There are so many options with home security system equipment. Where should I start?

An effective home security system protects your home on multiple levels. Burglars don’t always come in through the front door! (Although they do in some cases.) From cameras that keep watch over what’s happening to Glassbreak Sensors that recognize the sound of a shattered window, your best bet is a comprehensive home security system to serve as extra “eyes and ears” both inside and outside your home.

In addition to installing a security system, be cognizant of other habits that can help protect your home. A few best practices include not publicizing when you’re leaving the house, avoiding hiding an extra key in an obvious place like under the doormat, and getting to know your neighbors so you can help look out for each other.

When purchasing home security, make sure to customize a system that matches your home and its unique vulnerabilities. In the case of SimpliSafe, every system starts with a Base Station, which will serve as the “brains” behind the rest of your setup, and a Keypad, which will allow you to arm and disarm the system.

Then, it’s time to evaluate your home to build a custom system that’s just right. Starting with sensors, you’ll want Entry Sensors on your main entry doors as well as any first-floor windows. Motion Sensors are a great choice for main rooms and hallways, and Glassbreak Sensors should be used in rooms with many windows or sliding doors. With SimpliSafe, you can defend against more threats than just burglars, too. It’s a good idea to place Water Sensors under sinks and near boilers to detect leaks before they become floods, and to upgrade to connected smoke detectors for firefighter dispatch* when no one is able to hear or react to an alarm.

When it comes to cameras, start by placing indoor cameras in the main rooms or areas of each floor of your home. And don’t forget about the outside of your house too. Outdoor cameras can help you keep an eye on kids and pets in the backyard, monitor your car in the driveway, and keep watch over any additional entry points to your home.

Finally, think about your family, lifestyle, and unique circumstances to round out your system. Suppose you live in a floodplain or have a basement that’s prone to flooding. You may want to include extra Water Sensors with your security system. If you have kids or pets, consider a Smart Lock and setting unique entry codes for the babysitter or dog walker. Do a lot of online shopping? Consider a Video Doorbell to ward off package thieves. Because every situation and every home is different, SimpliSafe enables customers to build their own custom security system with the sensors and cameras  that make sense for their unique needs. As an added bonus, right now SimpliSafe is offering 40% off all new system purchases with their premium professional monitoring plan.

Can I install my own home security system?

The answer to this one often comes down to the home security system that you use. Many traditional home security companies require the hassle of scheduling an appointment with technicians (often for a fee) on top of binding contracts.

Other companies may offer the option for self-installation. In the case of SimpliSafe, the company reports that the actual set-up of their system is so easy that 97% of customers choose to do it themselves. The SimpliSafe app guides you step-by-step through setting up the Base Station, Keypad, cameras, and sensors in less time than it takes to unpack a few moving boxes. The choice then comes down to time restraints and personal preference—if you want to be ultra-efficient and unpack your boxes while a technician sets up the system for you, SimpliSafe offers a pro-install option too.

How does a home security system actually help protect my family?

As you consider home security providers, it’s important to look beyond the hardware and understand how your family will be protected during a real emergency. To start, 24/7 professional monitoring service should be a given.

SimpliSafe offers Self Monitoring with camera recordings and alerts for around $0.33 per day. However, for the most effective system, you’ll want professional monitoring from live agents who keep watch around the clock, ready to react in a crisis and dispatch police or emergency responders even if you don’t see an alert or are unable to respond. Professional monitoring plans from SimpliSafe are priced affordably at less than $1 a day.  And with Fast Protect™ Technology, available exclusively from SimpliSafe, professional monitoring agents can use video evidence to verify that an alarm is real, leading to priority dispatch for faster police response**.

Here’s a walkthrough of how Fast ProtectTM Technology works in the case of a break-in: 

  • When your home is armed and a sensor is tripped, SimpliSafe immediately contacts you to confirm you are safe.
  • Meanwhile, professional agents review security camera recordings from the moment of the alarm to verify the emergency situation at your home.
  • With visual confirmation of an intruder, agents convey to 911 dispatch that your emergency is real and ongoing, which can lead to a faster police response.

It comes down to this, the real question on new homeowners’ minds: Do I need a home security system? And the simple answer is yes. Home should be where you feel safest from Day 1. But the reality is that there are some situations beyond our control, like the actions of others or natural events. When the worst happens, the added layer of protection that a home security system offers can be the difference between a crisis and a happy ending.