smart security solutions for everyday living

DIY Security Systems - Are They Worth It?

by Mary Jezioro

May 28, 2014 7:00:00 AM

New Trends In Home Alarm Systems: DIY Security Systems

DIY-Home-SecurityEase of installation is one reason why DIY security systems have become so popular in recent years. Not long ago, homeowners were required to hire a professional installer who would drill holes and run hard wires behind drywall. While these traditional home security systems are still popular, homeowners now have new wireless home security options for their home security system needs. DIY home alarm systems can save homeowners hundreds of dollars in installation fees.

Home Security Systems – Do Your Research

Given that home security is a rather serious matter, and your family’s safety is at stake, be sure to research the many security companies to find the one that best suits your needs. From well known national brands to privately owned local firms, there are certainly many options to choose from.

After you’ve settled on the DIY category, but before you dig out your tools (which, by the way, you won’t really need, anyway!) keep in mind these 4 aspects of an alarm system before you spend your hard earned savings on a diy home security kit:

4 Things To Consider When Buying a DIY Security Kit


  1. Select Brand Name Equipment: There are 2 components of a security system: control equipment and detection equipment. DIY security systems are generally self contained units that house the main components of the control equipment in one housing: the keypad and control panel, making the installation simple and quick. Detection equipment includes materials like contacts that easily attach to doors and windows. These are the devices that help identify a zone violation. Both main components of a security system, whether it’s a do-it-yourself kit or a professionally installed hard-wired system are required for the security system to function properly. Choosing a brand name like Honeywell assures that the equipment is high quality.
  2. Choose Reliable Monitoring: Dependable security systems are monitored by a central monitoring station. Trained operators man the phone lines 24/7 – ensuring that emergency help is available when needed. The security signal is communicated to the central station through a phone line. Because land line phones are fast becoming extinct, investigate a cellular phone line option, which can be more reliable than traditional pots lines (plain old telephone lines).
  3. Warranty: Home security providers generally offer a warranty on their equipment. If not, ask for it. The initial warranty should cover the first year, and most companies will offer an extended warranty on the equipment. A security system is like any household appliance – it will suffer wear-and-tear with regular use. Like any household equipment, a warranty may be an economical way to extend the life of your system, especially when technology changes so fast these days.
  4. Price: Pay attention to the price of the equipment, but more importantly, note the price of the monthly monitoring. While DIY systems can certainly save you money on the initial installation, beware of over priced monthly monitoring fees. Monitoring is an essential component of reliable home security, but paying outrageous fees isn’t! Monitoring should run between $18 and $30 per month for basic service. Of course, there are some pretty appealing and handy ad-ons that can run a few dollars more.

Advancements in technology certainly have made DIY Home security systems more mainstream. They might be the right choice for you, but just make sure you do your homework before you buy.

Free home security checklist

Topics: Security Marketplace

blog author

Mary Jezioro

Mary Jezioro is the Vice President of SHIELD Security Systems. As the Marketing and Sales lead at SHIELD, she is focused on strategic planning and company growth. Mary is involved with the UB School of Management as former CELAA's Vice Chair, SCORE, WPO (Women President's Organization) and is also coached youth soccer. She and her husband, Ken, are proud parents of five children.