Home Security—Should You Really Do It Yourself?By Home Security Source Nov 14, 2010 | 8:35:00 amPosted in: DIY Safety
There seems to be a “do it yourself” revolution happening in America. Perhaps it’s the economy or our need to feel useful and productive. Whatever the reason, many people are taking on tasks they might otherwise pay a professional to do. For example, home repairs and improvements. Lots of us are installing new bathroom fixtures, replacing their cabinets and stopping leaky toilets. Others are buying barbering sets on the shopping channel and cutting their kids’ hair. Or they’re attempting gourmet cooking rather than dining out.
All these efforts are admirable. After all, they get us to try and learn new things. And if something goes wrong—like cabinets not quite closing properly or the duck confit burning like a car wreck—the fix is relatively painless. That’s not true for every do-it-yourself project, especially the ones that require professional skill—like open heart surgery or setting up and monitoring your own home security system.
Yes, there are very good home security systems that you can buy and install yourself with just a few tools and some know-how. They can be basic—a keypad connected to door, window and smoke alarms—or more complex, involving motion sensors, cameras and other gadgets. But before you decide go it alone with home security and monitoring, think about a few things.
1. You may have to trouble-shoot on your own. Everything’s working fine once you install it, but after a thunderstorm, power failure or surge, you may have some problems to resolve. If you’re handy, that might not be such a big deal. But if you get frustrated waiting for a human being to answer the 1-800 “customer care” line, you might not be a happy camper when things go wrong.
2. Your family’s security is at stake. Butchering your shrubs while trying to create a topiary garden, or chopping your daughter’s locks unevenly won’t do permanent damage. Both the bushes and the wavy chestnut locks will grow back. But if your do-it-yourself alarm system malfunctions, you may as well have no security system at all. If you’re away and your house is empty when your system goes down, your belongings are ripe for the taking. Again, if you’re confident of your installation skills and the product you’re buying, that may not be a concern.
3. You are now a first responder. Even if you have remote monitoring capability using a smart phone or web-enabled device, you’re now the first line of defense when alerted of an intrusion, fire or other emergency. Some systems might be programmed to directly contact the police, but you’ll now be the one responsible for screening out the false alarms. A few too many of those and your local sheriff or fire chief may start charging you to show up. With professional monitoring, your security company notifies you first—and then contacts the authorities.
While you may get a sense of accomplishment from installing your own home security system and monitoring your home security yourself, there’s a lot to be said for the peace of mind that comes with a dedicated team of professionals watching over your home and family for you. Security companies have years of experience protecting the safety, wellbeing and property of their customers. There really are some things you should leave to skilled professionals—like baking multi-tiered wedding cakes, installing new brake pads and monitoring your home security.
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