Eight Common Home Security System Misconceptions

Home security systems are a proven deterrent against burglary and have helped save countless lives from fire and other emergencies when professionally monitored. Millions of people have experienced the benefits of having a professionally-installed home security system, but there are many more who still view security systems as expensive, unnecessary, or inadequate. With Home Security Systems being GA & AL’s foremost security provider, we’ve taken the time to dispel several of the most common misconceptions about home security systems to show you how they can help to secure both your home and your family.

I don’t have anything worth protecting.

Many homeowners don’t believe they’ve accumulated enough “stuff” to warrant investing in a security system, but burglars aren’t always after the plasma screens and family jewels. Guns and prescription pills are some of the highest-targeted goods because they are easy to move on the street at a high value. Even then, most people own electronics of some sort – televisions, computers, phones—or personal documents that are also targeted by thieves. The average cost of a burglary is $2,251 per incident, but the psychological cost or long-term damage can be much higher.

Additionally, the most valuable thing you stand to lose is your life. Protecting yourself and your family from home invasion, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, and the like is well worth the investment in a 24/7-monitored home security system.

Home security systems are too expensive.

If this were the 1960s, you might have a point. Technology has advanced so much in the last few decades that a reliable, high-quality, professionally-installed home security system can be purchased for only a few hundred dollars. Professional monitoring of said system can be purchased for the price of a night of take-out for the family per month. Again, it’s a worthwhile investment when considering what a burglary or home fire would cost you.

I already have a security system—my dog.

Dogs can certainly act as a deterrent to home invaders, but a barking dog isn’t going to do much to stop a burglar whose mind is made up. Most home burglaries occur during the day, so a barking dog is likely to be ignored by neighbors who hear the same dog barking at the mailman or passersby daily. In the event of a home invasion, most dogs nowadays are family dogs who are socialized not to jump on people entering the house. They are easily swayed by treats or some small amount of attention. If a dog does act aggressively toward a burglar, the sad truth is the dog is likely to be harmed or worse in the process of the burglary. What’s more, no matter what Lassie may have led you to believe, the odds are your Pomeranian will not be able to rescue you if your home goes up in flames. Especially if you consider your dog a part of your family, your pup deserves the same protection afforded to the rest of your household.

Your pet is a valued member of your family, but perhaps not the best source of security.

I have pets, so a security system won’t work for me.

If you own Marmaduke or a small elephant, a security system might not be for you. For the rest of us, there are pet-friendly motion sensors whose sensitivity can be adjusted to ignore the movement of small- to medium-sized pets whose sensitivity can be adjusted. It’s just one benefit of professional installation—a custom-engineered solution to fit your (and your pet’s!) needs.

I can just put a security system up myself.

One piece of advice: don’t. Firstly, the “latest and greatest” do-it-yourself (DIY) devices aren’t made to the same standards as those made by professional security vendors. When you hear about home security devices being hacked, it is almost always a DIY device. Even if DIY devices were of higher quality, designing a security system for any building requires thorough training and an understanding of the capacities and limitations of every single device going into the house. Even basic considerations such as device placement can affect the overall functionality of a home security system. Professional security providers have a wealth of experience and training in system engineering and installment that most well-intentioned DIYers have never received. In short, something as vital as securing your property and family is better left to the professionals.

Modern “smart home” security systems are easily hackable.

There’s been a lot of noise in the media about the deficiencies of homes that utilize the internet to connect their devices. Namely, how someone with malicious intent can hack into various devices and control their security system or even communicate with those inside the house. These concerns are valid, but a quick look at these incidents reveals they occurred on DIY systems. Professional security providers use sophisticated, highly-rated control panels and devices that utilize security protocols such as high-level encryption to protect homes from hacking. Making sure to password-protect your home Wi-Fi, another major risk factor should help to cover the rest of the bases. Something a professional security provider is likely to tell you during installation. If you’re willing to spend money on a DIY system that contains security deficiencies, it’s spending the small amount more to have a professional put in high-quality devices.

Professionally-installed smart home systems are far more secure than the problematic “DIY” solutions flooding the market.

Can’t an experienced burglar just cut my phone line, rendering my system useless?

While an uncommon occurrence, this is technically possible on dated plain-old-telephone-service (POTS) lines and systems that use them. Most telephone service providers are turning away from copper phone lines as it is and turning to voice-over-IP (VOIP) lines that are incompatible with most security systems. Forward-thinking security providers such as Alert Home Security Systems have turned away from installing phone line-dependent systems in homes and now almost exclusively install home security systems that utilize cellular and internet communication. With these cellular communication devices, there is no phone line to cut, making home security systems more reliable than ever.

I live in a nice neighborhood. I’ll just lock my doors.

Believe it or not, the more affluent neighborhoods can be targeted the most frequently. It’s a simple calculation of risk/reward on the part of the prospective burglar: what house is more likely to have goods of the most value to me? The very mentality of “my neighborhood is nice enough” actually encourages burglars to target these “nice” neighborhoods with more frequency. If you think your neighborhood will be targeted by burglars, you’re more likely to get a security system, and smart burglars understand that. Also, considering the fact that most home burglaries occur by simply breaking in the front door, a normal door lock isn’t likely to cut it.

 

The Alert Home Security Advantage

As you can see, home security systems are safer, more advanced, and more affordable than ever before. If you’re interested in finding out what a professional-grade security system has to offer you and yours in terms of protection, look no further than Alert Home Security Systems. Alert Home Security has been securing Georgia homes for 15 years and uses that experience to customize security solutions to fit your individual needs.

To learn more about purchasing a security system for your home, talk to an Alert Home Security Systems Customer Representative at 888-233-9730

Cellular vs Wifi vs Landline Monitoring – What’s Different and What’s Better?

There are few things as important as the safety of your own home. Protecting your family and property are safe from burglary and other crimes are a top priority. Defenses like gates, walls and fences may deter some burglars, but there is always the risk of a criminal who is willing to go the extra mile to break in. That’s why a home security system is a critical component of keeping your home and family safe.

Home security systems are not all designed with the same capabilities. One of the key factors to consider is whether the alarm monitoring system you are considering is cellular-based, wifi-based or landline-based.

The Difference Between ‘Cellular’, ‘Wifi’ and Landline Monitoring?

You might have heard the terms “cellular” and “wireless” when researching security systems. While both cellular and wireless security systems are characterized by a lack of wires, they are fundamentally different when it comes to home security.

While the term “wireless” is used in a home security context, it means that the sensors and the control panel are linked wirelessly via radio waves instead of physical wires in your home.

Wireless systems have a far more flexible, convenient setup for monitoring devices. They also ensure that the sensor network will not be vulnerable to the same wire-cutting security risk that plagues landline-based systems.

“Cellular,” on the other hand, refers to how the control panel communicates with your security company’s alarm monitoring center. Cellular-based security systems use mobile cellular networks (instead of a landline phone) to contact the monitoring station in an emergency situation.

“Landline-based” is the old school way of having a physical telephone line connected to your home security system. What happens when that line is disconnected or cut?

“Wifi” is just as vulnerable as a landline if not even more so, because your wifi might be wirelessly connected to the router. The router still has a hardline connection just like old telephone based landlines, therefore being just as vulnerable to be tampered, disconnected or cut. Even more serious, someone can hack into your wifi router settings.

Bottom line – You don’t want to trust your home with security based on a landline or wifi connection.

The ideal security system combines both of the best concepts: A wireless alarm system with cellular alarm monitoring. This completely wireless system is more convenient and reliable than one that relies on wires and a landline.

 

Advantages of Cellular Alarm Monitoring

Cellular security systems have several advantages over landline-based systems. Here are a few reasons you should consider switching to cellular alarm monitoring.

1. Cellular Alarm Monitoring is Safer

A physical connected landline-based home security system is a major weakness because burglars can cut your phone line before attempting to break in.

Cutting a phone line is not as complicated as it sounds: Most homes have a compartment built on the side of the wall or near the ground that contains your phone line, with other electrical wiring. In many cases, this panel can be accessed with a regular screwdriver or broken into. If someone cuts the wiring inside, it would prevent any distress signal from being sent to your monitoring station, rendering the home security system useless. Also, almost all cellular systems have a battery backup that kicks in when the power goes out.

A cellular based security system does not have such weakness, as it uses the same reliable network of cellular towers that your mobile phone is designed for. Even if you live in an area with poor cell service, in many cases the cell communicator is still able to maintain a consistent connection.  

2. Reliability

Home Security systems need a cellular connection so you can count on reliable, uninterrupted protection. Landline cables are vulnerable to the elements. Heavy snow, rain, and other weather conditions can damage them, severing your connection to your alarm company. Security systems that rely on a Wi-Fi connection are also prone to failure should the internet at your home go down. Even in the event of internet outages, cellular communicators are unaffected.

3. Great Coverage

Some areas may be outside the coverage area of a provider’s landline network. This makes it difficult or even impossible to get your home security system connected to a company if you’re using a wired landline, unless you’re investing a lot of money to build local wired infrastructure.

Cellular networks span wide areas, reaching even remote locations. You don’t necessarily require a strong signal for your cellular-based security system to transmit an alert. The amount of data that passes between the security system and the central station is far less than the amount you’d need to hold a conversation or surf the web. This means that a cellular-based security system is able to work even in remote areas.

4. Cheaper in the Long Run

Having a cellular communicator in your security system enables cellular and Wi-Fi alarm monitoring. It can come with an additional cost. However, you no longer need to pay for a landline each month. Most households don’t use landlines anymore, so if you have little use for a home phone, then it’ll be an expense that serves no other purpose besides being tied into your security system.

5. Installation is Easier and Faster

A landline-based security system must be physically connected to your home’s phone outlet. Depending on the layout of your phone wiring and various wall outlets, it may not always be where you want to locate your security system’s control panel. With a cellular system, you have the freedom to put the control panel anywhere in your home.

6. You Can Monitor Your Own Home Remotely

Many security systems that use cellular alarm monitoring also come with newer features like smartphone apps that allow you to remotely connect to them. You can view camera footage, security alerts, and the status of your sensors, even while you’re away from your home. You can also be notified via text if you get any security alerts. You’ll be informed at the same time as your security company.

7. Cellular Monitoring Sends Alerts Faster than Landlines

In an emergency, speed is everything. Cellular alarm monitoring can contact your central monitoring station faster than a landline can.That’s because its signal doesn’t have to navigate landline switches and networks, and it may use very fast protocols like 4G LTE to reach the monitoring station.

Switching to Cellular Alarm Monitoring

An important thing to remember is that home security is only as effective as its weakest link. If you’re considering going with wireless sensors, remember to replace their batteries. Cellular alarm monitoring requires that you have a cellular communicator in your system, the technology offers significant advantages over landline-based systems.

Most reputable companies will offer remote and on-site maintenance for your home alarm system as well. We have a proven track record for responding to emergencies and dispatching personnel to truly make the most of switching to cellular alarm monitoring.