If you’re considering buying a home security system, there’s no better person to consult than an FBI agent or security expert. After all, criminals are smart. Even the best home security devices without monthly fees, the safest smart doorbells, and the best diversion safes are often no match for someone truly determined to break into your house.
According to Russell Stuart, managing director of Force Protection Agency, the number one home security item that everyone needs today is a professional surveillance camera system. “Properly positioned cameras throughout your property and inside your home can capture crucial information that can lead to the arrest and prosecution of criminals,” he says.
Your security system also needs to be properly monitored, so they can contact the authorities in the event of a break-in or emergency. “You can have a $5,000 super system […] but if it’s being monitored by a knucklehead company, it’s useless,” says Thomas G. Martin, private investigator and former federal agent.
Martin also says that many homeowners fail to arm their systems when they leave the house or go to bed. Under these circumstances, even the best home security systems will fail.
Are you ready to make your home safer? Whether you are looking for the best home security systems for apartments or larger homes, here’s how to find the best home security system along with other products to help protect against home invasions.
SimpliSafe 9 Piece Wireless Home Security System
Best for: Apartments, smaller homes
Martin recommends DIY systems such as SimpliSafe to meet the needs of people in apartments and condos. The SimpliSafe 9 Piece Wireless Home Security System has all the basics covered with video cameras, sensors, a keypad, and a base station with a built-in siren.
But if you opt for a professionally installed system, here’s what your installer won’t tell you.
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Doesn’t require a contract
- Can be self-installed
- May not be adequate for larger homes
Quality Of Life Systems (QOL SYS)
Best for: Larger homes
Larger homes need additional security, which means a more complex, professionally installed system. Martin recommends Quality Of Life Systems (QOL SYS) to his friends, family, and associates. It’s also what he personally uses in his own home. This smart home system includes a live video answering system for your doorstep, Bluetooth disarming, light automation, voice activation, smart locks and thermostat, encrypted security, and a mobile app to manage it all.
However, if you’re more concerned with the security of your smartphone, you should know about these top mobile security threats.
- One of the most comprehensive systems available
- Includes smart home features
- Requires professional installation
Ring Video Doorbell
Best for: Renters and apartments
Martin describes the Ring Video Doorbell as an easy way to immediately make your apartment more secure. This device has a video camera and motion sensor so you can easily see who is at your door, whether it’s a friend, a delivery, or a potential intruder, right from your smartphone.
If you’re considering installing other cameras, here are some places that smart homeowners install security cameras.
- Easy to install
- Convenient to use
- Requires subscription plan
Best for: People living alone, single moms
Martin recommends having additional panic buttons connected to your security system to easily arm or disarm your system if you’re away from the main panel. “I especially like it for my female clients who are living by themselves or single moms,” he says. The SimpliSafe KeyFob even has a button that can alert the monitor center if you’re having an emergency.
Once you’ve got your security system in place, learn how to protect your home against swatting.
- Easy to use
- Can be mounted on a wall
- Doesn’t have a metal key ring
Evershop Personal Alarm
Best for: Security on the go
If you don’t have a home alarm system or just want to give yourself an extra level of protection when you’re outside, consider using an Evershop Personal Alarm. This handheld device makes a loud noise that reaches 130 decibels and has a flashing light that can be seen up to 300 yards away. Keep it on your keys so safety is always within reach.
You should also keep in mind these ways to stay safe while traveling solo.
- Doesn’t call 911
Amazon Smart Plug
Best for: Frequent travelers or those who work long hours away from home
You never know when thieves are scoping out your house, but this simple tool can help mimic home activities while you’re away. The Amazon Smart Plug can schedule televisions, fans, lights, etc. to operate on a schedule from your smartphone, making it look as if you are home.
But even if you have a professional security system, it’s essential to know the things home security installers never do.
- Remote access
- Doesn’t connect to your security system
BN-LINK 24-Hour Mechanical Outlet Timer
Best for: Senior citizens
This timer is another helpful tool to help deter robbers. Because it doesn’t require a smartphone, it’s a great product for senior citizens or those who are less tech-savvy. Simply turn the dial to set a schedule for anything plugged into the timer.
Going away on a long vacation? Don’t forget to do these 13 things before you leave.
- Comes in a two-pack
- User-friendly manual function
- Not connected to a larger security system
SANSI Security Motion Sensor Outdoor Lights
Best for: Private homes
Perimeter and motion-activated lighting is a great way to scare off criminals who want to break in during the night. Be sure to install these LED floodlights in both the back and front of your property. They last for more than 50,000 hours or about five years!
Speaking of, here are 13 ways your yard is giving burglars clues.
- Easy to use
- Must monitor battery
Sifely Keyless Entry Door Lock
Best for: Condos, apartments, and rental properties
A smart lock can provide more safety than a traditional lock in several ways. Not only is this lock pick proof, but you can easily change the passcode on the app. That means you can safely share your passcode with visitors, dog walkers, etc., without worrying about it falling into the wrong hands. You can also use your fingerprint in place of a passcode.
Picking a lock isn’t the only way that robbers can break in. Here are seven sneaky ways burglars can get into your home.
Pros: Installs without a locksmith
Cons: Can be problematic if you don’t have good Wi-Fi
BDF Window Film
Best for: Family homes, first floor apartments, condos
Breaking your windows is just one way burglars can get into your home. BDF Window Film prevents windows from shattering, holding shards in place and stopping crooks straight in their tracks. It also doubles as 99 percent protection from UV rays.
- Easy to install
- Damage control, not a deterrent
Kapuci Auto-Open Safe
Best for: Securing small items
If your home is broken into, you can still save smaller items like jewelry, paperwork, and passports from being taken with a safe. For maximum security, bolt down your safe or hide it someplace where criminals aren’t likely to find it.
Need more safe options? Check out the safes home security experts use. Not sure what to keep in your safe? Here are 13 things you’ll regret not keeping properly locked up.
Pros: Assures some items can’t be stolen
Cons: Doesn’t deter criminals
Chamberlain Smart Garage Door Opener
Best for: Homes with garages
Many of us forget to close our garages after bringing in groceries or unpacking our cars. This is essentially an invitation for burglars to come in. The Chamberlain B970T Smart Garage Door Opener with Battery Backup allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere via your smartphone and even works during power outages.
If you want to focus your home security on the area most likely to be targeted, this is the room burglars break into first.
Pros: Works remotely via app
Cons: Doesn’t deter criminals
Next, learn how to stop porch pirates from stealing your packages.
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Originally Published: September 07, 2021
Amanda Lauren is a design and lifestyle expert who covers all things home for RD and among other publications. When she's not in front of a computer, recording her podcast Bougie Adjacent, or re-arranging furniture, she enjoys Los Angeles with her husband and wrangling their two dogs, Milo and Lulu.
12 Products FBI Agents Use to Secure Their Homes
According to Russell Stuart, managing director of Force Protection Agency, the number one home security item that everyone needs today is a professional surveillance camera system.. “Properly positioned cameras throughout your property and inside your home can capture crucial information that can lead to the arrest and prosecution of criminals,” he says.. Your security system also needs to be properly monitored, so they can contact the authorities in the event of a break-in or emergency.. Under these circumstances, even the best home security systems will fail.. Martin recommends DIY systems such as SimpliSafe to meet the needs of people in apartments and condos.. The SimpliSafe 9 Piece Wireless Home Security System has all the basics covered with video cameras, sensors, a keypad, and a base station with a built-in siren.. Larger homes need additional security, which means a more complex, professionally installed system.. This smart home system includes a live video answering system for your doorstep, Bluetooth disarming, light automation, voice activation, smart locks and thermostat, encrypted security, and a mobile app to manage it all.. Martin recommends having additional panic buttons connected to your security system to easily arm or disarm your system if you’re away from the main panel.. If you don’t have a home alarm system or just want to give yourself an extra level of protection when you’re outside, consider using an Evershop Personal Alarm.. to operate on a schedule from your smartphone, making it look as if you are home.. Breaking your windows is just one way burglars can get into your home.. The Chamberlain B970T Smart Garage Door Opener with Battery Backup allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere via your smartphone and even works during power outages.
Who better to get advice on home protection than FBI agents who have studied and observed the minds of criminals? Even better? These home security tips are totally doable! “Oftentimes, crime can be discouraged by the mere presence of an alert neighbor,” says Douglas Kane, president of Risk Control Strategies and a 27-year veteran of […]
Outsmart burglars with these 13 home security tips .. “There is no reason to needlessly alert others when the house will be unoccupied,” says Kane .. Kane also suggests installing a perimeter camera system to cover all access points of your home.. Kane says exterior and perimeter motion-activated lighting is a low-cost and efficient security measure that will alert the homeowner and scare off an intruder.. “The easiest way for a predator to enter your home is through a weak door or unsecured window,” says Steve Kardian a 30-year law enforcement officer and FBI defense tactics instructor and author of The New Super Power for Women.. Layer on security with bump proof/pick proof locks and use 3-inch screws on the strike plate that burrows deep into the door frame, using a deep box strike plate,” says Kardian.. He also suggests adding more security by installing 12 mil security film over the windows and sliding glass doors.. Place a wood or metal dowel that fits snugly on the sliding glass door track to keep the door from sliding open even if the door is unlocked.. “The two most important tips for securing the attached garage door is the two point vulnerability: the windows and doors of the garage.. They need to be secured just like your exterior doors and windows, and alarms can be installed on the garage door and windows,” says Kardian.. “Never leave your garage door open when you leave home, it’s a sure sign no one is home and always lock the garage entry door,” says Kardian.. “Designate a room as a safe room that the family can go to in the event of an emergency like a home invasion or burglary,” recommends Kardian.. Placing these types of plants near doors and windows will prevent intruders from hiding close to your home.. Light switches are effective, but Kane suggests making the lights similar to how daily and evening lighting may look like by programming them so they turn on and off multiple times during the day and night.
What started as an independent crowdfunding campaign which exceeded its objective by offering over $500,000 well worth of systems within a month quickly ended up being a competitor in home safety.
Scout Residence Security has four safety and security plans for consumers to select from.. If the bundles do not have what you require, or if you require additional things, Scout provides a fifth choice to construct your very own package.. “Scout Small Pack” Plan: This is the business’s most affordable system and also consists of 8 things.. It includes the items required to start your DIY safety and security system, consisting of activity as well as accessibility sensors.. Furnished with greater than two times the access sensing units of the Scout Small Pack, this bundle gives you assurance that all areas of your home will certainly continue to be protected.. “Scout Engineer Pack” Plan: This is developed to be Scout’s most detailed house safety offering.. “Construct Your System” Package: For consumers that want a more customized security system for their house, Scout offers the capacity to produce your own system.. As soon as you select your Scout Center, you can choose as numerous gadgets as you want and also develop a system to fit your home safety and security demands.. You can pick from the following 18 things when you construct your own system: Door panel, Gain access to sensor, Motion sensor, Scout indoor video camera, Scout video clip buzzer, Keypad, Smoke detector, Water sensing unit, Glass break sensing unit, Door lock, Yard indication, Panic button, Push-button control, Alarm as well as Zigbee repeater, Window sticker label, Secret fob, and a RFID sticker.. We likewise located Scout Safety and security’s customer service to be helpful when we called the firm to evaluate numerous elements of its solution.. If you have actually currently combined your Nest and Google accounts, customer support says the Nest assimilations will not deal with your Scout system.. specialists to enhance a video clip as Nest does.
From burglars to water damage, ensure you return to a safe and secure property by taking care of these few important things.
The morning of your trip, go door to door and window to window to ensure all doors, windows, and basement access points are secured.. You’ll also get an alert if a door is accidentally left unlocked, plus the keypad can be integrated with your smart alarm system for enhanced home security.. If you have a portable unit, don’t leave it in the car; take it with you.. Garage door openers can pose a risk even when you don’t leave them in your car.. Many garage door brands have a “vacation mode” setting, which disables the remotes and prevents the door from being opened from the outside.. “Here’s the thing though, you don’t need a surveillance system, you don’t need an alarm, you don’t need anything for your security camera.. In fact, it doesn’t even have to be a real security camera.. Any one of these 10 places smart homeowners install security cameras will do for a start.. The insurance company calls internal water leaks the leading cause of property damage, and repairs are expensive—57 percent of homeowners who experienced a water leak claim in the past two years spent $5,000 or more on clean up and repair costs.. “If your house has a security system, place the company’s stickers around your property,” says Liu.