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Thrifty ways to protect your home

Protecting your home with an alarm system while you're away provides peace of mind and save you on higher insurance premiums, as many insurance companies will raise rates if you file a claim. Here are a few things to consider when choosing how to protect your home: 
Do your homework Review any home security company you're considering hiring.  Ensure the company and its technicians are licensed, ask to see licenses when they visit to give you an estimate, and check their licenses against your state's regulatory department. You should also do a search for online reviews of the company. This can save you from a lot of wasted time and money if they turn out to have less than reputable business practices. 
Choose a system Do you want to install a monitored or unmonitored alarm system? A monitored system will cost a bit more due to monthly fees, but it provides 24-hour monitoring and can be setup to automatically call either the security company or your local emergency services. In higher-crime areas, the extra monthly fee may more than pay for itself by providing better protection. The less expensive option is an unmonitored system, which will give an audible alarm but will not alert anyone for you. This type of system relies on either scaring intruders or getting your neighbors' attention. If you live in a low crime area, this type of system might be sufficient. 
Choose a program Once you've decided which type of system you want, look for companies that will let you customize your program to suit your needs.  Does the company let you just add alarms on your front and back doors, or do they only offer a single type of plan that includes items you don't want? Typical equipment that you can choose from includes motion lights, interior motion sensors attached to the alarm system, and door and window sensors. By finding a company that will let you add only the items that will give you peace of mind, you can cut your overall bill. 
Go lower tech If away for a few days, set timers on your interior lights and arrange for lawn care and mail pickup while you're gone. You should also double-check that doors, windows and garage are locked before you leave. Don't advertise your absence by posting your location to your social media profiles. Even if you have your privacy settings locked down to friends only, your extended network may include people who would take advantage of your empty house.
Only you can decide what level of home protection you're comfortable with. If you're in a low-crime area and are fine with having a dog to deter thieves, you may be able to avoid costs altogether. If you're in a more high-risk area, a monitored alarm system will pay for itself in peace of mind and lowered risk of break-ins. 
About the Author: Angie Mansfield covers a range of topics of interest to small business owners and consumers, including Colorado home security.


Michelle said...

We have been thinking about adding something extra to keep our home safe. Good post!

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