible, saving homeowners from hundreds if not thousands of dollars in water damage repairs. Furthermore, with the ability to tie a Skybell® video doorbell into the ProSeries platform, you can keep an eye out for the increasing threat of porch piracy, which costs homeowners an average of $109 per incident.
Home security systems are more affordable than ever, but hesitant homeowners should consider whether they can afford not to get one. With protection from threats both human and environmental, a security system is an investment in your family’s future that pays for itself solely through your newfound peace of mind, let alone by guarding both your lives and your bank account from catastrophe. Plus, new home security technology can actually enhance your lifestyle with smart home connected devices, backing up elite home security with cutting edge convenience and accessibility.
It’s never worth gambling when it comes to your lives and livelihood. While you’re looking into protection options for your home, consider EPS Security, West Michigan’s largest family-owned security company. We’ve been an industry leader in home security solutions for 66 years and counting, working closely with the top vendors in the security industry to provide our customers with the best technology at competitive prices. Our consultants, engineers, and technicians work to deliver you a custom security solution that fits your unique needs and protects what matters most to you. When it comes to securing your places, people, and things, trust EPS Security and discover the peace of mind that more than sixty years of experience can bring to you and your family.