None of us like to think about the possibility of our home being broken into. Our home is supposed to be our safe place, the one spot where we can relax, rest easy, and forget about the stress of the world. But how much can you relax if you’re constantly looking over your shoulder for someone trying to break in?
Putting in a security system can give you peace of mind in your home. But it will require a bit of an investment upfront. Read on to get a rough home security system cost estimate.
Do Security Systems Really Work?
Before we start diving into all the cost breakdowns of a security system, let’s talk about whether or not they actually work or if you need one in the first place. There are about 2.5 million burglaries in the United States every year, and while that number is dropping, that still means there’s a burglary every 13 seconds. Unfortunately, only 13 percent of these cases are ever solved due to a lack of evidence and witnesses.
According to the National Council for Home Safety and Security, homes without security systems are about three times as likely to be burgled. And even if someone does break into your home, with the proper security footage, you could have a much greater chance of solving the crime and getting your things back. So the question is how much will you spend to keep your home safe?
In general, people pay somewhere between $250 and $1,500 for their security system. That cost depends a lot on how extensive a system you get, so let’s dive in.
The first price factor we have to take into consideration with security systems is the cost of professional installation. Whether you need professional installation will depend a lot of the system you choose. Some companies opt for a do-it-yourself model, while others require a full professional installation.
Even if you’re getting a relatively simple system, wiring something like an entry keypad into your home’s electrical system could pose a challenge. This isn’t something you want to mess up, both from a fire risk perspective and a burglary prevention perspective. So paying a professional to install your system may be worth the peace of mind.
In addition to installing your security system, some companies offer professional monitoring services. If this sounds like a stranger in a room full of computer monitors somewhere staring into your home, don’t worry. All this means is that there are people in place to help you if your security system does get tripped.
A professional monitoring system acts as something of a go-between for you and emergency services. If your house is broken into or you’re attacked, these people and guide you through what to do while reaching out to the authorities. Having this sort of trained mediator can help make scary situations easier to manage and less stressful.
You’ve probably heard a fair amount about smart homes at this point, and it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that that technology plays into security systems, too. Smart homes use appliances and devices that are connected to the internet, feeding information into the cloud and keeping you well-connected at home. They can be very helpful in security systems for everything from smart doorbells to smart door locks.
But these systems are advanced technology, which means you’ll pay a little more for them, and not just on the front end. Some smart home systems require monthly subscription fees. So if you’re planning on including any of these devices in your security system, you’ll need to factor that into your budget.
In addition to installation fees, some security system companies may charge you activation fees. These are usually nominal and are a one-time deal. They cover the basic costs for your security system company to get your equipment online and integrated with their system.
Activation fees are often buried under a list of other costs, so be sure to ask your security system company about them. You may also pay them on your first monthly bill rather than at the time of installation. Be sure to plan on that for your budget that month so you aren’t caught off guard.
Wired vs. Wireless
There are two basic types of security systems: wired and wireless. As the names might suggest, wired systems are tied into your house’s wiring, while wireless systems run off batteries. Each system has its pros and cons.
A wired system tends to cost a little more in terms of installation and monitoring fees than wireless systems. But once they’re set up, they have power and connectivity as long as the rest of your house does, so you never have to worry about them again.
Wireless systems are a little bit cheaper than their wired cousins since they don’t require professional installation or monitoring. But they do work off your wifi system, which can limit how far away you can place sensors and how well your system will work during a cell system outage.
Pros and Cons of a Contract
You can also choose whether you want to set up a contract for your security system monitoring or not. A contract means recurring costs instead of just a one-time installation fee, but they can come with some benefits.
While you do have to pay extra for a contract, you get the benefit of round-the-clock professional monitoring services. You may also get free repairs for your equipment, which could work to save you money in the long run.
Systems without a contract may have no monitoring or may handle monitoring month-to-month, making them ideal for renters or people who may have to move in the next few years. But you’re likely to pay more in repair and replacement fees for damaged equipment.
So let’s say you don’t get a contract system that handles repairs for you. You’re going to need to make repairs to your system sometimes, especially in the event of a break-in. Equipment may get damaged while doing its job, and you’ll need to replace it.
But damage aside, you need to plan on budgeting for general repairs on your system. Many pieces of equipment come with a one-year warranty, so you shouldn’t have to worry about this for a while. But plan on replacing pieces as they wear out or become obsolete.
With all the fees and continuing costs out of the way, let’s start looking at the components of a security system and how much each one will cost you. Any security system is going to start with a base system. This will be the control hub for the whole house and often will include an entry keypad to arm and disarm your system.
If you get a contract system, you can expect your base system to be included with every package. The costs of those contract packages (after all the fees we just discussed) can range from $20 to $50 a month. If you’re buying the equipment separate from a contract, you can expect to pay around $50 for the base pad to arm and disarm your system.
You may also decide you want security cameras around your home. Having these pointed at entryways and valuables like safes can give you great peace of mind. And if anything does ever happen, you can check the video feeds to see who the culprit is.
Security cameras can get more expensive, so you need to choose the areas where you want them carefully. Once again, if you’re on a contract system, these may come included, depending on the package level you get. If you’re buying the cameras separately, you can expect to pay at least $100 and up to $250 per camera.
If you don’t like the idea of a camera in your home, you may still want to put in some motion sensors. These can be helpful in entryways and major traffic areas of your home. They’re smart enough to ignore pets moving around, but if any people are creeping around your house at night or while you’re not home, you’ll know about it.
Motion detectors are a good bit cheaper than cameras, though they don’t offer the same evidence if there is a burglary. Most security system packages will come with a few motion sensors included. On their own, they cost about $30 each.
Window and Door Sensors
Most burglars prefer to enter and leave through windows and doors. This makes it easier for them to get in and out without attracting attention to broken windows. In fact, some burglars will target homes with unlocked doors just because of the convenience of the job.
Door and window sensors let you know when someone opens a window or a door. Not only could this be helpful for preventing burglaries, it can also keep teenagers in the house at night. These sensors tend to run around $20 outside a contract package.
Breaking Glass Sensors
If a thief does decide to break a window to get into your house, a window sensor won’t do you any good. But a breaking glass sensor will; these audio sensors are designed to pick up the sound of shattering glass and alert you about it. Many of them are smart enough to discount the sound of dishes breaking so your house doesn’t call the police every time you drop a plate.
You’ll want to place breaking glass sensors near any large windows or glass doors in your home. They may come with more advanced security systems, but they often aren’t a part of basic packages. On their own, they cost about $35 each.
Water and Freeze Sensors
Sometimes, danger to the home can come from within. And while most of us have smoke detectors and potentially carbon monoxide detectors up, that doesn’t save you from burst pipes or malfunctioning heating systems. Water and heat sensors can help keep your family safe even when smoke detectors fail.
A water sensor can pick up on water in places it’s not supposed to be, and freeze sensors alert you if an area gets too cold. They don’t come standard with many security systems, but they are available as an add-on. Together, the set will cost you around $30.
You’ve probably seen the good work smart doorbells have done in the last few years. From routing package thieves to catching delightful delivery guys on cameras, they’re helping us keep an eye on what’s going on outside. They’re also the introvert’s dream since you never have to answer the door for a stranger again.
Many smart doorbells come with a built-in intercom system so you can talk to whoever’s at your door. They can come with security systems, but more commonly people who are just beginning to build their security system buy them as the first line of defense. These doorbells usually cost between $150 and $200.
If someone does break into your house, you need to get in contact with 911. But what do you do if you’re hiding from the intruder and don’t want to speak for fear of revealing your location? This is where panic buttons come in handy.
When you press a panic button, it automatically calls the police to your location. It’s a distress call that can give you a last measure of safety if the other defenses fail. Panic buttons cost about $35 outside of a contract security package.
Get a Home Security System Cost Estimate
Home security systems are a great way to get peace of mind so you can sleep easier at night. How in-depth you go with your security system is up to your home and your needs. You can get a system as simple as a keypad and a few entry sensors. Or you can get a system with cameras, motion detectors, glass break sensors, smart doorbells, and all the bells and whistles.
If you’d like to get a home security system cost estimate, come see us at 24 Hour Locksmith Pros. We can help you handle every element of your home security, from installing a security system to helping you get into a house you’ve locked yourself out of. Request service and start living safer today.