The majority of all crimes committed against victims is about leaving the opportunity open to a criminal. It may sound harsh, but that doesn’t mean you’re not responsible for your own property and how you plan to secure it.

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You don’t want to leave opportunities open to burglars, especially when it comes to your home. I know something about this because I’ve had an alarm system since I moved into my house 19 years ago, and my mother had one for 30 years or so. If we have nothing, then there’s no real opportunity to protect ourselves when we’re not home. No one wants that, but there are considerations to think about.

The first issue when it comes to home security is financial. Home alarms of any kind can seem like such a steep cost, but in the long run they might not be what you think they are. Here are a few helpful tips and insights from the home alarm industry and yours truly that might help you in obtaining the most security for the least amount.

Magnet Sensor

Sometimes the costs for an entire system with a control panel and sensors everywhere can be too hefty to devote the cash to it. That’s okay, because when it comes to home security, anything is better than nothing. This is where picking up a couple of magnet based sensors for your interior-exterior doors and windows can replace the full works of a more complicated security system.

Magnet sensors are incredibly cheap; you can get a dozen of them for around $20. Although they won’t be connected to each other, they do provide the simple security of being an alarm that will go off on their own if someone tries to get in through the areas you’ve placed them. It’s been proven that simply having an alarm sound can be quite effective in keeping thieves from your home. They also tend to get neighbors involved, especially if they know you have an alarm system to them. They’re the simplest to install; just peel and stick them where you want them. Remember to stock up on batteries, as most of those sensors aren’t electric.


If you’re looking for more than a quick fix,you’ll definitely want to look into picking up a main control console for all your security needs. You might want to look into a full bundle that will get you a control panel and the sensors you need.

Once you’ve done that, you can set and monitor the system yourself to warn you when the alarm goes off or have it call emergency services if the alarm remains on too long. The monitoring costs of someone other than you tend to be what will add up each month, but that doesn’t mean you can’t obtain great deals from those companies and then monitor your security on your own.

If you’re one of those do-it-yourself types and don’t mind taking a little time to set up your system yourself, it can be incredibly rewarding. If you get one of those advanced systems you can end up syncing wirelessly along with other things like lights or electricity.

Regular Security System

If you don’t want to be bothered with all that and are willing to spend a little bit more money, purchasing a regular security system is definitely the way to go. This is where I have some experience with them.

I’ve had a Time Warner system for about 18 years. The major costs up front were the biggest, but that’s because of the equipment and the wiring. You can decide to just have the doors alarmed or you can add windows to the package. They also offer cameras and the ability to set and turn off the alarms via your smartphone.

The more you get, the more it’ll cost for the equipment. After that, the monthly fee isn’t all that much. I pay around $30 a month plus taxes (always taxes lol) for monitoring, but they’re always right on top of things. If the alarm’s triggered, they’ll call you within 30 seconds to check up on you. They’ll ask you the password to prove it’s you and that you’re safe. Because they’ll put sensors in certain rooms, the only thing you’ll need to remember is to turn off fans, close windows and possibly put your pet in a specific room so it doesn’t set off the alarm.

The only gripe I have with certain alarm companies is when you’re ready to close the account. It took me 6 months to close my mother’s ADT account, even though I had all her information. They put me through the wringer to prove who I was, and it got to the point where I said I’d just stop paying the bill and let them send Mom to collection. So, any time you’re going to enter into an agreement with one of these companies, make sure you find out what you need to do to cancel the account.


An added bonus that not everyone’s aware of is you can save money on home insurance by having a security system in your home. There might be specific rules depending on your carrier, so check with them to see if you qualify.

Those are some options you have to protect your home other than adding deadbolts, chains and other things to your doors and windows. It’s nice having some peace of mind that if someone tries breaking in through a door or window you’ve got an alarm attached to that you’ve got someone watching your back. It’s also nice knowing you have extra control over your own situation.

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