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Angie's List: Are DIY home alarms smart or junk?

Don't Waste Your Money
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Posted at 11:58 AM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 18:52:19-05

Nearly 8 million property crimes occurred around the country last year, resulting in more than 14-billion dollars in losses.

That's inspired many Cincinnati-area consumers to consider home alarm systems for 2017.

But should you hire an alarm company, or do it yourself?

DIY to Save Costs

Being new in town was all the reason Martha Pfleeger needed to add some extra security to her family's home.

"It's a new area to us and we've got two kids, so having a security system just feels safer to us," she said.

Like many of us, the Pfleegers are on a budget so they opted to install their security system themselves.

"D-I-Y security systems have become much more affordable. You can get a typical system for less than 200 dollars and that's going to include door and window sensors, motion sensors and an audible alarm," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

"Homeowners should consider all of the entry points in their home when selecting components for a burglar alarm. Typically your first floor windows are accessible from the outside and you want protection on those and, of course, all the doors that lead to the outside," explained Will Deines, VP of Operations at SimpliSafe.

"We've got a dog who's going to be about a hundred pounds, so the glass break options are really helpful for us. We were able to use both sensors in the areas where he won't be and glass break in the areas that he will be, which is really convenient," said Pfleeger.

Professional monitoring can be added to D-I-Y systems so that police are called when the system is triggered. That will add a monthly fee to your budget.

"With D-I-Y alarm systems, you don't have to get monitoring. If you want to use it as an alarm to scare off a burglar when they come through your front door, you can do that," said Deines.

For hassle-free service, hire a pro

"A D-I-Y system can provide your home extra security and can be easy to install, but if you want constant surveillance, you need to consult with a professional," said Hicks.

Professional alarm companies will often install their equipment for around $200, then bill you $30 a month under contract. But you get the peace of mind of monitoring, and someone to repair your system if it fails.

As always don't waste your money.

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