Home Security: Your Guide to Alarms, Sensors and Cameras

Home security can be a baffling, endless maze of gadgets and gizmos – not ideal when you're trying to put together one of the most important systems in your home. We’re here to demystify the entire process, from start to finish. If you want to learn more about home security, you’ve come to the right place.

So read on, and learn everything you need to know about the world of home security. Before you know it, you’ll be equipped with a system that meets your needs, without costing the earth. Make sure to fill in the form at the top of this page to see what deals you can get, too.


a home security camera keeps watch

Home Security: what’s on this page?

Head straight to a specific section by clicking the links below.


What is home security?

Home security is everything that makes your home safe against intruders. This includes all the gear you buy to keep burglars out, make them leave, and alert you and the authorities if they do try to break in.

It also involves the many actions you can take to create a more intimidating, less penetrable environment. Most of these actions are free – like locking all your doors.


Types of home security systems

If you’re asking “What is home security?”, then you’ll want to know more about the range of equipment that can protect you and your home against criminals. It can feel overwhelming to consider all the different types of home security system, but don’t worry: they all involve some combination of sensors, cameras, and alarms.

Beyond that, all you need to do is make several smaller choices: do you want your system to be wired or wireless? Smart or not smart? Monitored or unmonitored? Do you want indoor cameras, outdoor cameras, or both? Should they be IP cameras or CCTV? What capabilities should they have – for instance, do you need night vision? (Short answer: yes.) What you need will depend on your circumstances, but don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.


How do home security systems work?

Home security systems use assorted technological equipment to identify, deter, and get rid of burglars, usually through sensors, cameras, and alarms, respectively.

If you have a smart system, you can control all your security gear through one app, portable hub, or smart home device (e.g. Amazon Alexa). If not, your items won’t all be connected, and you’ll have less immediate control over them. You also won’t be able to create custom settings as easily.

For those of you who choose to get a monitored system like Verisure, an intruder will be spotted and dealt with by a team of professionals whose job it is to look after your home. Otherwise, it’ll be up to you to respond to a potential break-in.


Pros and cons of home security systems

While every system has its advantages and disadvantages, there's no denying how vital it is to have some form of home security system in place. More than 1.3 million household thefts were reported by the Crime Survey for England and Wales in 2018, and British police have found that homes with no security measures are five times more likely to be burgled.

Different home security systems may be too expensive, too difficult to control, or too unsightly – so it’s important to do your research to find the gear that fits all your needs. When it comes to security, there’s a system out there for everyone.

Pros
Cons
No security measures make you five times more likely to be burgled
Can be expensive
Protecting yourself against a real threat - there were 1.3 million household thefts in 2018
May be difficult to control at first
Saving money - the average burglary victim loses £3,200
Sometimes unsightly
Safety - burglars use violence against 26% of victims
Might make your home easier to hack
Stops you relying on the police, who rarely catch burglars
Harder to break into your home when you forget your keys


Information updated in August 2019.


Home security costs

This leads us to the cost of home security. The best security systems range in price from around £100 to well over £1,000, depending on how advanced you want the items to be, and on whether you want a monitored home.

It’s worth the expense to have some sort of system. Metropolitan Police data shows that if you’re burgled, there’s only a one in 32 chance of the thief being convicted. Fill in this form and buy the right system, and you can avoid becoming a statistic.


Home security tips

If you take the right actions and absorb these top home security tips, you’ll also have no need to get law enforcement involved.

First, secure your entry points (both physical and internet-based), then deter burglars by making them think someone’s always at home. Lastly, keep your valuables out of view to the public and any prospective intruders.

It’s also absolutely worth getting some kind of camera and alarm. 12 burglars who were surveyed by the Co-op in 2017 said a camera was their biggest deterrent, while a 2012 survey of burglars by professor Joseph B. Kuhns found that 60% of the thieves wouldn’t burgle a property if it had an alarm.


a woman smiles as she operates her home security system

Professional vs DIY security systems

If you want an outdoor camera or alarm hub, you’ll probably need to get someone to professionally install the system. This can cost more than £200, which in many cases will double the amount you’re paying.

The obvious advantage of a DIY system is that you’ll be able to save on installation, but when you need a more advanced system, you shouldn’t skimp on the expense. If you have a home which requires a professionally installed system, it should work. After all, a poorly installed device is just as useless as no device at all.


Choosing a home security system

When you’re ready to make your final decision, just bear in mind how much you can afford, what your home’s needs are, and how dangerous your area is. Choosing a home security system isn’t easy, but if you consider these factors properly, you’ll be set.


What is a smart home security system?

A smart home security system is a network of at least one item which you can operate from wherever you are, generally through an app on your smart device. This allows you to create rules for your security equipment, and to arm and disarm gear from anywhere in the world. If you want the latest in technological advances, you’ll want a smart system.


Conclusion

When you’re starting from the question: “What is home security?”, it can be easy to curl up in a ball and ignore the pressing need for a security system that will protect everything you love. You wouldn’t be alone in that, either, since just 14% of British adults actually use security cameras.

But the solution to a problem is never ignoring or running away from it, however attractive that prospect always is. You’ve taken the first step simply by visiting this page, and if you fill in this form, you’ll be able to consider different quotes for a variety of cutting-edge systems. After that, just take a look at our different advice pages, and you’ll be good and ready to make the right choice for you and your home.

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