According to statistics, in the U.S. there is a burglary every 15 seconds. Records indicate that low-income homes without a visible security system are 2.7 more times likely to be the victims of a criminal assault. It doesn’t matter that there might not be any high value items laying around, thugs will just storm the place and loot everything, including cash, electronics and jewelry. A burglary raid takes only 8-12 minutes, so even if they are spotted the culprits can escape before the police arrive. But having no budget for expensive home security solutions is a catch-22 situation, since not being able to display alarms will only make you an easier target for criminals. Luckily there are some alternatives to save on the security cost.
Renting Equipment, Avoiding Contracts
The biggest roadblock homeowners run into when browsing home security deals is the equipment price. Most companies charge a hefty one-time fee for the basic alarm kit, which is followed by a lengthy contract that binds you to the service. This contract can be a necessary evil sometimes, such as in the case of GetSafe where you’ll get the basic sensor package plus the hub station for free so long as you enter into a subscription. This particular home security provider gives you the option to choose for self-monitoring, eliminating the professional monitoring service cost you would have to pay with other home security companies. LiveWatch doesn’t believe in tying their customers down and instead allows them to cancel the subscription whenever homeowners wish to, without any repercussion. LiveWatch also helps low-income customers by presenting them with an option to rent the equipment instead of buying it upfront.
Self-Monitoring Instead of Professional Monitoring
Another popular way of cutting costs on your home security expenses is to get rid of the monthly fee and play the role of the monitoring agent yourself. Basically your system won’t be connected to the HQ anymore, instead functioning like a local alarm. When choosing self-monitoring there’s no monthly monitoring plan to pay for, nor will you be charged for accidentally triggering the alarms. On the down side, it’s up to you to remain constantly vigilant, since the company won’t call the police on your behalf. If you miss an alarm, the burglars might safely get away with their crime.
Companies, such as abode, offer a third route: stick to self-monitoring, but if you intend to leave your home unoccupied for a while, temporarily activate the professional monitoring by paying a one-time fee. In other cases, security providers like Scout Alarm present a low-cost monthly plan that provides access only to the smartphone app that keeps a constant connection with the alarms. This way you’ll receive instant notifications even when you’re away, and the app shares snapshots taken by the motion detectors.
Low-Cost Security Solutions
If you really wish to save big time on your home security, then jettison the idea of a home security system. A risky move indeed, but it can pay out with this profound approach. What you need is the installation of a few alarms at strategic entry points in your house. A glass-break sensor on the windows, a door stop or door handle alarm at the main entrance, an automated fake TV light to give the impression that the home is constantly occupied. You could also reinforce college or hotel room doors with a portable security bar. Other ideas include a barking dog alarm (ideal for homes with large front doors) and even a handcrafted trip mine alarm to surprise careless interlopers.
If you are a tech-savvy individual, then try building your own surveillance system with Raspberry Pi. If not, don’t worry, as there are several budget-friendly cameras available on Amazon. The YI Home Security Surveillance Camera and the Wireless Mini IP Camera by UOKOO are both good choices. Both of them are easy to install, provide HD footage and most importantly have Wi-Fi access, meaning you can check the live stream through your phone.
Best Home Security Systems of 2018
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