Sound the Alarm – 3 Lessons for Security
I know of two different families that have lost part of or their entire home due to fire over the past two weeks. It is devastating. Catastrophic. It made me think of my plan to get my dogs out of the house if the unthinkable happened to me. I’ve got it all worked out and I think I would be prepared. But what if I’m not home?
I also see posts far too often on social media of people who have had their house broken into. Property is damaged, precious belongings are gone, never to be recovered, and insurance only covers so much. Even if items aren’t stolen, it is a total violation of privacy and security. You feel completely vulnerable and it can take a very long time to feel comfortable in your own home again.
There are a few lessons here:
- Get an alarm.
I just met with my friend who is a sales rep for an alarm company (CSS Alarms – this is my personal system, and in my opinion, the best!). He said in most areas, he has encounters very few people who don’t see the value of a good alarm system. But in other areas, people don’t want to spend the money to be safe. A good alarm system has security features such as glass break, motion detectors and door sensors. It also has monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You may think you live in a safe area but it’s not all about being robbed. It’s about protecting your home, your belongings, and your loved ones. If you have a monitored smoke and carbon monoxide detector, if you aren’t home or you are sleeping and don’t hear the alarm go off, it automatically notifies the fire department. This is my saving grace when I think about my dogs being home by themselves. The fire department would get there quickly and could get them out. (Pet tip: use a sticker to notify emergency responders what kind of pets and how many you have.) You can go a step further and get cameras installed. All of this is so hi-tech that you can control it from your phone so it’s convenient and there’s a cool factor to it as well.
- USE IT!
A security system doesn’t do much good if you don’t have it monitored or you don’t turn it on. It’s not hard to push a button before you leave the house. If your system can be armed from your phone or a key fob, even better. My friend told me you’d be surprised how many people have alarm systems but don’t arm them and then they get broken into and kick themselves because it could’ve been prevented or at least scared off the criminal. And, don’t think that by having an alarm sign in your yard will deter everyone. Criminals are smart. They know some people have signs but no alarm, it’s not monitored, or they don’t turn it on. Be smarter than them.
- Get the proper insurance.
Even with alarm systems, unfortunate events can happen. The point is to minimize the risk and the damages as much as possible. Make sure you have insurance. A lot of renters don’t think about insurance and when their apartment building burns, they think they are covered. They are not. They will have to replace their personal belongings out of their own pocket. Most insurance companies will give you a discount if you have a monitored alarm system and even more if you have cameras, so your system could almost pay for itself.
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur baby, Tyler, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.