With home security, as with all things, cost is a considerable factor in the decision to purchase a new product. Of course, home security offers an interesting study in human behavior as it pertains to cost-benefit analysis. Many people, in search of the ultimate compromise between expense and value, elect to simply purchase a sign or sticker indicating that they have a professional security system when, in actuality, their home is entirely unprotected. To be fair, it’s reasonable to assume that there is some benefit to simply buying a yard sign and forgetting about the entire situation. It creates the illusion of an obstacle to potential intruders; in fact, The Greenwich Study of Residential Security indicated that the majority of homes burglarized did not have a yard sign. Nonetheless, close consideration of the pros and cons of having a sign as your only line of defense against home invasion indicate that it isn’t very dependable.

You Get What You Pay For

Yes, home security systems can cost money, but they don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket. Home security products are expanding and innovating at a rapid rate, and the potential to find a home surveillance solution that fits both your needs and budget has never been higher. The emergence of do-it-yourself (DIY) home systems is of particular relevance in this area. For considerably less than the cost of a traditional setup, one can install the equipment themselves at a fraction of the price. The lower-cost DIY systems offer infinitely more coverage than the illusion provided by just placing a sign on your front lawn.


Though it requires some humility to admit, we really can’t underestimate the human capacity for self-deception. Posting a sign on our lawns stating that we have a home security system when we, in fact, do not, may very well give us a false sense of well-being. It’s human nature to believe what we tell ourselves and what we project to the outside world, so it isn’t that farfetched that such an issue might arise. Of course, it’s very possible to put a sign up without an alarm system and remain vigilant about locking doors and windows, but the potential for carelessness is always there.


A study put out by the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation stated that the probability of a home without an alarm system being burglarized is 1.37 times higher than that of a home armed with an alarm. Some of this may be attributable to the presence of a sign, sticker or other marking indicating the presence of such a system, but it seems reasonable that most of this difference would be due to the actual countermeasures the alarm provides.


The same study that indicated the heightened probability of a home without an alarm being burglarized makes an interesting point regarding home security system owners. According to their research, 93 percent of owners surveyed were satisfied with the services being provided to them by their security company. That peace of mind is something that can’t be purchased as inexpensively as a yard sign.

Cover photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.