Home is where we want to feel safest.
The right home security system can help provide ¬peace of mind and protection around the clock.
Consumers have two main choices of home security: self-monitored or professionally provided service.
A self-monitored, do-it-yourself (DIY) setup is increasingly easy to purchase, install and monitor with the wide array of affordable smart home devices on the market today – but it places the responsibility to respond to situations, including those that may be serious and time-sensitive, with the consumer.
That said, there are advantages to a traditional, professionally monitored security system, including its 24-hour, 7-day-a-week protection.
Whichever you choose, a home security setup should help provide significant protection against some of the main – and most preventable – threats, including burglary and fire, to your home and family.
Let’s consider the options.Professional monitoring keeps you connected
Home security is often the first line of defense to help ensure your home and belongings are safe, and there are significant advantages of professional monitoring over self-monitoring systems.
Consider that advanced monitored security systems, including FirstEnergy Home™ Monitored Security, offer state-of-the-art equipment, advanced communication features and enhanced data privacy.
A professional service can combine many devices – and ensure compatibility – to help protect your home, including smart cameras, video doorbells, smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, smart door locks, and even water leak detectors.
These devices, when managed and monitored by a professional service, can provide continual home protection. This means your alarms, door sensors, cameras and other security devices can help protect you all day, every day – even while you’re busy doing other things at home or away.
In addition, with professional services, responses to specific situations will be outlined and agreed upon ahead of time, helping to ensure there is no hesitancy when action needs to be taken.
Security systems (self- or professionally monitored) are not just for break-ins – these services are effective in the cases of fires, medical emergencies, gas leaks, flooding or other situations requiring a fast response.
These services typically alert local authorities, including fire and police departments, as well as emergency medical personnel, on your behalf.
Plus, visible signage from a security monitoring company, such as a yard or window sign, can act as a deterrent to potential burglars.Self-monitoring security systems
Self-monitoring security systems can have practical advantages, including affordability. These systems rely on you or a family member to respond to a security or emergency alert (likely on a smartphone app). If the situation warrants further action, such as a call to the police or fire department, then you will need to make that call.
Advancements in smart products allow consumers to select and install a suite of do-it-yourself (DIY) home security devices that can interact with each other and be monitored through apps, such as the suite of products offered by Google.
It is important to note that not all consumer-grade smart devices and self-monitored systems are compatible or work in concert with each other – especially if they’re of different generations of technology.
Also, consumers must remain aware of the vulnerability of power or internet outages, both at their home and at the location where they’re using their smartphone for monitoring.Convenient remote control and real-time data
Once set up, remote home security management from a smartphone is as easy as opening an app.
Many 24/7 security services have integrated these features into their offerings – blending some aspects of self-monitoring with professional monitoring services. Customization of home security is currently available in both DIY and professionally monitored systems.
One of the most significant benefits of smart home security is the real-time data that provides immediate alerts and notifications. Smart cameras, for instance, can provide a continuous live view, alerts and video history, indoors and outdoors. Many cameras are able to detect which activity merits an alert and can identify differences between people, vehicles and animals – though self-monitored security depends on the user to take further action.Customization
It’s always a good idea to look at the facts before you customize your home security system. According to the Pew Research Center, the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)i , property crime is much more common than violent crime in the U.S.; FBI statistics show around 2,100 property crimes per 100,000 people were committed in 2019 (the most recent available data) – with theft, burglary and motor vehicle theft the most reported.
It’s worth noting that both the BJS and FBI have found significant declines in property crime rates in the U.S. since the 1990s. However, most homeowners don’t want to leave home protection to chance. Customization of your system is one way to help ward off home and property intruders.
Consider which security measures may be most appropriate for where you live. A wide range of security cameras and monitors can be added over time to a DIY setup. Professional security systems have the advantage of integrating all these parts seamlessly and effectively.
Customized solutions to help keep your family and valuables safe can include advanced features such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, security cameras and home automation consoles. Security assessments from a professional firm can help you select these additions, and in-person system setup and tutorials can help you get more out of your security system.Conclusion
A home security system should act as protection when you’re at home or away. Both DIY systems and professional systems provide customization options to suit your location and personal needs.
In many cases, professional monitoring can provide the 24/7 eyes and ears on your property that helps to give you the confidence that all is well at home.