For millions of Americans their home is their safe haven: the place to which they retreat for time with loved ones, relaxation, and the majority of life's important events. From precious loved ones to prized belongings those things most valuable to us are centered in the home as well.
Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of families however, their haven is breached each year; either by theft, burglary, or even violent crime. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (www.ojp.usdoj.gov) over three quarters of all crimes in the U.S. are made up of property crimes. With the estimated 2005 burglary rate of 726.7 per population of 100,000, the likelihood of experiencing a home burglary was greater than being the victim of car theft with a rate of 416.7 per 100,000. Although the monetary losses can be significant, certainly the emotional effects resulting from the feelings of vulnerability and unease are discomforting at the least.
For some, home security seems a distant concern; something that only those living in large urban areas need to consider. Statistics from the Bureau of Justice indicate otherwise. Although burglary rates are higher in urban areas, it has been far more equal opportunity than one might suspect. The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics shows a 2005 urban burglary rate of 37.7 per 1,000 households, while in rural areas it was 29.4 and in suburban areas it was 24.7.
Certainly, homeowners insurance can help to defray the cost of any material losses. Replacing home electronics, jewelry, and other possessions or replacing broken windows and doors after a forcible entry can all be accomplished relatively easily except in the instances of prized family heirlooms or similarly loved personal items. However, replacing the sense of well being is not so easily achieved. Questions regarding what would have happened if someone had been home at the time of the burglary can linger. For millions of those with children at home alone for portions of the day or left with a young baby sitter, these concerns become amplified.
Although insurance goes a long way in covering the loss of material items after the fact, other home security measures can take more proactive steps in preventing loss and assuring the safety of those in the home. With many home security systems offering 24 hour per day monitoring and fees that are more affordable than the average home insurance policy, such systems seem to be a wise step in the direction of prevention.
Most home security systems today offer window stickers, yard signage, and even sirens which act as deterrents to potential invaders. Most also possess a panic button to allow any occupants in the house to summon help immediately with the push of a single button. These systems are also dependable as they switch to battery powered backup when power is out. Each home security system offers their own specific features but may also include things such as the ability to warn parents when young children slip out of the house unattended or when children fail to arrive home from school on time.
It is estimated that only 20% of American homes have home security systems installed. This is either a reflection of a sense of security or perhaps a lack of information about the features and affordability of a good home security system. For the average homeowner, the six figure home security systems that make the news aren't something to consider. However, in most areas quality home security systems that feature free equipment and free installation with a monthly monitoring fee in the neighborhood of $25 to $30 is much more worthy of consideration.
Certainly burglary or any type of forcible entry into the home is not inevitable but like all risks homeowners must assess not only the likelihood it will occur but also the potential outcome to determine if the cost of prevention is justified or not. For homeowners who determine that greater home security is a need, there is most certainly a home security system available to fit their pocketbook.
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