Home security systems used to be thought of as just for high-end homes and high-income buyers. Today, improved technology and competitive pricing have made systems more affordable. There is a system for everyone.
Besides notifying the monitoring center of a potential break-in, the systems can include features such as monitored fire protection, carbon monoxide detection, water penetration and have sump pump failure alarms.
Home video systems allow users to monitor their home from a remote location. Users can make sure their kids are fine and keep an eye on their homes.
It's no longer necessary to have a landline telephone to ensure a system operates without fail, and it's not necessary to have an Internet connection.
While statistics show a home without an alarm system is more likely to be burglarized, the added benefits of fire protection and other services are immeasurable. It's about peace of mind, according to Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, a nationwide provider of ratings in more than 500 categories (www.angieslist.com).
Ask a prospective provider to visit your home and recommend how best to protect it. A typical system can be installed for $49 to $350, depending on the features. Monthly monitoring fees usually start at around $25.
Know the contract terms, which are usually for multiple years, and learn about any fees that are not included in the installation and monthly costs.