It’s the classic American Dream: You work hard to provide a nice living for yourself and your family, with a nice home in a good neighborhood and nice furnishings.

So, asks security and surveillance professional John Dyess, why don’t homeowners take the extra step to protect their possessions and more importantly, themselves and their families with a home security system? “There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the home security system industry that have been around for years,” says Dyess, CEO and owner of Dyezz Surveillance and Security, Inc.

“Some of these myths were never true, and others haven’t kept up with the new technologies we have in place to protect you, your loved ones and your possessions. And then, of course, it’s the old story of you don’t think you need it until after an event has occurred, and then it’s too late.”

The obvious reason for installing a home security system is the protection it offers from intruders. But, says Dyess, security systems feature new technologies that allow homeowners a variety of other security and convenience options, such as fire protection, carbon monoxide poisoning alerts, remote home monitoring, emergency services access, reducing energy consumption and more.

And yet, says Dyess, some homeowners still have doubts about securing their homes with an affordable security system that can be easily and quickly customized to suit their particular needs and lifestyles. “I see clients all the time who tell me, ‘I can’t have home security because of this or that.’ And I want to set the record straight.”

MYTH #1: A home security system is extremely unreliable. Phone cables can be cut, electricity can go out, and then there’s no way to monitor activity around my home. 

Dyess: Not anymore — older security systems could be unreliable as a result of someone easily cutting a telephone line or disconnecting a main power supply. Now, however, the majority of current security and surveillance systems have “multiple layers” of security, not just one. For example, most systems now have infrared and motion detectors that can pick I up body heat and very importantly, motion/movement, without resulting in a fake alarm call. Windows and doors have “trigger sensors” installed that transmit signals to a control panel via radio waves, completely eliminating the disarming of an alarm or security system by simply cutting a wire.

MYTH #2: There’s always a delay between when the security system is tripped and when the security company is notified.

Dyess: The customer would be able to decide how much of a time delay there would be before a security system is tripped and when the security company is notified. It can be as quickly as a few seconds.

MYTH #3: Having a home security system doesn’t make any difference to a burglar canvassing a neighborhood and looking for a home to break into.

Dyess: That’s a great definition of a burglar — they can canvass a neighborhood and be on the lookout for an easy break-in, but even if they attempted to do so, the loud alarm a home security system emits would make it extremely difficult, time-wise, for a burglar to break in and look for valuables to take.

MYTH #4: Having a home security system doesn’t make any difference to home insurance rates.

Dyess: Actually, most home insurance companies offer anywhere from a 2% to 15% discount on home insurance if they provide the insurance company with a certificate provided by a security alarm company.

MYTH #5: I have visitors and family always stopping by. I can’t have a home security system because the alarm notifications go straight to a dispatcher at a call center, and I want to be in control of if/when the police are sent to my home.

Dyess: The customer can require that they be notified by the call center prior to the center contacting/dispatching the police.

MYTH #6: Home security systems are only good as home theft prevention, nothing more.

Dyess: Even if that were true, what’s wrong with not allowing or having a thief being able to take their time searching through someone’s home looking for valuables or even worse, family members?

MYTH #7: I live in a safe neighborhood, with a neighborhood watch. I don’t need a home security system.

Dyess: A neighborhood watch strategy to prevent possible break-ins is a good program. Obviously, the success of these programs relies on not only the number of individuals being on the lookout for possible burglars but also the time they would have available to provide neighborhood surveillance.

There are articles in newspapers and magazines that state that security/surveillance signs and stickers posted on an individual’s lawn, doors, windows, etc., do in fact prevent burglars from attempting to break in and instead look for homes or businesses that don’t have these articles.

MYTH #8: I have a couple of cats and a dog. I’m sure they’re going to trip the system constantly and set off false alarms.

Dyess: The customer can request a “pet-immune motion detection system.” This would prevent a pet weighing between 60 to 80 pounds from tripping the system. Also, a customer can request that a surveillance company add “glass breaks” to door and window contacts and not motion detectors.

MYTH #9: My giant 120-lb. lab/pitbull dog mix is security enough for me. I don’t need a modern home security system.

Dyess: True enough! That said, however, some burglars are desperate or malicious enough to carry a handgun, knife or mace with an intent of harming a pet or homeowner.

MYTH #10: There’s no way I can afford a home security system.

Dyess: Historically, the cost of a home security and/or surveillance system continues to decrease as a result of the transition from a hardware to a software approach to equipment, parts, connections, etc. Also, all home security systems are configured to a customer’s actual security/surveillance needs, i.e., only that equipment and those parts that would be required to provide basic services would be installed.

“The best thing you can provide for yourself and your loved ones is knowing that you’re protecting yourselves from a variety of life and property-threatening scenarios. There may be a significant negative impact without a system in place to quickly respond,” says Dyess. “I know we’re in the security and surveillance business, but I think of ourselves as being in the peace-of-mind business. It’s knowing that you’ve provided for the protection of your loved ones’ well-being.” 

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