Home security systems are more valuable than can easily be put into words. A properly, professionally monitored system can reduce the risk of burglary by 33 percent. They can impact insurance rates, and they can even improve the safety of your neighborhood. More than any of that, they can provide peace of mind. If you’re ready to really learn about home security, then this is a great place to start.

Figure Out What You Want

A home security system should monitor for intrusion and alert you if it happens. That much is obvious. But, that’s barely the beginning of what’s available. Just to get you started, here are a few things you might not realize a home security system can do:

  • Automate the home. The security system can be the focal point to integrate smart home features that let you control thermostats, lights and a bunch more.
  • Provide energy savings. A smart home makes it easy to cut heating, cooling and lighting costs.
  • Grant remote access. The next time you worry you left something on at home, you can just check remotely and turn it off.
  • Monitor for hazards. You don’t just want safety from burglars. Fire, carbon monoxide and other natural killers can be monitored alongside intrusion, and any good service will notify the fire department just as readily as the police.

Even this doesn’t really cover the scope of what you can have in your security system. Do you want multiple access panels? How important is a smartphone app? Do you have options on alert management? The list of questions is long, and you need to know what matters to you before you start throwing money around.

Look at Prices

Every company will have a different price list. Even within a single provider, you’re going to have a bunch of different plans and options. Security is important, but if you blow your budget, you might have trouble finding a company to monitor the cardboard box you move into. But seriously, this is a big money decision, and you don’t want to take it lightly. According to US News, the industry is outright massive.

Overall, Americans spent about $20.64 billion on home security systems in 2011, the most recent figures available, according to the business research firm MarketsandMarkets. And the industry is expected to continue to grow to $34.46 billion by 2017.

Consider Installtion

Many would group this with price shopping, and they aren’t wrong. Security installations can cost way more than the system itself. There are also hidden costs that can’t always be measured with dollar signs. Some installations might necessitate digging, wiring or other unexpected construction projects around the home. Others are nearly impossible to fit into a busy schedule. There are also DIY installation options. They can trade the cost of money at the potential expense of time and effort. If you fancy yourself at all thrifty, this might be a dealmaker. Regardless, you should have clear installation inspections before signing contracts.

Make a Call

Finally, you have to make that call. Ok. Maybe you can use an online option, but you still need direct communication. This is where you dot the I’s and all of that. It’s also where you should ask any and every question that pops into your head. If you’re a little nervous, or if you just want more direct information before making a commitment, you can get started by getting a free quote from Protect America.