Your home contains your most valuable belongings. From electronics and jewelry to vehicles and furniture, you worked hard for your possessions, and you don't want to lose them to a criminal. In 2013, burglaries cost Americans an estimated $4.5 billion. While a home security system helps protect you from burglars, are home security signs themselves reliable deterrents?
When burglars see home security signs, they don't always assume that the advertised protection remains in place. Consumers move away, leaving their old signs in their yards, or they buy fake substitutes.
Plus, savvy burglars might use the advertised system to their advantage. If burglars know how to disable the system, your home becomes vulnerable.
Many homeowners attempt to protect their homes by placing fake home security signs in their yards. Generic signs tell burglars that a home has a security system, but the signs do not show the brand or company name. This ploy can prevent burglars from pinpointing the nature of your home's security features.
You might take advantage of this strategy if your home already features a security system. You still benefit from the motion detectors and monitoring service, but you hide the name of the system's manufacturer. However, don't use a generic sign in lieu of a security system. If a burglar calls your bluff, your home lacks defenses against intrusion.
Some insurance companies offer discounts on homeowner's insurance premiums for clients who install security systems and display the associated signage. Insurers recognize the value of alarm systems in burglary prevention, and insurance companies view protected homes as a smaller risk. However, if you install only the signs without the actual security system, insurance companies don't offer a discount.
Security Sign Visibility
Many people use home security signs because signage advertises the added obstacles criminals must take to penetrate the home. When burglars see the signs, they might move on in search of easier prey. However, a home security sign is only effective when burglars can see it. If a row of shrubs covers the sign or the sign is positioned near an unused entrance, it won't deter criminals who might otherwise think your home is an easy target.
If you decide to use home security signs, install them in highly visible areas. Consider attaching them to an existing structure, such as the front of your house, rather than staking it into the ground. This way, wind and rain won't uproot signs during a storm.
Protecting Your Home
Your best defense against home invasions and burglaries lies in the physical protection of your house. The best home security system for your family should encompass several protections as well as signage, such as fire alarms, security cameras, and motion detectors. A sign by itself, whether it reflects a particular security company or displays a general warning, cannot protect your home from a determined criminal.
Home security yard signs offer several advantages, but only for consumers who install alarm systems. Don't rely on the false sense of security offered by a sign when burglars can easily disprove an alarm's existence.