A home security system is the kind of product that really does not get a day off. The need for a home security system is much like the need for air: If it is not there when you really need it, then it does not matter how reliable it was up until that point. So, are they reliable?
That is a smart question to ask, though the answer is probably more complicated than you might think. Of course, the simple answer is “yes, home security systems are reliable.” But if asking if they are reliable is smart, then asking how they are reliable is downright genius.
That is what we are going to explore today: What makes home security systems so effective in protecting your home, how they do it, and how you can make them more effective.
What do Home Security Systems Do?
In order to understand whether or not home security systems are effective, you must first understand what they are trying to do. Fortunately, that can be boiled down to two jobs:
- Home security systems keep burglars out of your home and call the police to deal with them if they do not leave as soon as the alarm is sounded.
- Home security systems allow you to monitor your home in a variety of ways to know what is going on while you are not around.
That first one is a lot clearer cut than the second, so let’s expand on that.
Home Security Systems vs. Burglars
Home invasions and burglaries happen every day in the United States. In fact, they happen dozens of times per hour. But they are only successful a few times out of those dozens of attempts. This is because they are usually scared off by some form of home security.
Admittedly, that “home security” can sometimes be as simple as a deadbolt sealed lock or a window that is too durable to break. But on average, the main thing that scares a burglar away from breaking into homes is an alarm system. This is because most thieves run the moment an alarm is tripped. After all, they do not want to go to jail for a few stolen dollars.
Alarm systems are reliable because they are extremely resource efficient. Think of a pocket watch. Most pocket watches are going to last your whole life on an extremely small battery. This is because they only actually use that battery once every few months.
Similarly, an alarm system’s most intensive task is sounding the alarm. At all other times, it is watching doors and windows for entry. Those tasks are far easier, as the motion detectors used in them are extremely simplistic. Which makes sense—they are looking for pretty big motions.
The simplicity of their tasks means that both the alarm and motion sensors can have very easy and reliable redundancies to their systems, as well as functioning for a time even if the power is cut. If the power goes out, an alarm system will hold a charge for hours that can trip an alarm.
As we mentioned before, all a burglar needs to hear is an alarm for them to realize that they are more likely to get caught than not. This means that even if the burglar targeting your house severs a powerline to get there (already long odds) they would have to wait hours before entering your home. Tt is likely that you’re home by then, or the cut powerline has been noticed.
Home Security Systems vs. the Unknown
When it comes to watching over your home while you are not around, burglars are actually the easy thing to deal with. The other intention of home security systems is more difficult to grasp, as it pertains to dealing with issues that are far less specific in nature.
Basically, imagine that you have a security camera system installed in your house. Maybe it watches a babysitter, maybe to keep track of your pets, maybe just because you feel like it.
Whatever your intended purpose, that security camera system will be remotely viewable from basically anywhere through an app on your phone. That means you can look in on it at any time and activate its ability to record at any time. You can also set it to record constantly, but that will introduce a lot more complications into the system as you struggle to manage the video files.
Just by granting yourself this window into your own home, you also grant yourself a potential window into the various issues that might come up when you are not there. These are not always issues that will be resolved as simply as an alarm solves the problem of a thief.
If a dog is tearing up the furniture, or a neighbor is emptying their bathwater onto your lawn, then your camera will pick it up. The unreliable part of this security feature is that extremely niche and bizarre issues like this cannot be solved by any security system.
Those problems you will have to solve yourself.
Other Security Systems
Of course, solving niche problems usually means employing niche solutions. If you find yourself repeatedly facing some problems, then there is almost always a security solution that can protect your home. The neighbor dumping waste into your yard, for example.
In that case, the solution is simpler than you might think: Get a bigger fence. Fences, spotlights, safes, and other niche tools like these are easy to install and maintain, making them reliable.
We have thrown the word “reliable” around a lot today as a way of describing how effective home security systems can be. The reason for this is that effectiveness is statistically proven; there is a reason why people get home security systems, and it is not because of marketing.
The home security systems we described are effective at protecting your home, but only if you can rely upon them to work. That should be your main concern when shopping for one.