Mid-south Home Security Basics

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Home security is something we don’t like to think about. Most people put it off until another day, and that day sometimes comes o­nly after it is too late. Advances in electronics and battery technology have made home security systems both wireless and affordable. With a little planning ahead, you can do a great deal to protect your property and your family with little muss or fuss.

Alarms
Alarms, or Electronic Security Systems, usually consist of a control panel, keypad, and a variety of sensors. Systems may be hardwired with wiring run from each sensor back to the control panel. If your home doesn’t have a wired system already built-in, then wireless systems may be installed to avoid the cost and expense of running wiring through the walls. Current technology provides wireless systems that are small, dependable, and very affordable.

Alarm systems sound a siren or bell when they are activated. To be the most effective, they should also be monitored by a special monitoring center. Signals may be sent by telephone, cellular, or radio transmitters to the monitoring center where personnel may verify the alarm and notify local police, ambulance, or fire personnel to send help.

Home alarm systems are very effective at preventing burglary. The use of signs and stickers help deter theft. Burglars tend to target 80% of homes that do not have alarm systems or other security measures. However, all an alarm system really does is sound an alarm and send signals to a monitoring center. They do nothing to physically prevent someone from breaking into your home.

Other Security Measures
A well-designed security system also includes proper door and window locks, and a variety of other measures that help reduce ways for a thief to easily force their way into your home. Using well-made doors, windows, and locks make it harder and more time consuming for crooks to get in. Thieves may target another home that presents less work and less risk for them.

Property Inventory and Marking
Coming home to discover their home has been broken into, with things thrown around the floor and in a mess, few people are able to quickly give detailed information to police about their stolen property. This allows the thieves time to get rid of what they took and makes investigation very difficult.

Taking and keeping an inventory of your property helps you quickly determine what is missing and provide information to police and insurance companies. Inventories should include making, model, serial number, and estimated value. Photographs and videos help identify hard to describe items, such as jewelry. Taking photos and videos of the property with a family member holding the item helps establish ownership. Many insurance companies encourage property inventories and even provide templates, forms, and free software. I recommend against using your computer as your sole source for inventory information. If your computer is stolen or destroyed, the inventory will be gone, too.

Your inventory should be kept up to date and stored in a safe place. Such inventories are helpful in cases of flood or fire, as well as burglary. Marking property, both visibly and invisibly, helps police identify and recover items. If possible thieves know your property is marked, then they know it will be harder for them to get rid of it, which serves as a deterrent.

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