If you’re in the market for a home alarm system, you have lots of systems to choose from. So how can you narrow down your options in order to pick the best one for your needs? The easiest way is to look for features you need to feel safe at home. Keep reading to get an idea of the top features to look for in an alarm system for your home.
1. Video cameras
The majority of the top alarm systems on the market have at least one video camera that watches the property. In fact, many systems have a few cameras so you get complete visibility, both inside and outside of your house – depending on your preferences.
The type of cameras to look for in an alarm system might vary depending on your needs. If you mostly want to see who is at your door before you answer it – and you want to deter package theft – a small doorbell camera may be just right for you. This will give you a view of the porch and front door so you can get a glimpse of anyone who approaches that area, whether you’re home or not.
If you want a view of the entire exterior of your property, you’ll need a home alarm system that has multiple exterior cameras. This way, you can view what’s happening on all sides of your house. Make sure the alarm system you choose has cameras with the best possible resolution, as well as night vision to protect your home any time of day or night.
Finally, if you want to monitor the interior of your house, look for an alarm system with at least one indoor camera. Often called nanny cams, these let you keep an eye on anyone who may be in your home while you’re not there, or simply in another room that you’re not in. So if you have a nanny, maids, movers, or anyone else who might do their work when you’re not around, an alarm system that has or at least integrates with interior cameras may be right for you.
2. Consistent monitoring
Once you get an alarm, you need to make sure someone is monitoring it frequently. That person could be you or a professional company. If you choose the latter, you can rest assured the company will alert you if anything is amiss, such as a suspected break-in. If you don’t respond right away, they’ll call the police for you. This kind of monitoring not only provides peace of mind for many people but can also save you money on home insurance. In fact, some insurance companies will discount your premium by up to 20%, if you have a professionally monitored home alarm system in place.
Another option is for you to monitor your alarm system yourself. This is a good option if you’re on a budget or simply want complete control over your system, as you can decide when to further investigate an issue or call the police. The best home alarms make it very easy for you to monitor the cameras from anywhere, such as your laptop, work computer, tablet, or smartphone. This is ideal whether you want to keep an eye on workers in your home while you’re away or just want to be alerted immediately to a possible break-in.
Another feature to look for is sensors. Most alarm systems with video surveillance feature motion sensors, meaning that the cameras turn on when they sense movement nearby. You can also set up your alarm to sound or send an alert to your phone when it senses movement in a specific area, like the front or back door.
But some alarm systems have additional sensors. For example, you can get an alarm with door and window sensors. These will send you an alert or sound the alarm when a door opens or a window is broken. After all, research shows that 34% of burglars use the front door, while 22% use the back door and 23% use the windows. So it’s best to have a way to protect these possible access points through an alarm with sensors.
4. Carbon monoxide detection
A home alarm can protect you from more than burglary and vandalism. It can also alert you to possible issues in the home that are hard to detect, such as carbon monoxide. Considering that this gas can be deadly to breathe in, it’s recommended that you get an alarm installed that features the ability to detect carbon monoxide in the house.
Fortunately, most newer home alarm systems boast these and other features. If you’re not sure if you need all these features, or are thinking about adding even more functionality, you should get in touch with an alarm installation company near you to discuss your options.