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Tips on selecting a home security system that will keep your family safe over the holidays

BY Allconnect | Mon Oct 26, 2015

Home SecurityBurglaries surge during the holiday season when homes are most likely to be filled with new electronics and other valuables. The recent increase in online purchases being delivered to customer doorsteps has made homes more inviting to thieves than ever before. Many families choose the fall to invest in a new security system, hoping to defend their homes throughout the holiday season. Even a basic system will be enough to deter some criminals, but it still helps to know a little more about the available options before committing to this strategy. The following considerations can help you make a confident decision before you invest in a new security system.

“Even basic systems will deter some criminals.”

Consider customer service first and foremost
Working with a home security provider that provides full support for its installations is the easiest way to ramp up your home’s defenses. Be sure to read the fine print, however, as some companies provide more comprehensive support than others. Features like around-the-clock availability and a straightforward contract are indicative of a company that prioritizes communication and its customers. You can also use your experience reaching out to a security company as a measure of its availability in case of an emergency. A security service that is willing to answer customer questions in a timely manner can likely be trusted to swiftly respond to an intrusion detected at your home.

Make a list of preferred features
While a good relationship with your security system provider is paramount, it’s also important to compare a system’s features against the unique needs of your property. If you live in an apartment with limited entrances, then alarms installed at doors and windows may be sufficient to keep your family safe from burglaries. Larger, multi-story homes will require more sophisticated motion scanners to defend of every floor and special detectors that identify instances of broken glass. Cameras are a fine solution for homes of any size, acting both as a visible deterrent and capturing important information about would-be criminals. Consider the value of the gifts you plan on purchasing over the holidays¬†and budget out your security investments accordingly.

Remember that home security systems can do more than make noise when someone tries to break into your home. According to the Chicago Tribune, modern home security systems can also perform multiple roles in the home. Extra functionalities include fire alarm, carbon monoxide detector and automated thermostat. Some advanced systems are even capable of operating the home’s lighting. Whether or not you’re interested in a cost-effective bare-bones system or a home security network inspired by a science fiction film, you can streamline your shopping experience by making a list of your preferred features. If you can’t find the perfect fit, then remember that some security is better than none at all.

Be sure to ask providers about smartphone connectivity as well. For an extra monthly fee, several providers allow users to control and receive notifications from their system via an application on their smartphone. These apps offer users unprecedented amount of information about their homes while on the go, and this may be the perfect answer to annual anxieties concerning holiday break-ins at the home.

Don’t forget about battery power when making your decision
Even the most advanced security systems can’t defend your home if they run out of juice. DIY Network stressed that backup battery life should be a top consideration when choosing a home security system. Equipment with a secondary power supply are capable of running even if a storm, blackout or criminal machinations take out your home’s electricity. Additionally, some systems will indicate to users when their internal batteries are running on low, prompting a replacement. These messages can even be sent directly to your smartphone if your choose to invest in an automated, mobile-friendly security system.

Improved home security is a great holiday gift for the family.

Stay wary of offers that are too good to be true
Remember that purchasing a home security system before the holidays is a long term investment that will deliver its full value over several years. Think of the upfront cost as a gift to yourself and your family, as well as insurance on any other purchases made throughout the rest of the season. Recognizing the value of a good home security system is also important to consider with regards to avoiding a scam.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers should be wary of certain home security system offers, particularly those¬†that seem under priced. Likewise, limited-time offers and free equipment offers are red flags of a scam artist looking to make a score. Don’t feel pressured to make a purchase if you don’t feel comfortable, especially if a salesperson seems pushy. If you’re on the fence about an offer, ask for the companies state licensing information and a portfolio of successful installations. You might also want to consider checking your local Better Business Bureau for complaints filed against the options on your short list.

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