Depending on where you live in the U.S., home security may be your biggest concern when purchasing a house. Urban homes with security features are hot sellers, and insurance on these homes is typically discounted.
There are many home security systems, and which one is the best one for you will depend on the house and your needs. You can choose from various alarm systems and cameras that make houses less attractive to crooks and more attractive to buyers. If you’re shopping around for a house, here are a few things to keep in mind when reviewing safety features or home security systems in different homes.
Look for Basic Home Security Features When House Hunting
High-tech home security systems are only one aspect of home safety. Basic home security includes some common sense strategies that make your home a tougher target for criminals.
Consider these home security tips when viewing homes:
- All exterior doors should have deadbolts, including the door leading to an attached garage. The False Alarm Reduction Association recommends that the deadbolt you purchase “meets or exceeds ANSI grade 2 testing standards.”
- Doors to the exterior of the home and the garage should be 1 ¾ inches thick.
- Doors should be attached to frames with hinge screws that are at least two and a half to three inches long.
- Doorways should be well lit.
- Exterior doors should be solid wood or reinforced with steel.
- If window security bars are used, they should be easily removable in case of fire.
- The front door should be visible from the street.
- Hedges should be trimmed to below the windowsill.
Home Security Systems
Home security systems come in many forms. The most complicated systems alert security companies when security alarms go off, or when suspicious activity is detected on security cameras. Other systems sound local alarms when a door or window is breached, alerting residents and neighbors.
Internet access makes it possible to check home security cameras online. Some home security systems e-mail, page, or phone homeowners when alarms are triggered or security cameras detect motion.
If a home security system isn’t in your budget, consider a dummy system. These decoy security cameras look just like the real thing for a fraction of the cost. Although dummy cameras don’t work, they can trick criminals into thinking homes actually have security systems.
Get a Security Checkup on a House You Want to Purchase
Police officers can offer a wealth of information and advice when it comes to your safety and home security. Contact the local police department for information on how many calls they answer in the neighborhood during a typical month. Find out about the typical response time in the neighborhood for both police and firefighters.
Check the sexual predator database for the area to which you are considering moving. Security consultants and police officers suggest that the aim of home security isn’t necessarily to burglar proof your home, but to make it appear less attractive to burglars than other homes on the street and to slow down an intruder that is determined to gain entry.
Some police departments will assess the security of a home as a public service. These security checks go over the basics of home security and provide you with the tools you need to get started on creating your own home security system.