First, the good news: Statistics from the State Law Enforcement Division show that the property-crime rate in South Carolina has been steadily declining since 2011. Further, each of the counties in the FTC Security service area — Clarendon, Florence, Lee, Sumter and Williamsburg counties — experienced drops in reported property crimes between 2015 and 2016 (the latest years for which figures are currently available).
Unfortunately, of course, homeowners can never fully eliminate the possibility that burglars will target their property and belongings. But there is more good news for those seeking peace of mind — sensible steps can be taken to make a home less likely to be targeted by an intruder. In fact, statistics indicate that burglars are three times less likely to target homes with security systems than those without them.
So what should homeowners look for in a security system that will help keep their property and their loved ones safe? Here’s a quick rundown of six features that are vital to setting up an effective security system:
- 24/7 Redundant Monitoring: It’s important that a security system be backed by a team of trained professionals who watch for alerts around the clock. When a sensor in a home-security system detects trouble, such as a door or window being opened or a smoke detector sounding while the system is armed, the control unit should be able to alert a monitoring center. There, personnel can quickly dispatch local authorities such as police or firefighters should a call to the homeowner fail to confirm a false alarm. Further, the elements of a security system should feature some sort of built-in redundancy so that they still function properly in case of a loss of power to the home.
- Wide-Ranging Capabilities: In addition to the standard control unit, window and door sensors and motion detectors, it’s beneficial if a security system can offer extra options should a homeowner desire protection from risks beyond break-ins. Examples of added options can include video surveillance via indoor and outdoor cameras and/or video doorbell cameras, integrated smoke, carbon monoxide and flood detectors, home automation that allows elements of the smart home to be controlled via a mobile app, and personal-protection capabilities such as a medical-alert system so that help can be summoned easily in case of a medical emergency. (Learn more about the last two items in this list below.)
- Easy Installation: In today’s home-security market, both the traditional wired security system and wireless packages are available. Finding a provider that offers both options is the best way to ensure the right fit for a particular home and a homeowner’s specific needs and requirements.
- Cellular Connectivity: Traditionally, security systems used a residence’s home phone line as the communications link between the security system and the monitoring center. Some of today’s security systems are capable of providing this security system-monitoring center link using a cellular connection, which is maintained even in the case of power loss to the home or circumstances that cause the home’s wired phone service to go down.
- Personal Security Options: Especially helpful for consumers who need extra peace of mind regarding loved ones of advanced age with medical conditions, some security systems offer personal alert and panic buttons that can be worn on the body or placed within easy reach, putting emergency help just a button click away.
- Home Automation: In today’s high-tech world, homeowners with the latest in smart home technology can turn lights on and off, adjust the heating/cooling settings, lock and unlock doors, and more — all with a click of the smartphone and from distances near and far. The best in home-security systems offer such home-automation features so that integration with smart devices throughout the home is seamless and controlled via a single accompanying mobile app.
To explore all of the home security and monitoring packages available from FTC Security, along with the range of additional options and features we have available, visit ftcsecurity.com.