With the rate of home burglaries up 3% from 2016, it’s now more important than ever to make sure your home and family are protected from potential break-ins. Statistics show that 4 out of 5 of break-ins are not pre-planned, but based on on-the-spot observations of the house and its alarm systems and security.

However only 1 in 3 Australians have some form of security installed in their homes, according to this new survey  by Budget Direct Home Insurance. More often than not having a security system can be what turns your home from an easy target to a burglar’s nightmare.

So how do you know which security system is right for you? We’ve asked several security experts for their top tips in choosing the right model.

Buying “Smart”

Perhaps the best news is that with technological advances, monitoring your home security system is easier than ever. With features like mobile apps, voice control and night vision your home can be monitored 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

You can sign up to receive push notifications to your smart device when a camera is triggered and some models even come with photoelectric smoke alarms, which can alert the fire brigade the second a fire is detected.

Today’s devices can even come with facial and number plate recognition to ensure these important details are captured from the video feed when the alarms are activated.

Buying Local

Installation of your security system can be a daunting task if you’re not the most tech savvy person. Local companies can provide on the ground and online assistance with setting up your system.

Depending on your specific system, you might need assistance monitoring and maintaining your security cameras. By buying with an Australian provider, not only are you supporting the local economy, but you benefit from local customer support for any problems or warranty issues that might arise.

Another reason to buy in Australia is that you also are guaranteed the products have passed basic electrical safety standards, such as the C-tick. Products that do not have these certifications can pose a fire risk to your home and family.

Quality Over Price

It’s often tempting to purchase the product that offers you the best price point, but in the case of security systems, it shouldn’t be at the cost of quality. Having a high quality video stream is crucial for identifying suspects and car number plates in a break-in. Possessing clear video footage of a crime is admissible in Australian courts. As a result it is important to always ask to see actual video quality of the product you are purchasing to ensure it will meet your expectations and needs.

Cheaper models can also have shorter shelf lives and will need to be replaced more often.

Customisation

Every home is different and it is important to work out what your specific security needs are. Do you only have one entry point to your home? Or do you have a garage and balcony that should be monitored as well?

What works for one home might not work for another, so conducting an assessment on your home before you go shopping is essential. You should consider things like camera placement; are there any blind spots? Is this camera breaching the privacy of my neighbours? You should also think about accessibility to the cameras themselves, as thieves will often try to damage or remove cameras within easy reach.

While owning a security system is not a 100% failsafe method of protecting your home from break-ins, it is a great deal safer than having fake cameras or nothing at all. Most criminals are familiar with the most popular ‘dummy’ units and won’t be put off by them. In the event a break-in occurs, the captured footage from your security system can provide evidence to police or an insurance company for a claim regarding contents insurance.