Feeling safe and secure in your own home is essential for both your physical and mental well-being. One way to accomplish this sense of assurance is to invest in some home security measures. No, this doesn't mean digging a moat around your home (but we won't stop you if that's your thing).
For expert insight on home security options, tips and misconceptions, we caught up with Jeremy Schellie, Marketing & Communications Manager for Grand Rapids-based EPS Security, a family-owned and -operated business.
Options for home security today abound (think 24/7 monitoring, door/window sensors, glassbreak, water and motion detection, etc.). Thanks to technological advances, those seeking protection can implement things like video doorbells, electronic door locks, remote arming/disarming, bluetooth and WiFi enabled features and apps that allow for connectivity and peace of mind while away.
"Old security systems relied on Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) lines," Schellie explained. "Across the country, landline telephones are aging out and security systems are now installed with cellular and internet connectivity for alarm signals. This means faster and more reliable alarm activity and signal reporting."
While some people may believe they don't have valuables worth protecting or that security systems are too expensive, Schellie explains that belief is far from the truth.
"Systems are more affordable than ever before! They should not be perceived as the luxury item of yesteryear," Schellie said, noting even the most basic security systems should include 24/7 fire, smoke and carbon monoxide detection.
It's also a mistake to assume you don't need protection if you live in a "nice neighborhood."
"If someone is trying to steal for money (electronics, jewelry, firearms), they are going for high-end items in high-end homes," Schellie said, adding that relying solely on Fido for overall protection is also a misstep. "Even if your pet can be trusted to fend off home intruders, chances are they are not trained in fire rescue."
Your best bet, Schellie says, is having layers of security so you're not relying on one factor of protection, in addition to having a family plan for a fire event.
"Everyone should know how to get out of the house and where to 'meet up' outside to ensure everyone got out—the mailbox, or a tree in the yard are good ideas," he said.
And though video security allows you to see what's happening at your home, it alone doesn't allow you to take action when an incident does occur. Schellie recommends having a security system, which will react and respond to an event for you.
"Both are good security measures, but too often, homeowners rely on inexpensive video cameras that provide a false sense of security," he said. "Blind spots, connectivity issues, and their innate passiveness are weaknesses without alarm capability."
Ultimately, if you're not sure what you need, leave it to the experts to share information and help customize the features that matter most to you.
EASY SECURITY MEASURES TO IMPLEMENT:
Courtesy of Jeremy Schellie and EPS Security
- Identify threats and plan your security solutions. Common threats include fire, carbon monoxide, break-ins and water damage.
- Read up on fire and intrusion prevention. There may be steps you can take prior to/in addition to investing in a home security system.
- Never hide a spare key. This is a huge security risk! Any hiding spot you've thought of, an intruder has, too.
- Keep your home exterior well-lit and your curtains closed. Most break-ins occur in a "moment of opportunity," when a home appears empty, or valuables are in plain sight.
- Ensure you have high-quality deadbolt locks! Deadbolt door locks are the single greatest way to deter break-ins. Too many people forget to lock doors or have simple, insufficient door locking hardware.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Feb/Mar '22 issue of West Michigan Woman.