According to Reuters, in 2012 there were more than 2 million home burglaries in the U.S. Installing a home security system offers peace of mind for homeowners. With special capabilities like automated monitoring or alarms triggered by movement, today’s home security systems can prevent thieves from entering your home and doing damage. Internet-based wireless systems allow you to check on your house while you’re on vacation or out of town, while motion lights or alarms turn on automatically when someone comes too close, scaring possible criminals. Before you run out and buy the first security system you find, here are five things you should know. 


1.     Know the difference between monitored and unmonitored systems.

Unmonitored systems rely on sensors to set off loud alarms when tripped. These are affordable but don’t necessarily provide the most protection. Monitored systems are connected to a 24/7 home-security company who will contact the police within minutes if a break-in is suspected.


2.     Opt for 24/7 customer service support.

How quickly a company fixes faulty issues, responds to emergency calls and works to meet your expectations is the key to their customer service. Before you select a provider, be sure to read online reviews of their customer service so you know what you’re getting for your money.


3.     Your phone can help keep you safe.

Thanks new, hi-tech mobile apps, homeowners can save a few dollars and still have basic security thanks to their smartphones. Apps like Viper Connect, iSmart Alarm, AT&T Digital Life and more help homeowners monitor their property and notify them if there is a problem.


4.     Some security systems require professional installation.

While some homeowners opt to go the DIY route, a traditional system requires scheduling for a qualified technician to install. They’ll run wires and drill holes in your walls to connect all equipment.


5.     Let your insurance company know you’ve installed a home security system.

Installing a home security system can pay off. Some insurance companies offer reductions as high as 20 percent in homeowner’s insurance premiums with an installation.