Statistics from the State Law Enforcement Division show the property crime rate in South Carolina has been steadily declining since 2011, including in each of the counties within FTC’s service territory. Unfortunately, homeowners can never entirely eliminate the possibility of a break-in, especially when away on vacation. But with the best modern security systems, homeowners can reduce the likelihood of a break-in while protecting their homes against fire or theft, should a break-in occur.
What Is the Best Home Security System?
The best security systems feature a combination of redundant monitoring, a wide range of monitoring capabilities, easy installation, cellular connectivity, personal options and full automation. While redundancy and multi-point coverage improve security on their own, features like cellular connectivity and automation make a security system easier for the resident to use. That makes the resident more likely to follow steps to maximize security at all times, instead of skipping steps that are too difficult. Each of the following features provides an additional wall of protection around the home and together they form the best security system solution:
- 24/7 Redundant Monitoring: A security system should be backed by a team of trained professionals who watch for alerts around the clock, providing a second level of security on top of the sensors within the system. When a sensor in an armed security system detects trouble, such as an opened door or window or smoke, the control unit alerts a monitoring center. There, personnel quickly dispatch local authorities should a call to the homeowner fail to confirm a false alarm. The best security systems provide built-in redundancy so that they still function properly in case of a loss of power to the home.
- Wide-Ranging Capabilities: Basic security systems include a standard control unit, window and door sensors and motion detectors. But a system’s capabilities should not end there. A properly secured home should include additional options like video surveillance through security cameras and 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.
- Easy Installation: By using a security service provider that offers standard wired security systems and wireless packages, residents can easily customize the service to meet their needs.
- Cellular Connectivity: Security systems once required a wired phone line as the communications link between the system and the monitoring center. Some of today’s security systems are capable of providing this monitoring center link using a cellular connection, which is maintained even in the case of power or wired connection loss.
- Personal Security Options: Personal alert and panic buttons can be worn on the body or placed within easy reach, putting emergency help just a button click away.
- Home Automation: The best security systems offer smart device automation features, which allow the entire system to be controlled via a single mobile app. With a tap of their phone screens, homeowners can turn lights on and off, adjust the heating and cooling settings and lock or unlock doors.
Behind the scenes, home security is a complex operation, but the best systems should be easy to use. Some common questions from homeowners include:
How Does a Home Security System Work?
A security system uses sensors that monitor windows and doors for break-ins, inside air for smoke and carbon monoxide plus security cameras to record activity around the home. The sensors and cameras can be automated to work on a schedule or turned on and off manually to monitor the home. If a sensor recognizes a threat, the security service is immediately notified. The service can then determine if the threat is real and notify the homeowner and authorities of the danger.
Do Home Security Cameras Record All the Time?
Residents can control when their home security cameras record, meaning that the cameras can be set to record all the time or only during certain parts of the day. But for the best security, cameras should be set to record non-stop.
Do Home Security Systems Deter Crime?
Security systems do not deter all crime, but they can reduce the chance a secured home is targeted by as much as 300%. The goal of using a security system is not to deter attempted crime but to limit the impacts of a break-in or fire by alerting authorities, scaring intruders and making the recovery of any lost items easier.
Proper home security does not end with a security system. Homeowners should take additional steps to further protect their homes and property, especially when leaving for extended amounts of time or during the holiday season. But with a professionally installed and monitored security system, homeowners will have already taken the most important step toward a properly secured home.
To explore all of the security and monitoring packages available from FTC, along with the range of additional options and features available, visit ftcsecurity.com.