Burglar Alarms and Video Surveillance – Your Home’s Most Important Design Detail

Imagine coming home after a long day at work and walking into your home only to find your backdoor is standing wide open. In a split second you notice the broken window and glass (and yes, they can even get through hurricane impact windows and doors!)all over your floor. Your stomach instantly wrenches at the thought that you’re about to discover your entire world has been turned upside down and your peaceful home has become the target of a home invasion.

This probably isn’t something most people consider when they are thinking about remodeling or decorating their home. Our thoughts are usually about furnishings, colors, future entertaining and raising a family in a beautiful new environment. But this is probably one of the most important details that you should consider to protect yourself, your pets, your loved ones, and your new life.

Burglars do more than just steal your belongings. They steal your sense of security. As you look around your home after a burglary, you imagine some stranger rifling through all of your possessions, touching your things and randomly grabbing anything you’ve collected during your lifetime like they were at a flea market. You try to imagine the moment that they approached your house to see if you were there. Did they knock first? Did they walk around the house a few times first? Did they operate alone or with someone else? Did they have a weapon and if so, what would have happened if you were home? Did they scare or hurt your pets? Did your arrival scare them out of the house and if not, how long had they been gone?

In addition to stealing your security, there is a high chance they can steal your identity as well. Most homeowners have “safe places” where they store important documents and items such as passports, social security cards, credit cards, checks, etc. Once in the hand of a thief, this can disrupt your life for months to come as you try to regain your financial security.

As the first few days go by, it becomes more and more difficult to rest at home. Falling asleep takes longer as every little noise in and around the house makes you want to get out of bed to make sure everything is okay. There’s that little voice in your head wondering if they are coming back for more.

Nothing will give you more peace of mind than a good burglar alarm. Doors, windows, and motion detectors all help catch any movement within the house. Motion detectors can be set to preclude any pets to avoid false alarms and you can set your alarm to allow you to stay in the house at night by bypassing the motion detector while leaving the doors and windows still protected.

And if you want superior protection, the new standard in home protection is video surveillance. High resolution infrared cameras, now available with up to 700 line resolution, can be place indoors and outside to capture every smallest detail in color, day or night. They are accessible by an internet connection or smart phone to view while you’re not home even if it’s to check on your babysitter or the housekeeper. Systems can be custom built to fit your needs with up to 12 cameras if needed. In addition to the cameras, you’ll also need a separate DVR, hidden in a remote spot, for recording purposes. It’s an excellent backup if you should have a problem or even suspect a neighbor who may be abusing your property while you’re not home.

Video monitoring is also great to see who is at your front door before you open it. Complete systems with installation could run $2500 to $4000 depending on your specific needs. Once installed, they are pretty much a “set it and forget it.” If you should have a problem there is no need to remember all the details of trying to download any video. Police departments now employ specialists who will come to your home after an event to download any video that might be helpful. However, a simple thumb drive inserted into the front of the DVR will allow you to download any footage that you want to save.

Burglar alarms and video surveillance systems will not guarantee that you still won’t be the victim of a burglary. They will, however, provide an excellent deterrent for anyone who thinks you are going to be an easy target. And they will substantially increase the odds of catching any perpetrator.

So protect your family and yourself. Protect your pets, family heirlooms and most of all, your security. Once it is taken from you, the world will never look the same.