There are about 36 million security systems in the United States, half of them in homes. The NYT’s May 5th column, Wealth Matters, examines what you’re really paying for when you install a home security system. Did you know that a home alarm system provides many benefits beyond thwarting burglaries — such as discounts on home insurance, providing a deterrent to some thieves and warning others not to stick around the house too long. Plus, they can alert you to smoke alarms and even monitor your children.
A study released last year by the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University found that the real value of security systems was that they protected entire neighborhoods. The study, which focused on Newark from 2001 to 2005, found that residential break-ins decreased as the density of alarms in an area increased. Read the entire article here.
Credit: A version of this article by PAUL SULLIVAN appeared in print on May 1, 2010, on page B5 of the New York Times.