How much does it cost to install a home security system?
Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or someone prepared to hire a security contractor, it just makes sense to consider the installation of a home security system. Over 2,200,000 burglaries occur in the United States every year, according to FBI. 70.3% of all burglary offenses are associate with residential properties.
For the purpose of this discussion we will take a close look at the costs associated with the installation of a security system by a professional service.
Why not the DIY option? Generally, a DIY installation may not come with 24-hour monitoring, and it is really this feature which is the ultimate reason for opting to install the equipment.
The most basic features will include:
- A free inspection - a security professional will usually come out and scrutinize the property in question. They will then make their recommendations as to the type of equipment and features that will work best for the homeowner. Today there are both hard wired and wireless systems. Both are reliable, but it is the wireless that will help to keep installation costs lower;
- Magnetic contacts - all doors and windows will be wired with magnetic contacts that trigger an alarm when the connection is disrupted. These too can be wireless and choosing this sort of system tends to make it easier to expand the system when a new room is added;
- Sensors 1 - motion, heat, sound, and smoke sensors 1 can all be linked to the modern security system. There are even water and basement sensors 1 that will alert the security company if a pipe bursts or the oven develops a dangerous propane 2 leak. The best systems will also have "smart" sensors 1 that can differentiate between children, pets, and adults in order to prevent false alarms when kitty hops up on the kitchen counter;
- Communication panels 3 - the top of the line systems with 24-hour monitoring also offer direct communication panels. These will have the system controls, but they will also usually have a panic button 4 and a two-way communication with operators working at the security system call center. This is a great feature for someone who lives alone, who is elderly, or who is disabled, and it is a great way for parents to know kids will have a means of contacting a well-trained professional in the event of any emergency;
- Battery and phone backup - we have all seen the movies showing how clever thieves disarm security by cutting power or phone lines, but today's systems can offer the customer an extended battery backup as well as a cellular device that remains hidden in an attic or crawl space and automatically activates when the phone lines are tampered with;
- Key fob triggers - because many people are opting to automate their homes, the modern security systems provide customers with single touch key chain or key fob controls 5 that can engage or deactivate the home security with a single tap of the button; and
- Signage - interestingly enough many interviews conducted with criminals indicate that most will not approach a home that has window stickers or lawn signs indicating the presence of a monitored security system.
The cost for such an expansive system through a professional security company is often surprisingly low and tends to stand at around $1500 for the 2200 square foot home. There is also the annual monitoring fee that will cost around $500 each year.
Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet
Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
: Device that responds to a physical event or change in the environment by emitting an output signal
: A hydrocarbon gas used as a common fuel source
3 Communication panels
: A control panel that houses a security system's controls, communicates with the system's sensors, and is also used to communicate with a security system's monitoring service
4 Panic button
: An electronic device used to summon security, police, or emergency services in situations where there is a threat to persons or property
5 Key fob controls
: A keychain with a remote control button that can arm or disarm a home security system. They may also include a panic button, making it easier to sound the alarm from anywhere in the home. Key fobs are also used for other purposes, such as to lock and unlock car doors
Cost to install a home security system varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.