How much Coverage do I Really Need?
According to the FBI UCS Annual Crime Reports (as published on disastercenter.com), property crimes and burglaries in Texas have been declining since 2010. Of concern on the same report is that violent crimes have actually increased each year over year since 2011. While protecting your home and belongings is a concern, more important is protecting your family.
A nationwide study by the U.S. Department of Justice found:
“In about 28% of home burglaries, a household member was present during the burglary.
In 7% of all household burglaries, a household member experienced some form of violent victimization.” (https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/vdhb.pdf?kbid=62750)
A security system is an investment in protection for your family and is worth having a professional design and install it for you. Don’t let budget constraints hold you back. The system can be done in phases and you can prioritize to get the most bang for your buck.
Many alarm systems are advertised as a kit with protection of two doors and a motion detector. While this starter system is definitely better than no coverage at all, this leaves you vulnerable at the other entry points of your home. Burglars may enter through an unlocked window or door or may break a window to gain access. Sensors on all first floor windows and doors and glassbreak detection on fixed windows will trigger the alarm in the event of attempted entry. If you aren’t sure where to focus the design of your security system, perimeter coverage should be your top priority. You can always add other elements later.
Motion detectors are used to identify when someone is present in your home when they shouldn’t be! They should be installed in areas where an intruder would be forced to go past them if he gains entry to the home undetected. However, motion detectors cannot be set if you have pets larger than 80 pounds. They also cannot be used while there are people at home who might accidentally walk in front of them when the alarm is set (like at night). For these reasons, motion detectors should be seen as supplemental to perimeter coverage and not instead of door and window sensors.
Back up Communication
A basic alarm system will usually come with one method of communicating to the central station. This could be over the Internet or via cellular. To decrease the risk of downtime of your system, a secondary method of communicating is recommended. If your primary communication is Internet, have a cellular device as a backup. That way if your Internet goes down, the alarm is still in contact with the central station.
Once you have perimeter coverage in place, consider adding video cameras to the outside of your home. A video doorbell is a good starting point (and Cultris Security offers them free to new monitoring customers!). For wider range of video, add cameras to watch your driveway, backdoor and fence line. Many camera systems allow you to set up alerts that will notify you if there is activity based on certain parameters you set. So if someone is on your driveway at 2 am, you can find out at the time rather than when you discover your car broken in to the next morning!
An NBC affiliate station in Portland, Oregon sent questionnaires to burglars in prison there asking them how they broke in to houses. When asked for their recommendation for keeping a burglar away from your home, the most common response was to have lights and televisions on and a car parked in the driveway. (http://www.kgw.com/news/investigations/we-asked-86-burglars-how-they-broke-into-homes/344213396). Despite the fact that 28% of burglaries occur when someone is home, the preference is an empty home. You can add “smart” light switches and plugs to your home to schedule lights and the television to come on at certain times of the day. With Z-wave technology, these can also be added to your alarm system and can be controlled remotely. Read more about a “Smart” Home.
Have you been putting off adding a security system or getting your system monitored? Don’t wait another day to get the coverage you need. Cultris Security Systems can design a system and installation plan that meets your budget and needs. Call us at 281-506-8466 or visit us online.