Kevin Reid for Metro Dreamhomes A security system can deter thieves from stealing your possessions.
With advances in protection technology evolving faster than ever, securing your home is rapidly becoming a 21st-century staple rather than a sign of worry.In fact, the market is growing so quickly that it can be difficult to sort through what security options are right for your house or condo. Sean O’Leary, president of Safe-Tech Alarm Systems in Toronto, helped to clear the path.
For condo owners, a large part of your security needs are taken care of when you move in. Secured ground entrances, pre-wired alarms, 24-hour video surveillance and dedicated concierges are now standard features of many new condominiums.Each building may be different in the level of service it provides (be sure to investigate this when shopping for a condo), but aside from securing your own main entrance and patio with a simple motion-based alarm, the condo dweller has a distinct security advantage.
The greatest burden of protection decidedly falls on the homeowner’s shoulders. If you live in a house, start from the outside in with a do-it-yourself dose of common sense. Make sure your environment is working with you, not against you. Trim any hedges that might otherwise give a would-be burglar a cover for dastardly deeds.And beware of tree branches that could grant a nimble intruder second-storey access.A set of lights linked to a motion detector (approximately $25) is one of the most easily installed and most effective crime deterrents, illuminating any late-night visitors. Remember, home security isn’t about catching a crime in progress — it’s discouraging it from ever taking place. As O’Leary plainly states, most burglars will take the path of least resistance.
The cost of security rises on the inside, depending on how many entrances you have to cover. The larger the home, the more dear it will be to protect. Keypad installation and manned monitoring services are still reasonably priced, averaging a monthly rate of around $25. Retractable gates and bars are available at a higher cost (window bars now come in white for the aesthetically minded), but they naturally offer a higher level of protection. And don’t rule out the simple psychological edge of seeing that alarm system sign on the lawn or in your window.
O’Leary also pointed out the recent advances in video surveillance, which make it an increasingly popular option. Gone is the era of the clunky VHS-based system with its dozens of tapes that need constant rotation. Digital video recorders, motion detector technology, and rapidly growing data storage capacities can give a home months of autonomous surveillance for around the $1,500 range. You can even watch your cameras in action on the Internet from wherever you are.But despite all the impressive crime prevention tools out there, O’Leary places equal, if not greater, emphasis on the need for fire and carbon monoxide detectors, also available with 24-hour manned monitoring.They say fortune favours the bold. But in this instance, it’s the cautious who will come out smiling. Metro Dreamhomes