From the idea that home security systems are only for the wealthy, to the notion that no deterrent will put off a burglar, home security myths have persisted for decades. But if you’re considering installing an alarm, you should know that many of these widely held “truths” are anything but – they’re myths, in fact. Some are no longer founded, while others are just completely untrue. Have a look:
1. It’s Too Expensive
Let’s start with the biggest one, literally. There’s this pervasive myth that home security is ultra pricey – probably because it once was. Back in the day, hardwired systems could easily run into the four-figures and monthly fees could climb sky-high. Today however, monitoring companies often offer killer deals – usually under $100 for a basic system – and monitoring usually falls in the $30-$50/month category. Think of it as peace of mind for less than the cost of an evening out.
2. It Won’t Happen to You (aka Your Neighborhood is Safe)
This is not a scare tactic, but the truth: even if your neighborhood is safe, that’s no guarantee that you’ll never experience a burglary. Safe neighborhoods, just like yours, do get broken into. Don’t equate probability with impossibility: even if the likelihood is low, that doesn’t mean there’s no risk. And if a burglar does choose your neighborhood, s/he’ll go right for the homes that don’t have an alarm system.
3. My Neighbors Watch My Home
If you live in a friendly area where neighbors watch each other backs, you’re very lucky. But the reality is, even the most vigilant Neighborhood Watch program (or the nosiest neighbor) can’t watch your home 24/7. Additionally, your neighbors may be ill-equipped to respond in an emergency.
4. Your System Won’t Work During a Power/Phone Outage
Back in the day, this was true. Today, modern security systems combine cellular and wireless Internet technology with battery backup to keep your system functioning, even if your power goes out or your phone line’s dead.
5. A Burglar Who Wants In, Is Getting In
Yes, this is true to some extent. Your home security system can’t physically remove a burglar from the premises. But studies, like this one from Temple University, have shown that alarmed homes are up to three times less likely to be burgled. What’s more, even if a burglar breaks in, your alarm will have the police at the front door in minutes. Which leads us to our next myth…
6. The Police Will Never Arrive On Time
This one’s a doozey, and we’re not even sure how it started. Police response time is fast, often within 3-5 minutes of a verified alarm. Unless your burglar is Superman-fast, there’s not a lot to plunder in such a short time frame. But there is one caveat…
7. Police View Monitored and Unmonitored Systems Equally
This is a weird yes-and-no gray area. Monitored systems through verified alarm companies are the only alarms that will contact the police directly; unmonitored systems, on the other hand, alert you to a possible break in and place the burden of police contact squarely on your shoulders.
Of course, this also means that if you don’t answer the phone call (or see the text alert) from your alarm system, the police will never even know that there’s a problem at your house. So, while police respect and respond to unmonitored systems, if speedy law enforcement response is what you’re after then you’re better off with a monitored system.