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Burglars tend to avoid houses with security systems. According to a University of North Carolina at Charlotte survey of convicted burglars, 83 percent said they would try to determine if an alarm were present before attempting a burglary, and 60 percent said they would seek an alternative.

There are also financial advantages. Many insurance companies offer discounts on home insurance premiums when homeowners install an alarm system or security equipment.

Three DIY options

Want to take home security into your own hands? Let’s narrow the options.

At the very least, you’ll want to monitor your home’s exterior using a smart camera, such as the Nest Cam, which sends live video to your phone and detects motion and loud noises. You can get two outdoor Nest Cams (one for your home’s front entry and one for the backyard) for $298.

Looking for a more comprehensive security system? Consider iSmartAlarm, a top performer according to CNET, Consumer Reports and PCMag. Its Shield Package ($613.90), which includes eight contact sensors, seven motion sensors and three remote tags, is well-suited for a three- to four-bedroom house, the company says.

Another DIY option is the Abode Essentials Starter Kit ($229), which includes one door/window sensor, a battery-powered security camera and motion detector, and a key fob. The system integrates with Amazon Echo, Google Home and other home automations for voice-enabled arming and disarming.

Professional monitoring options

Many self-monitoring systems offer professional monitoring services for an additional monthly or annual fee. With its Nest Secure alarm system, Nest offers professional monitoring through Brinks Home Security; a three-year agreement costs $19 monthly and a month-to-month contract that’s $29 a month.

Frontpoint is a highly rated monitoring provider, according to security system review websites SafeWise and A Secure Life. The price ranges from $34.99 to $49.99 monthly — a tad pricey, but the system runs on cellular technology, which means you don’t have to worry about cut wires, loss of Internet connection or power outages.

Depending on where you live, you could choose a local security company for a couple of reasons. A local company will usually respond quicker to issues with the security system than will a national company, and local monitoring will have a better understanding of local crime trends than will a national monitor.

Source: Washington Post

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