Do-it-yourself home security systems cost less and work great

Just how much home security protection is enough — and how much do you need to pay for it? Many security companies advertise alarm systems for less than $100, including installation. But that requires that you sign a multiyear alarm-monitoring contract costing perhaps $25 to $35 per month, which promises that the monitors will alert police if the alarm is triggered.

You can avoid that monthly bill by installing your own unmonitored alarm system. Systems just like the ones supplied by security companies can be purchased for less than $300. Today’s wireless technology makes them easy to install without having to drill holes and run wires through your walls.


While traditional security systems usually alert the security company when they detect a problem, self-installed alarm systems generally call the home owner’s cell phone (or some other phone number), then the home owner calls the police. This not only saves the monthly monitoring fee, it often improves home security. The false-alarm rate with professionally monitored alarm systems is so high that busy police departments often make responding to alarm company calls a low priority. The police generally arrive faster when the home owner calls.

Professional alarm monitoring might make sense if you cannot always answer your cell phone quickly… if you feel more secure knowing a professional is monitoring your alarm, including smoke and carbon