Expert Interview Series: Sage Singleton of Safewise.com on Protecting Your Home with a Security System
Sage Singleton, of SafeWise.com, is a home security and safety expert who has written for government sites and been cited on MSN Money and The Street.
We recently asked Sage about the value home security equipment and how it can help protect families and property. Here’s what she shared:
Can you tell us about the mission behind SafeWise?
SafeWise is a home security and safety brand dedicated to making homes and neighborhoods safer. SafeWise provides honest home security reviews, comparisons and advice that empowers customers to make wise decisions to protect their home and lifestyle.
What is the market for home security systems/services today? How popular are they?
Residential property burglaries account for more than 70 percent of all offenses. As such, home security services and precautions are a must. Currently, there are 18 million home security systems installed in the United States. Whether you choose a monitored security system or simply adjust your habits to safeguard your home and property, home and neighborhood safety should be on the forefront of everyone’s mind.
To what do you attribute consumer’s interest in better securing their homes?
I attribute consumer’s interest in better securing their homes to the desire for peace of mind, reduced anxiety and increased feelings of safety. Whether you are single and live alone, or have a large family, safety is a universal concern. People secure their homes to protect their valuables, keep themselves safe and increase their property value. Whether your motive is to keep your belongings secure, or to feel safe being home along, home security measures are very important. Your home should be a safe haven.
Also, with a growing number of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), it’s easy to secure your home and keep tabs on your family and belongs through your mobile device. Technology is making it easier than ever to protect and secure your home.
Why should homeowners consider installing a security system? What are the benefits? How can homeowners better protect their families using security systems?
With more than 5,400 burglaries occurring each day in the United States, homeowners should strongly consider investing in a home security system to safeguard their home, property and family. Home security systems provide 24/7 monitoring in case of an emergency and are a huge deterrent for burglars. Homes without alarm systems are 300 percent more likely to be burglarized. In addition to these benefits, security systems also:
- Protect valuables – Home security systems are an additional security measure and help protect your expensive electronics, jewelry and valuable artifacts. If your home is broken into, alarm systems send an immediate alert to notify you and the police of the intrusion.
- Allow remote home access – Some home security systems allow you to remotely check in on your home. You can lock and unlock doors, arm and disarm your alarm system, adjust the thermostat, lights and even control your sprinklers using your smart phone or tablet.
- Track your children and pets – Systems with home automation features allow you to check in and watch what’s happening at home. It’s a great way to see your children or pets while at work or on vacation.
- Notify you of gas, fire or water damage – Home security systems help protect families and homes from emergencies like fires, floods and gas leaks. They’ll send you an alert should one of these detectors go off while you’re away.
What are the benefits to home security systems to seniors?
Many home security systems offer additional features like personal security or medical alert devices. These are usually small pendants you can keep on your person and activate in case of an emergency. When activated, your monitoring service will be notified and paramedics or your emergency contact will be immediately notified. Seniors benefit from these wearable devices because they allow freedom, movement and flexibility, but still provide help should an accident arise.
What considerations should individuals make when purchasing a home security system?
When considering a home security system, there are several factors to consider. People should ask themselves these questions before making a purchase:
- Do I rent or own? Assess your living situation before you invest in a home security system. Renters, or people who move frequently, will want to consider a system that allows you to relocate without moving fees. Consider purchasing a wireless system, like Frontpoint, as you own the equipment and can install it yourself at any location. Homeowners can install any system they want. Consider your needs and budget and choose from a variety of features, including home automation.
- What added features do I want? When considering a home security system, ask yourself what features you want included? Some systems include home automation features that allow you to remotely control your thermostat, and lights on your mobile device. Other systems include indoor and outdoor cameras as an extra security precaution. Some offer freeze, heat and flood sensors. Consider these additional features when purchasing a home security system.
In addition to security systems, what are some other options for home owners to make their homes safer and more secure?
There are several safety measures people can take to safeguard their home that don’t require a monitored security system. Here are five safety hacks to consider:
- Inspect your outdoor lighting to see if any lights need to be added or replaced. Well-lit homes deter burglars.
- Maintain your yard by keeping shrubs, bushes and trees trimmed. Overgrown bushes provide coverage for burglars, so make sure to keep your yard in pristine condition as it’ll make your home more secure.
- Lock doors and windows every time you leave your home. More than 30 percent of burglaries occur with thieves entering an unlocked door. Locking your doors and windows is a simple hack, yet can prevent major loss and damage to your home.
- Meet your neighbors as they can be a great resource and can help keep your home safe. A trusted neighbor can help watch your house when you are away or at work. Having a second set of eyes on your home is an added benefit and can make your home more secure.
- Post a safety resource contact sheet on your refrigerator that includes phone numbers for your doctors, police and fire departments, poison control, and emergency contacts. Accessing this information quickly in an emergency is vital to your safety.
What headlines or trends are you following in home security and safety today? Why do they interest you?
One of my favorite movie quotes is from the “Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy says, “There’s no place like home.” Home should be a place of peace, comfort and safety. I am interested in home security and safety because I value the concept of home and wish to educate people on easy ways to improve their home safety and security. No one should feel vulnerable in their own home; therefore, home security and safety practices are essential to know.
I consistently follow FBI crime data and read local news stories and safety blogs. Home security systems are just a piece of the safety puzzle. I look for innovative and creative ways to increase home safety in addition to a monitored system.
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