If you’re looking to save money by installing a DIY home security system, you’d better do it right. Make sure you follow these check points to get the maximum cover and protection you can – and, as I have referred to in another blog post about home security systems, make sure before you start that your home insurance will not be invalidated by installing a system yourself, rather than having a professionally qualified person or approved company do it on our behalf:
1: Assess every point of entry into your building. You will be amazed at how many you come up with. Do not overlook upstairs windows, cellar doors, garage doors, tool store doors or skylights. When you have totted up every possible point of entry you will know how many circuits need to be in place, or how many breakers/sensors you need for doors, windows and other modes of ingress.
2: Take time to think about the places that require most protection and the places that don’t. For example, you need motion sensors in your home to make your system worthwhile – but if you have them upstairs no one can go to the bathroom when they are turned on. In other words be practical. Combine the desire to protect your family and your property with a recognition that at night, you have to live here too.
3: DIY home security systems are all well and good – but how much additional cover do they provide? What about monitoring and 24 hour connectivity to the emergency services? It would have to be a pretty expensive DIY home system to do that. So be aware of why you are buying the system, and what you really want from it – it may actually be better to save a little more and get a professionally installed and monitored one instead. Or the DIY system can be used as an effective stop gap between non security and a full security package.
4: If you are buying a DIY home system because you want to save money then you need to work out what other measures you need to put in place to keep your home secure. One of the most effective security measures you can install is motion activated exterior lighting, which effectively freezes anyone creeping around in the dark. Ensure you arrange the lights to cover every part of your property near the house – and to shine on bushes or trees where a burglar may hide. Also invest in deadbolts, proper locks and strong doors.
5: Be prepared to work (and think) hard. There’s a reason why many home security systems are supplied and fitted by professionals – because there is a heck of a lot to think about before you fit it, and an equally huge amount to check once the fitting has been completed. If you get it right, though, you will be able to sleep sounder at night knowing that a combination of motion sensors, circuit breakers and outside lights (not to mention those locks, doors and deadbolts we mentioned) will be deterring burglars from entering your home.
6: Don’t forget fire, flood and toxic gases – all also threats to your home. Have you protected yourself against them too?