10 things to consider before purchasing a security system

With recent advances in technology, more and more people are discovering how affordable and positively life-changing a security system can be. Our modern fascination with being able to monitor and control everything all the time has worked in the security services industry’s favour, with almost a quarter of all British homes now utilising a home security system to keep burglars at bay.

Security or Alarm – An alarm can be a part of a security system, but there is a big difference between a burglar alarm and a security system. Intruder alarms will utilise sensors that inform you or the authorities when somebody breaks into your property, whereas a full security system will allow you to monitor your home remotely using CCTV cameras and can even notify you when there is a flood or a fire in your home or office.

Power Cut? No Problem – One of the primary concerns with first-time security system owners is that, in the event of a power cut, the system will cease working completely. This, however, is not necessarily true.

Most modern security systems will contain a battery that will keep the system running when the power is out as they don’t require much power to function anyway. There’s also the option of a solar-powered security system, which will certainly be a lot more eco-friendly.

Remote Control – Perhaps the most obvious benefit of modern security systems is the ability to remotely view footage from your smartphone. If this is important to you, make sure you opt for a system that supports this live streaming feature.

Size Matters – A three-bedroom family home will require a different security solution to a multi-storey office building. So, size is definitely something to consider before making your purchase.

Note, some companies specialise in sorting security solutions for businesses, others for homes and some even for both. Whatever your situation, take into account how much physical space requires security coverage, how many doors and windows there are and how a system could be customised to fit your needs.

Monitored or Unmonitored – For a monthly fee, you could pay a third-party to monitor your system for you and alert you in case of an emergency. Though if your home or business is rarely unoccupied, a monitored security system could be perceived as overkill.

Wireless or Wired – If the security infrastructure is not already in place, the installation of a hardwired security system can be disruptive and expensive. There is an undeniable convenience with a wireless system, however, as there are no cables running through your walls and ceilings.

Wireless systems might be more convenient, of course, but they are also less reliable and are more likely to lose signal due to interference.

Maintenance – Your security system will require regular maintenance, so you might want to consider taking out a maintenance contract with your provider when you place your order.

The Fringe Benefits – If you’ve already made the decision to purchase a security system, then you are undoubtedly doing so to protect and secure your home or place of business. However, did you also know there were a number of less-obvious benefits to consider besides the comfort of knowing your family or workplace is that much safer? From a financial perspective, perhaps the greatest benefit is the amount your insurance premiums will be reduced.

Modern systems, meanwhile, that are connected to the other ‘smart’ appliances and systems in your home can be used to remotely trigger the lights, the heating, and even the air conditioning, and that’s just for starters!

Backing Up – Some security systems will come with backup devices built-in, which will capture and store footage onto a hard drive. You’ll need to consider how large that hard drive needs to be, as if you’re capturing in HD video, you’ll obviously need a larger hard drive to store the data. A 3TB hard drive, for example, will store around a week’s worth of HD video, whereas if you record in low resolution, you should be able to store over a month’s worth.

The Contract – The final security system consideration is to always make sure you read the contract before signing! Some companies might offer you additional services for a fee. Read over the contract carefully and make sure both parties are happy before you sign on the dotted line.