By Eric Janssen
This article offers everything you need to know about home security in Windsor, including tips and information on making your home more secure and offering you peace of mind. We’ll look at:
- How you can assess your Windsor neighbourhood’s safety
- Home security checklist and tips to deter break-ins
- What is a home monitoring system and how does it work?
- Types of alarm systems available in Windsor, from basic home monitoring, to interactive remote access, through to full home automation.
- Factors to consider when choosing a home monitoring system and local supplier
Is home security an issue in Windsor?
Windsor is a wonderful community in which to live and work.The city has a rich history and offers many diverse neighbourhoods that include everything from river walks to great restaurants and bars. I know, since I recently moved back to this area myself.
Unfortunately, like many growing and thriving cities, Windsor is also experiencing increased crime. The Windsor Police’s statistics show that crimes, such as “break and enters” and motor vehicle thefts have risen over the last few years. Even more concerning is the fact that property crime is also on the rise in Windsor.
If you’re wondering about your neighbourhood’s safety, a good first step is to educate yourself about the area. For example, you can check out a crime map that illustrates the type and frequency of crimes in your community. There are also community-based programs such as Crime Stoppers that bring together local citizens, the media, and police to shine a light on and solve crime. In partnership with Crime Stoppers, JM Security Canada offers insight into preventative measures to decrease occurrences in the future.
How secure is your home?
Whether this is your first home or you’ve recently moved into a new neighbourhood, it’s important to take a close and objective look at your home and property to assess any potential threats or vulnerabilities you face.
There are many easy initial steps you can take to help protect your family and secure your home. JM Security can offer some help with this process, through our free downloadable Home Security Assessment Checklist.
Have you conducted a home security assessment on your property?
A home security assessment helps you identify weak points in your home’s physical security. Instead of looking at your home from an aesthetic point of view, it helps you view it in terms of potential crime and risk of a break-in. This means looking at the building’s infrastructure, including doors, windows, locks, lighting, and even landscaping.
Home security basics include ensuring your doors and windows are sturdy and reliable. For example, are door and window frames strong enough to resist ordinary, or even extraordinarily break-in attempts? In addition, you’d want to look at whether you have sturdy deadbolt locks on doors, working locks on windows, and consider garage door security. Can the door leading from the garage to your house be bolted? If your garage is detached from the main building, are garage windows secured with reliable locks?
There are other factors that can impact home security that you may never have thought about, such as the landscaping and lighting around your property. For example, break-ins can be minimized by ensuring your property is well-lit so potential intruders realize they may be seen if they make an attempt to enter your home. In addition, trimming overgrown shrubs and bushes removes the potential that would-be burglars can take cover from street views. You can also consider installing or upgrading outdoor lights equipped with motion sensors to provide additional lighting that illuminates your property outdoors.
Choosing additional home security protection
If you have completed a basic home safety assessment and still feel you want additional security features to provide peace of mind, there are many types of home security and monitoring systems in the Windsor-Essex area that you can consider and compare to choose the most appropriate solution for your needs.
There are many home security or monitoring options available, from basic home monitoring, to interactive remote access through to state of the art full home automation. If you’re considering a home security system, the following overview should help you determine what level of home monitoring you want.
What exactly is a “home security system” and how does it work?
A monitored security system is a combination of hardware (that can include: control panel, door contacts, window contacts, motion sensors, etc.) and software that works together to sound an alarm and notify the police if your home or business is broken into.
Here is an example that explains how a monitoring system might work:
You have a sensor mounted onto the surface of your front door and an alarm control panel installed in your front hall. When the door is opened, the sensor wirelessly communicates with the control panel that there has been an ‘event’ and the control panel will decide how to react based on how it has been programmed.
In this example, the door sensor is the “hardware” component that alerts the control panel that is programmed with software that includes a collection of instructions that tell the hardware how to operate.
For an in-depth, illustrated article on how home security systems work, you can check out our post: How Do Security Systems REALLY Work?
What would a “basic” home monitoring system In Windsor look like?
At the heart of every effective home or business security system are alarms. In most homes, a basic monitoring system would typically entail having a door alarm (or sensor as noted above) that notifies you of any unauthorized entry or break-in attempts. In addition, you can also have alarms at other potential access points, such as back doors and windows that alert you to unwanted visitors. As noted in the example, the door alarm would trigger a response – from an alarm ringing, to a message being sent to the police – depending on the desired programming.
Another key component to consider are security cameras in and around your property. Alternately, some people prefer a closed circuit television surveillance system, which is a networked video surveillance system. This type of system would offer surveillance of the entire property, including the landscaping.
Essential features of a security monitoring system
The monitoring system should cover the entire network of electronic devices (any sensors, cameras, etc.), with the entire infrastructure being accessible from the central control panel. The central control panel should also be navigable and easy to control for the homeowner, and other authorized users, including the monitoring team.
A security monitoring system should be connected through an encrypted network. This system should also work in real time so that sensors being activated or any alarms can be immediately acknowledged and responsive measures can be initiated during security breaches. As noted earlier, these responsive measures are typically predetermined, and typically include alerting the local police.
It is also important to note that the monitoring team you employ in Windsor, should be local experts in the field. The reliability of the monitoring system set-up, 24/7 support, as well as knowledge of the local community and authorities, ultimately influences the degree to which your system provides optimum security for your home and your family.
Smart Home Automation – a more comprehensive solution
If you are looking for a more comprehensive solution for home security in Windsor, you might want to consider a full home automation system or “Smart Home” technology. A smart home allows you to monitor and control the devices in your home from a mobile device, anywhere in the world. Popular smart home devices include alarm systems, door and window locks, surveillance cameras, sensors, doorbell cameras, smart sprinklers, thermostats, and smoke detectors.
Working together through a networked system, Smart Home devices enable your system to do things like:
- Trigger an alarm if a door opens or window breaks
- Detect someone rummaging through packages at your front door
- Warn you if the basement is starting to flood
- Close the garage door remotely when you leave it open
For a more in-depth look at home automation, you can check out Comprehensive Guide to Smart Home Automation.
Choosing the right home security system for your Windsor home
Regardless of the type of home security system you choose, there are a few critical factors that will contribute to its success or failure:
- Is it installed properly?
- Is it easy for you and your family to use and manage?
- Is there support available locally (in the Windsor-Essex area)?
Whether you decide to keep your system quite basic, or you choose the most innovative products, the effectiveness of your system will be impacted by the way it is installed (e.g., are cameras and/or sensors placed correctly?). In addition, when you require service or support, it is critical that you have professionals available in your area that can provide immediate service and who are connected with and understand your community and local authorities.
Unfortunately, reviews for most do-it-yourself systems are not encouraging. The most common issues that we hear from customers that have switched over include:
- Faulty hardware (door contacts or motion sensors quickly deteriorating)
- Inconsistent performance (not working when it needs to)
- Lack of service and support from the provider or manufacturer
The security company you choose in Windsor should be able to identify, recommend and install advanced systems, set up a monitoring and offer 24/7 support, account for real time video surveillance that can be remotely accessed and ensure systems are fully functional, automated and that the chosen features are activated and personalized notifications are set.
Security companies in Windsor
An important step in finding an effective home security solution is to consult a security company that operates in the Windsor-Essex area. Ensure that you meet with the provider before you commit to purchasing a system, and make sure they come to your home to assess your property, understand your objectives and your budget, then recommend a custom solution that meets your needs.
Be sure that your monitoring team is always aware of the latest developments in their field as well as being in touch with what’s happening in your community. A local security provider can offer the optimum solution for you and your home in Windsor.
Types of monitoring system plans available for your Windsor home
As noted earlier, there are many types of home security plans available, ranging from a basic security system providing essential features including monitoring over a secure and encrypted network, smash and crash protection, battery backup and real time alerts. For a more interactive system, you might consider adding remote access, remote arming and disarming of different systems, monitoring system activity in real time, wireless two-way voice access, audio integration and personalized notifications. Or you can opt for a more comprehensive, home automation or “Smart Home” system that offers premium monitoring solutions. This type of plan will allow you to control locks, lights and doors, view and adjust temperature through remote access, issue weather alerts and other important information on the control panel, control irrigation and take charge of water management.
You should look for a provider that offers plans that can be customized based on the scope of monitoring you desire, including options for the number of cameras that will be monitored in real time, the number of clips that will be stored, and how much bandwidth is available every month.
Last, but not least…your budget
A key element to consider when it comes to investing in home security is how much money you are willing to spend. The cost of security equipment can vary widely depending on what sort of equipment you choose, what functionality you require (is it simply home security or do you also want Home Automation elements as well?) and where you purchase it (are you doing it yourself, or having it professionally installed?). Naturally, you want to keep costs down while also ensuring you get a security solution that provides the right level of protection and matches your home security needs.
In order to get the best value for money, you should take the time to compare your options. Fortunately, this is something you can do easily online, where you can compare the various companies, review features and specifications, and compare the prices.
You can have a look at the home security plans we offer at JM Security, ranging from $1 to $2 per day, depending on the sophistication of your custom system.
It’s important to remember, that home monitoring is an investment in your family’s safety and your property’s security.
In addition, to help Windsor-Essex area homeowners make the best home security investment catered to your specific needs, we are currently building a comprehensive library of online resources. For more resources like this one, visit our Learning Hub.
Take a holistic approach to home security
To recap, be sure to start your home security planning by conducting a home security assessment and strengthening any weak links in your home safety from a brick-and-mortar perspective. Then have a residential security expert visit your property and inspect the entire premises to identify the vulnerabilities and assess your needs. The objective is to ensure sufficient security for the safety of everyone in the family and to protect all of your valuables. Remember, you can always start with a basic home security program, then expand your system at a later date.
Our team at JM Security are available to provide an in-home consultation to help you choose the best home monitoring system for your Windsor home.
Want to speak with one of our representatives about your security options? Contact us here.