Having your security system monitored 24/7 by a professional might seem like a great way to keep your home safe and catch burglars in action, but is it really? Or does it just create a false sense of security that you spend your monthly fee on?
Firstly, 24/7 monitoring itself is not a bad thing and I think that in the right circumstances it can be useful for some. But that’s also what you have to pay for each month, which can be hundreds of dollars each year.
«But, Craig, you can’t put a price on security!» Yes, but you can, and it’s not worth paying for professional 24/7 monitoring services in most cases.
Robbers usually leave before the police arrive.
Most security systems are set up to notify a professional monitoring service (not the police) when an intrusion is detected. When they receive this notification, the service will contact you to confirm if it is real or not (most of the time these are false alarms). When they decide it’s real (or if they can’t decide), they then call the police. Then you have to wait for the police to arrive. Under ideal conditions, a «fast» response time can be 8 to 10 minutes.
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And this is in ideal conditions. Depending on where you live, how busy the police are, and what other types of events they respond to, those 8-10 minutes can be at least an hour.
By this point, the burglar is most likely long gone. In fact, anxiety is what most likely stops the police from catching a burglar red-handed, as it’s usually enough to stop most burglars on their tracks, or at least limit the amount of time they spend rummaging through your home. .
At this point, there is really nothing the police can do but watch the area and maybe find the burglar if they are lucky. Sure, the anxiety might have deterred the thief, or at least kept them from stealing more than they might want, but in the end, that thief is still on the loose.
Loud noise works just fine
Of course, just because professional 24/7 monitoring isn’t worth it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a security system in place at all. It’s always good to have some form of security, but preferably one where you don’t have to pay for it all the time.
Most burglar alarm systems can be used without a 24/7 professional inspection, and as mentioned above, this is enough to deter potential burglars most of the time, or at least limit the amount of time they spend in your home.
For example, the SimpliSafe security system can be used without paying for professional monitoring. Sure, it’s nothing more than a loud noise at this point, but it’s all you need at the most basic level. In fact, most burglars will only stay away from the house due to the presence of an alarm, as well as other things such as accidental home lighting.
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Ideally, however, you should install security cameras in plain sight outside your home if you want to cover your bases. This is one of the biggest deterrents for would-be thieves, as being identified is the number one thing they want to avoid in the first place. And in the event of a burglary, these cameras can be useful when filling out police reports and insurance claims.