The DIY home security craze has given rise to a serious debate over whether or not monitoring is necessary. Proponents point to all sorts of reasons to include monitoring despite its costs. Critics claim that self-monitoring is just as effective but free. Is either side right? Perhaps. However, the debate should not really be about professional versus self-monitoring. It should be monitoring versus not monitoring.
If you own a home security system, here are the top five reasons someone should monitor it:
5. Added Protection
A system left unmonitored is little more than a noisemaker. Noises loud and annoying enough to alert you to a potential problem are better than nothing, but a noise-making system doesn’t do much good if no one is around to hear it. Consider a daytime burglary, for example.
Most residential burglaries take place during the day, when kids are in school and parents are at work. Entire neighborhoods are left vacant in some towns, making them especially vulnerable to burglary. Your noise-making alarm could go on for hours in an empty neighborhood without anyone hearing it.
4. Peace of Mind
Monitoring affords the peace of mind that comes from knowing your property is always being watched. Of course, this pertains more to professional monitoring than DIY monitoring. Even so, either form of monitoring might allow you to sleep better at night. It might allow you to enjoy your vacations a little bit more. It might even allow you to be more comfortable about leaving your kids home alone for a few hours.
3. Increased Reliability
Does alarm monitoring make a difference in terms of reliability? It can, according to Vivint Smart Home. They say that professionally monitored systems are nearly impossible to disable due to built-in technology that automatically alerts in the event of failure.
Think of it in terms of a burglar disabling exterior surveillance cameras. If your system is not monitored, you would have no way of knowing without actually checking video footage every day. With the monitored system on the other hand, you will know right away that your cameras have been disabled. You’ll know because the monitoring center will alert you to the fact.
2. Criminal Deterrence
It is no secret that criminals do whatever they can to not get caught. As such, it makes sense that monitored home security would act as an effective deterrent. It does. Burglars are less likely to break into a home if they know they are being watched by monitored video cameras. They are less likely to attempt to break in if they know a monitored security system will lead to police arriving in mere minutes.
1. Faster Response Times
Speaking of police arriving, the number one reason your home security system should be monitored is encapsulated in two words: response times. The speed at which authorities arrive is critical whether you are talking burglary, home invasion, fire, or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Professional monitoring generates the fastest response times because monitoring center personnel are immediately alerted when a home security system is triggered. They do not have to check e-mail or pull out a smartphone to look at notifications. They immediately evaluate every alert situation and contact local authorities if necessary.
There are legitimate reasons for not monitoring a home security system. But by and large, those reasons are the exception rather than the rule. As long as you are investing in home security, you might just as well get all the benefits that come with monitoring. Professional monitoring is better than self-monitoring. Both are better than no monitoring at all.