[OMG] Very Interesting: How Americans Spend Their Money When It Comes To Home Security Systems

Americans Spending Habits title image 2Home security is slowly becoming a necessity to every American home.

But our research tells us a rather interesting story:

31% of Americans don’t have security at home… And 90% of that are average earning consumers!

(More on that later)

The Myth:

It comes at a cost and most people are quite concerned about it.

The truth:

Nowadays the whole thing can be set up at a good price and a reasonable one!

The Fact:

  • The U.S. News and World Report has reported a total of $20 billion dollars spent on wireless home security systems last 2011 – and that it is expected to reach $34 billion by 2017! What aided this growth is the increasing affordability of these home security systems and the people’s desire to protect their home.
  • According to the FBI 2,000,000 home burglaries are reported each year in the United States alone.
  • About 30% of these are burglaries are through unlocked doors or windows and around 60% of these burglaries happen in residential homes.
  • Most of these crimes happen during the summer as many people take their vacations and leaves. (renters aren’t excused in these strings of crimes.)

Homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be broken into by burglars.

According to FBI statistics, a burglary happens every 13 seconds in the US. And only 17% of the entire population have security systems.

The fact of the matter is, 85% of these burglaries are done by amateurs and are likely to result to violence.

Burglars prefer homes with easy access and most thieves use simple tools like a crowbar to break in. And worse; Police dismiss 13% of the reported cases because of lack of evidence or witnesses.

Despite all that…

How are we behaving towards home security?

The graphics below will explain consumer spending habits when it comes to home security system:


Americans Spending Habits when it comes to home security systems

Security Package Versus DIY Home Security Systems

There are only 2 things to consider:

  1. The installation fee
  2. The recurring monthly charges for monitoring.

This will depend on the chosen plan, feature or upgrade you will choose.

A basic installation package gives the customer a control panel and sensors for all entry points in a location, offering panic buttons for certain emergencies.

The prices will only go up if you add additional costs that go outside your package and will procure additional installation costs as well.  (Additional equipments include more reliable motion detectors, cameras, window sensors, automated controls, lighting and alarms for gas and fires.)

The best part?

A home security has an average installation charge of only 70 to 100 hundred dollars – This already includes the wireless configurations (unless you want to go with a basic package which is cheaper also cheaper).

A more advanced and high-tech wireless home security system that has more features can go up to 1000 dollars for installation alone.

Basic equipment will cost between $600 to $1,200 according to Robert Siciliano, a personal security assistant based on Boston.

After buying the security system however, you’ll only have to pay $15 to $100 for monthly monitoring. Average price is most likely around $30.

Simply stated, most companies offer from one-year to three-year contracts. Some companies don’t have that type of bond, a good example would be SimpliSafe. It’s a bit costly but at least you can save money on your home insurance, ranging from 20 to 45 percent.

The good thing about having a professional installation is you get to sit back and relax while professionals do all the work for you. But it does come at a cost and some people may not want that.

To give you a better view:


  • You don’t have to lift a finger
  • Get help from actual Professionals
  • Discounts might be given


  • Pay for Installation fees
  • Little to no control over setup
  • Must reserve an appointment

DIY installations are free and doesn’t require a professional. Although you might need to reconsider your commitments for the weekend installation. What’s great though is that you can install, configure and customize it to your own needs! Isn’t that great!


  • Save Money On Huge Installation Fees
  • Install on your time
  • Setup the system according to your preference
  • No Visitors


  • You do the ALL the work
  • No professional help
  • Higher Equipment Cost

Monthly Charges For Home Security Services

Monthly fees range from $20 to $100 and some go as low as $27 a month.

Some pay $29.95 for the first and last month fees paid in advance and get all the security features for free.

This basic package includes:

  • 3 door sensors
  • 1 motion detector
  • yard and window signs

Some even pay as high as $1,800 for their home security system, but this already includes some extras like a 3-year monitoring plus you get to keep your equipment afterwards.

For wireless ones, a monthly charge of $30 to $50 is average for a decent wireless setup.

Smoke Alarms, Fire Extinguishers And Wireless Cameras

Most smoke alarms cost between $6 and $40 while fire extinguisher will run around $20 to $80.

Smoke alarms are quite affordable – depends on where you buy it. The defining factor on its price depends on its bells, whistles and sensitivity.

Most fire extinguishers can be bought in any hardware store – The same with fire escape ladders.

A 13-foot ladder may cost around $60 – $80 depending on which company you buy it from.

As for wireless cameras:

They are available from $100 to $500 depending on size and quality.

You can connect these cameras to your smartphone or tablet and they will double as your video monitor. They used to be very expensive a while back ranging from the lowest price $500 up to $1000 while black-and-white monitors are sold for $600 to $700.

Here are some features that may add installation costs:

  • motion detectors
  • window sensors
  • cameras, automation
  • emergency lighting
  • alarms for smoke
  • fire detection

Growth of Home Security

Chad Laurens, the CEO of SimpliSafe, said that his security system business had a 60 percent sale growth after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The Wall Street Journal also confirmed that Sequoia invested a whopping $57 million in SimpliSafe.

But it’s not just Chad Laurens…

A bevy of new startups are utilizing Internet of things and smart home technology to bring new and competitive alternatives to traditional home security and, more critically, new business models to the home security market.

Dropcam was previously just a maker of Wi-Fi cameras, but due to the unforeseen growth of the security market, they decided to venture into it as well.

They are offering low-cost DIY home security solutions and just like a few other startups like Korner and Canary, they are providing basic home security for a 100 dollars or less.

Some, like Dropcam,  first forayed into the market under the guise of a gadget that most consumers bought for reasons other than security, but are finding that with a simple product extension they can morph the offering into a low-cost DIY home security solution. While crowdfunded startups are creating purpose built systems that provide basic home security for a couple hundred dollars or less.

Home Security Types

There are 2 types of home security system available on the market:

#1 Traditional and professionally installed and third-party monitored systems

The most famous companies under this type are Frontpoint and Protect America. They compose 4.7% of the home security market.

Telecom companies such as Comcast and AT&T are currently offering them as well. This type of home security system takes up 93% of the home-security market.

Obviously, they charge customers a one-time installation fee.

#2 Self-Installed and Professionally monitored setups.

Requires DIY installation of both hardware and software and require a monthly subscriber fee for added values like 24/7 professional hot lines (when your house marks a red dot on their radar they call the local authorities in your behalf).

Scout, Blink and Link Interactive are some of the popular choices today.  They are very independent systems and don’t require any third-party monitoring.

This system leaves users the ability to setup their home security and control who is going to be notified in case of emergencies. They only compose 2.3% of the market, but are currently growing in numbers.

Citigroup has predicted that self installed monitored systems will gain control of 34% of the market in five years with professional systems going down by 61.6%.

In twenty years, self-monitored systems are projected to reach 62.5% in the US Market.

But here’s the kicker:

Younger customers (people under the age of 45 years old) are more likely to purchase the equipment from a tech firm or repair store, spend a hefty sum of money and install it themselves.

What’s your 2 cents on home security system?

DIY or professionally installed: Which one would you prefer?

Let us hear your thoughts in the comment section below!


Hodgson, Karyn. ‘State of the Market: Alarm Systems’. 2015. Web. 14 Apr 2016. <sdmmag.com>
Well-being Files, United States Cenus Bureau. 2013. Web. 14 Apr 2016. <census.gov>
ESA Communications. ‘The Hard Facts on Home Security’. 2016. 14 Apr 2016. <esaweb.org>
Income Data State Median. United States Census Bureau. 2015.14 Apr 2016. <census.gov>
Williams, Geoff. ‘The Cost of Keeping Your Home Safe’. US News Money. 2013. Web. 14 Apr 2016. <usnews.com>
Occupational Employment Statistics. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2015. Web. 14 Apr 2016 <bls.gov>
IControl Insights Blog. ‘State of the Smart Home Report’. 2015. Web. 14 Apr 2016. <icontrol.com>


Becoming a dad ignited my interest in home security. I started with security systems and quickly fell in love with the fast-evolving internet of things (IoT). I love to review home security and smart home products, and learn about new technologies in the IoT space.

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