If you have a family and/or valuable possessions, you’ll need to invest in home security. In decades past, only wealthy families could afford to have things like surveillance cameras and other high-tech security features. But now that technology has flourished, getting produced more efficiently and offering more diverse options to consumers, there are ample ways for any family to make their homes more secure.
Do You Need Home Security?
First, let’s explore whether you need to invest in additional home security measures:
- Possessions. If you have any valuable possessions in your home, you should invest in home security. This could be an accumulation of cash, jewelry, or even custom gold grillz. It could also be an impressive sound system, or an important collection.
- Family. Security also functions as a deterrent, making would-be robbers think twice about entering your home. This can keep your family much safer; if you have a spouse and/or children, you’ll rest much easier knowing they’re protected.
- Neighborhood. Like many Americans, you likely categorize neighborhoods as “good” or “bad” based on their perceived safety, but this is a bit misleading. Crimes can happen even in good areas, and even in bad areas, crimes are only committed by a small fraction of the population. Still, living in a good neighborhood or in a highly visible place could make your home naturally more secure.
- Home condition. The basic condition of your home may also affect your security decisions. For example, if the locks and doors are decades old, investing in better security measures is an even better idea.
In most cases, it’s less a matter of whether you should invest in home security, and more a matter of how much to invest in home security.
High-Tech Security Options
These are some of your best choices, especially if you’re new to the game:
- Better cameras (indoor and outdoor). These days, cameras are inexpensive—or at least, most of them are. You can install indoor monitoring cameras to keep an eye on the rooms of your house, and an outdoor camera or two to keep an eye on people approaching your home. Together, they can give you an early, automated warning when a potential threat is approaching, and help you identify a thief after the fact (if the crime gets that far). You can even invest in a smart doorbell camera, evaluating the identity of visitors before you ever open the door.
- High-tech alarm systems. Alarm systems have been around for a while, but today’s models are far more nuanced. When armed, they’re able to detect threats accurately, notifying the authorities and dispatching the police (or the fire department, if necessary).
- Smart locks. Locks are one of the most basic and important measures of security on a home, so it may seem like a “smart” version isn’t necessary. However, smart locks are opened with a keypad and passcode, rather than a key, so you don’t have to worry about hiding a spare. You can also create custom or temporary codes, so you can allow a neighbor to enter the house while you’re on vacation.
- Smart lights. Smart lights can also help you deter thieves. By orchestrating lights-on times periodically, regardless of whether or not you’re actually home, you can make your home seem occupied. Considering most instances of theft happen when the homeowners aren’t home, this can be a powerful measure.
- Smart speakers. Many modern smart speakers now have some built-in features designed to make your home more secure. For example, the Alexa Guard now works with every Amazon Echo, and can passively monitor for troubling sounds, like the sound of broken glass or an alarm going off. If you’re okay with those smart speakers listening to your other conversations, this can be a great investment.
Of course, these are best paired with low-tech security options, such as:
- Better locks. Getting a new lock installed isn’t expensive, but it can greatly improve your home’s security. Make sure you have adequate locks on all your doors—and your windows, too.
- Good lockup habits. Locks don’t mean much if you don’t engage them. Make sure your family is practicing good lockup habits when you leave the house or go to bed for the evening.
- Absence mindfulness. When you’re away, on vacation or at work, make sure the house is protected in some additional way, like having a neighbor keep an eye on the place.
- Proper hiding and storage. It’s also important to properly hide your most valuable belongings when storing them. While you’re at it, avoid hiding a spare key in obvious places.
In the future, home security tech will become even more advanced, putting affordable options in the hands of nearly any homeowner. While there are still some industry kinks to work out (like how your security footage is stored in third-party servers).