Between the closing costs, insurance, repairs, maintenance and the mortgage, home ownership is a costly endeavor. So, it’s no wonder many homeowners question if a home security system is really worth the price.
In short, the answer to that question is yes. No one thinks crime will happen to them, but it can and does to unsuspecting homeowners every day. While the rates vary by year and location, overall, statistics show that as many as one burglary is committed every 22.6 seconds, according to the most recent FBI statistics. Statistics also show that burglars are much more likely to skip a house with a home security system. So, while there certainly are costs involved with home security systems, the money and emotional distress they can save is often far greater. While costs can vary widely depending on the company you use and whether you do any DIY, there are ways to ballpark what total costs you will be looking at.
Let’s get into exactly how much you can look to spend on a home security system.
Home security equipment costs
There are more choices than ever today when it comes to home security systems and there are options to fit most any budget. Regardless of individual price points, most home security systems will typically include the following components:
- Security cameras (indoor and outdoor versions)
- Control panel
- Window and door sensors
- Motion sensors
- Smoke detectors
- Alarms and/or sirens
- Yard signs
Prices for home security systems typically start around $200 and go up to $1,000 or more. Of all the equipment, cameras are perhaps the most important component as they give you a view of what’s happening in your home when you’re not there to see for yourself, and they can help police identify any intruders. Prices for individual security cameras start around $25 and go up from there, depending on their functionality. Some cameras charge a monthly subscription fee for cloud storage.
Once you have the equipment, it has to be installed. How time consuming and challenging that may be depends on the type of system you select and the number of entry points in your home. If you’re looking to save money and are relatively technologically savvy, you can install a home security system yourself for no additional cost. If not, you can hire a professional company to install it for you. Prices for professional installation can top $200 or more, but if you’re planning to have the same company monitor your system, they may offer a discount on both the equipment and the installation.
Monthly monitoring fees
When it comes to monitoring, there are two types of home security systems—unmonitored and monitored. Unmonitored systems aren’t professionally monitored. You either monitor them yourself, typically via an app on your phone, or they are truly unmonitored and simply sound an alarm or siren when something is amiss, with no notifications sent to you or authorities. Monitored systems, on the other hand, are monitored by a professional company around the clock, who will immediately alert you and then authorities in case of emergencies.
Unmonitored systems are more affordable, as there’s no monthly monitoring fee to pay. However, you also don’t get the peace of mind knowing that professionals are monitoring your system 24/7 and will alert authorities in the case of emergency. It’s all up to you, and if you’re unable to get and respond to the alerts for any reason, then authorities won’t be contacted.
The cost of professional monitoring varies depending on your system and the services you choose, but it ranges from about $16-55 per month. This provides 24/7 monitoring of your system by professionals who will evaluate activity in your home and alert authorities as necessary.
Ways to save money on home security costs
Security companies often run specials. Ask about any they may be offering when you call around and compare prices, and check their social media pages for coupons. Also ask about any discounts they may offer for prepayment or if you’re a senior citizen or military veteran.
Some insurance companies will discount your homeowner’s insurance if you install a home security system. Check with your agent to see if you might qualify.
It’s hard to dispute the benefits of a security system for your home. Statistics show they’re effective in deterring burglars, and in many ways, not having one may cost you more. In 2015 alone, $14.3 billion was lost in property crimes, and most home invasions (95 percent) happen after forceful entry through a door or window, which can be detected by security systems.
We recognize that most household budgets are tight, but the peace of mind that comes with a security system is invaluable, not to mention the loss of valuables one can prevent. It may take some time and research, but we believe most people can find a home security system that fits their needs and budget.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.