Most Australians see a security system as an unnecessary expense, opting for more basic countermeasures like locking doors and installing physical barriers like fences. Australia currently ranks 7th in the world for highest burglary rates worldwide, with around 400,000 break-ins occurring in a single year.
Surveillance and alarm systems are in fact the least popular approaches for securing a property, despite their many advantages which will be covered in this article.
Moreover, data collected by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) show that most break-ins occurring during daylight hours - when occupants aren’t home. Less than 12% of break-ins even result in a confrontation at all.
When physical countermeasures like fencing and locked properties fail to drive down property crime in a meaningful way, security systems present themselves as an ideal solution.
With that, what are some of the advantages of security systems?
Deterring Crime & Break-ins
Simply having a visible CCTV system and/or security provider signage can act as a strong visual deterrent for potential break-ins and other such crimes. Just the threat of being recorded is often enough to turn away would-be trespassers and criminals looking for a low-risk opportunity.
A study conducted in 2009 by the Rutgers State University revealed some interesting results on how security systems reduce crime. Not only did premises with visible security systems experience reduced property crime rates, but also observed reduced rates in the surrounding area.
Protect Loved Ones & Valuables
As mentioned earlier, Australia has an above average property crime rate compared to other developed nations. On average, only 32.2% of Australians secure their property with surveillance cameras, with physical preventatives like fencing & gates being the more popular approaches.
As such, it’s clear that physical countermeasures in themselves are not enough to deter trespassers and protect the contents & occupants of your property.
Without a reliable security system, the deterrence and detection of such trespassers is left almost entirely to chance. As mentioned earlier, most break-ins occur during the day.
This creates an obvious risk for occupants like children, the elderly, or other persons with diminished physical or mental capacities. Such occupants may not be able respond appropriately in the event of a break-in or physical confrontation. This can be especially true if the trespasser was expecting a property to be unoccupied.
Simply having a security system can help to warn loved ones and alert the necessary persons like the homeowner or police.
The peace of mind and other advantages that remote monitoring offers can be invaluable. Advancements in CCTV technology developed over the past 5-10 years allow for significantly greater flexibility and capabilities than security systems of the past.
Most CCTV cameras available today allow footage to be directly streamed to any mobile device from any location. These surveillance systems can also be easily configured to provide real-time updates and security alerts.
These capabilities alone act as an effective countermeasure for daylight break-ins where occupants may be at work during the day or away for extended periods of time. Holiday break-ins (e.g. while a family may be on vacation) have become a popular target for break-ins, and are challenging to prevent without an automated security system.
Smart surveillance systems can also generally be expanded to incorporate any number of additional IoT devices. Motion detectors, carbon monoxide sensors, smoke alarms, etc, can all be worked into a home setup.
Reduce Insurance Premiums
Around 74.2% of Australians claim that they would install a home security system simply to reduce insurance premium costs. In most situations, a comprehensive security system can start to pay itself with the reduction in insurance premiums.
Some home insurance providers offer up to a 20% reduction in premiums under some circumstances. Additionally, having real footage of break-ins or property theft can be invaluable for supporting insurance claims.
Assist Law Enforcement
Despite having a number of strong advantages, installing a security system won’t make a property impenetrable. In most situations the mere threat of being recorded is enough to deter intruders, but it can’t physically stop a determined intruder from entering a property.
In such a scenario, the footage captured from security cameras can give law enforcement critically important information. Footage can help to identify defining features of the trespasser or help to build a profile of the person.
Cameras installed on the outside of properties can aid in identifying things like suspicious vehicles or persons near a property. They can also give insight to how a break-in occurred, or how access to the property was gained.