Is a Home Security System Really Necessary? Do They Work?

Leo Chen
Feb 25, 2014

Do home security systems work? 

Recent academic research has shown that home security systems do work. Using them results in fewer burglaries, lower crime rates, and less sever losses when robberies do occur. An installed home security system makes a home less attractive to potential intruders, which protects it as well as surrounding homes. 

Home alarm systems decrease crime

We've all seen the ads, but do home security systems do anything? Are they Necessary? It turns out that after a comprehensive 5-year study, researchers at Rutgers University found that there was a direct link between home security systems and a decrease in crime. This was significant because it's actually the first time that there has been scientific proof that after you have systematically removed other factors, it is the alarm system which reduces crime. Read the full study

Homes with security systems are 60% less likely to be burglarized

If there ends up being a burglary, the home with an alarm system ends up losing about $2000 less than a similar home without a home security system.


Infographics courtesy of Super Circuits


According to a study on burglar alarm effectiveness, are 4 main ways to significantly reduce the threat of burglary

  • Detection: Home Security Systems are the only form of detection
  • Deterring Measures: Deterring measures make it appear that someone is home. Some home security systems also include mobile apps or home automation options to help deter break-ins
  • Preventative Measures: The average breakin averages 60 seconds or less so anything to prevent breakin or make it take longer can help prevent burglaries such as deadbolts or bars on windows
  • Managerial Measures: Similar to deterring measures, these would include things you can set up such as stopping mail or newspaper delivery

If there ends up being a burglary, the home with an alarm system ends up losing about $2000 less than a similar home without a home security system.

Why pay for home security equipment and monitoring when you’re living in a neighborhood with little or no history of crime?

1. No amount of physical barrier is enough to deter the most determined criminal. You don’t have to look far. Even well guarded establishments such as banks are not immune to crime.

2. Consider paying for home security as health insurance. You may end up paying hundreds of dollars a year without ever using your health insurance but you’ll surely thank it when a medical emergency comes.

3. Home security systems provide round the clock monitoring and protection, a feat that is physically impossible for any human.

Our editors have reviewed the 10 Best Home Security Systems. Studies show that home security will cause less crime, decrease the odds of being burglarized and even reduce the amount you'd lose if you were robbed!