Homes are expensive enough to maintain without the added cost of high tech security systems. But with your belongings on the line, are they always worth the money? We take a look, element by element, at home security systems to decide if they are a good financial investment.
Access control systems
Access control systems such as voice, video or coded entry systems are utilised by businesses all over the country, but they are increasingly being used by safety-conscious homeowners. Security firm Bridger Security support the use of access control systems in homes, saying: “Intercoms and video entry systems create the option for a more personal home security system, enabling residents to be directly involved in controlling who has access to their building.”
A basic video intercom system costs around £200, which is a lot of money to part with. Guardian4Security, though, have argued that these systems could not only secure your possessions, they can also save your life. It is true that doorstep attacks, such as the acid attack cited in the Guardian4Security article, do happen, and they can often be scarring and traumatic. An access control system could potentially prevent something like this happening.
In the UK there are between 4 million and 5.9 million CCTV cameras, according to a report by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA). Most of these are on commercial property, but a significant amount are affixed to the homes of the security-conscious. Are these people also money-conscious?
They might be. Basic CCTV can actually be installed for as little as £50 according to the Daily Telegraph. And that same article brings to the fore a great example of domestic security cameras capturing a crime in action: as in this case a little girl being hit by a cyclist.
However, in January 2015 the government’s surveillance camera commissioner told the BBC that too many CCTV cameras are “actually useless,” as people are not using them in an effective way. His advice is to make sure your CCTV use is “efficient” to keep it as “a key weapon in our arsenal of evidence” to help with public prosecutions.
Though it depends heavily on the context, perhaps decent security footage of a thief breaking into your home could help you save on expensive legal fees.
Burglar alarms might be the most common home security system on the market. They may also be one of the most effective. According to a Which? survey of ex-burglars, you are less likely to be burgled if you have a visible burglar alarm.
These findings are backed up by a survey of criminal offenders from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The survey found that 60% of the burglars would avoid houses with burglar alarms, and 50% would halt their burglary altogether if they noticed an alarm on the premises.
With statistics like these, investing in a burglar alarm system seems like a no brainer. The cost of burglar alarms can differ based on your home’s location and how many areas of the house you want covered. Try this burglar alarm cost calculator for an estimated figure.
No matter the cost, though, since burglar alarms are such an effective deterrent, it seems buying them is indeed a good way to spend your money.
The British Crime Survey says: “The level of home security remains an important factor in risk of burglary victimisation.” With this in mind, though they may not have an obvious financial benefit, home security systems are a worthy investment for anyone who prizes their belongings.