Illinois Electronic Security Association
There are many ways to increase security for your home, including simple steps like deadbolts, effective exterior lighting (and lights on timers inside). Some landscaping methods, such as thorny/prickly plants near windows, but not over grown hedges near points of egress (windows/doors) that enable a crook to hide as they try to break in. Other suggestions are to not advertise that you just got a 70-inch plasma TV by hauling to box to the curb – break that down, put the pieces in bags. Don’t leave garage doors open. So often, crooks hide out in the garage and wait for the household to go to bed.
Every single one can be bypassed by a crook. With an alarm system, if (when) the crook bypasses the locks, the window of opportunity is very small – the police are on the way NOW. This minimizes loss from theft/vandalism, which is why insurance companies provide a discount for having a monitored alarm system.
Today’s technology allows control over it via a computer or smart phone. You can arm/disarm the system from your phone. You can access system-connected video cameras from a phone or desktop. You can look at “history reports” to see who/when the system was access, which is useful to know when a cleaning crew comes/goes. Or if you have a dog walker committed to exercising Fido to 15 minutes and you see they armed/disarmed the system within 5 minutes of each other, you need a new dog walker. If you’d not want to know about those after the fact, you can get real-time text notifications if someone disarms the system, or enters certain areas of the protected property, such as an office. A system can even be set up to alert if a gun or liquor cabinet was accessed. You can even get a short video clip of whatever caused a motion sensor to be tripped. Almost every single one of these functions can be done via your phone.
There are many, many uses for an alarm system, from environmental alerts (heat, cold, humidity and even the presence/absence of a chemical vapor.) There are ways to get notification of mechanical failures too. Basically, if it has a sensor, it can be monitored and you can be informed of this.