Everyone is trying to save a buck or two these days, right? Well cutting back on lattes and take-out is a great way to accomplish this. However, when it comes to the security of your home and family, is the cheapest option the best? Yes and no. This article discusses some "cheap" options for home security that work just as well as the very expensive systems out there.
The most important thing to consider before choosing from your options is that many modern home alarms are comprehensive monitoring systems. Although the following are inexpensive on their own, you may want to consider purchasing several systems to make your home the safest it can be; which can, in turn, cost you more.
If you need to keep an eye out for your belongings while you're away from your home, one great choice is getting surveillance apps like the iCam app. At only $4.99 (available on iTunes), it is a very budget-friendly option. The install is also simple. All you have to do is download an app to your computer, one to your smart phone or tablet, and connect several webcams. Voila, you can view your home from a remote location via an internet connection.
Worth it? Yes!
Pros: Motion-sensor triggers video recording and push notifications, remote viewing via internet connection
Cons: Won't alert police when triggered, several webcams may need to be purchased (but it's okay to be cheaper on those).
If you are interested in alarms to be used while you are in the home to alert you of an intruder, there are also less expensive options. The most common alarms used in homes are magnetic contact alarms. These are usually small contraptions that attach to your windows and doors. When one of these is opened, the magnetic sensor puts off a loud sound that will usually scare off intruders.
Worth it? Yes!
Pros: The sound alone may be enough to scare off burglars, and keep teenagers in.
Cons: Very easy to accidently trigger them and won't alert police.
DIY Home Alarms
Home alarm DIY kits are-in most cases-very affordable. However, they are not the easiest to install. You may be in luck if you purchase a wireless system. The good thing about this option is that you can control several different variables (magnetic contacts, motion-sensor powered sirens and lights) with a "one-key" arm/disarm button. This eliminates the need to turn sensors on and off every time you open a window or door.
Worth it? Yes!
Pros: Ability to control multiple systems with one keypad. Most models will alert you with a phone call or text if your system has detected an intrusion.
Cons: Depending on the model you buy, some may be too easily triggered causing false alarms, some may be difficult to install, and some may not have the same "look" as those more sophisticated models (burglars are usually very good at identifying cheaper systems). Make sure you test them thoroughly before use.
Long story short, there are many budget-friendly systems available that can suit your needs very nicely. It all depends on what type of security you are interested in and how much you want to spend. Even homes with very expensive home alarm systems are not immune to theft; so don't feel like you have to be broke to be safe.
Regardless of what you get and how much you spend, it's a good practice to take inventory of all your valuables and keep that in a safe place. This list of goods will help you, a) retrieve them, or, b) easier for insurance to replace what you've lost (assuming you're covered). Just remember to always be aware of your home, the simplest-and cheapest-methods of preventing theft is to keep your home locked up and valuables out of sight.
About the Author
Lukas Nicholson is a home security specialist and reviewer. He works hard looking at different types of home security systems cost and inform others about what they can do to better protect themselves, their family, and their homes. When he's off the job he is usually trying stand-up prop comedy with his pet rubber chickens.