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Home Safety and Security

A Checklist for Homeowners to Maximize Home Security and Safety

The feeling of security manifested by using technology is an individual experience; what makes one person feel safe and secure could leave another person feeling vulnerable. This makes designing a home security system a highly customized experience that produces very detailed outcomes. 

As CEO of the largest and longest-standing trade association in the United States representing the electronic security and life safety industry, the Electronic Security Association (ESA) recommends and advocates for professional consultation and installation of any security or life safety-related device, technology or service by trained, certified professionals to truly achieve the results homeowners desire from their home security systems. 

To prepare your home for maximum security, here is a checklist of things to do:

1. Think about exactly what you want from your home security system

Do you want your home to trigger an alarm? Sense motion? Record video? Detect broken glass or window breaches? Record video and audio? Turn lights off and on at certain times so it appears the home is occupied? Monitor for water leaks and alert if detected? Control temperature? Detect a fire so occupants can evacuate, and the fire department is dispatched? Alert via a smartphone-installed app when the kids enter the home from school?

2. Make a list of wanted features 

Discuss this with an electronic security and life safety professional who specializes in residential installations. Think outside the box as to what would make you and your family feel safe and secure in your home environment. No matter how outlandish you think it may sound, a security professional is able to help you meet your home security goals.

These professionals understand your home’s vulnerabilities and will ensure all components are properly installed to maximize outcomes by providing better coverage of blind spots and safeguards; recommending and installing more reliable security systems, with more specialized equipment for a cleaner, highly customized install; teaching homeowners how to get the most out of their new security system; etc.

3. Schedule a meeting with a trained, certified security professional

Visit ESA’s sister website which has an interactive map to search for these types of professionals closest to you based on your address and zip code as search criteria. Consider reaching out to multiple companies, vet them and then make a final decision on which company you would like to work with.

4. Ask questions during the meeting 

Discuss your list of features with the professional so you can determine how they will meet your home security goals. Here are some other questions to consider: 

  • Does the system offer redundant power or back-up power in case of power interruption? 
  • Describe how your professional monitoring service works? 
  • Are the security cameras and sensors resistant to water, dust and other grime if placed outside? (Make sure they are rated IP67 or higher).
  • Are the devices and system parts Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certified? 
  • Does the security system allow for remote accessibility into my home when I am not physically present?
  • How will you protect my security system from cyber threats?
  • Do you train me on how to use my newly installed system to maximize my safety and security?
  • Do you and your company offer on-going support after the final install?

5. Schedule an install date and time

Be sure to interact with the installer, asking questions and learning how to use the security system during the actual install. Then, enjoy your home knowing you are safe and protected in the ways that make you and your family not only feel most secure but are most secure. 

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