7 Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering a Smart Home Protection & Security System
SmartCam, Smart Leak Sensor Kit, Smart Motion Kit, Hedge App, 24/7 Issue Escalations, Water Damage Prevention, Home Protection & Security, Home Tips
Published: July 7, 2021
Choosing the right home protection and security system can put your mind at ease, knowing your family, your home, and your belongings are safe — even when you're away. But with so many options on the market, it can be difficult to narrow down which system is right for you.
The best systems help you and your family feel more secure and comfortable in your home; they address your home protection priorities, and they're easy to use and affordable. To help you select the perfect system for you and your family, here are seven questions to ask yourself as you consider your options.
#1: What am I most interested in protecting? What equipment and features are most important to me?
This question should be top of mind as you begin your evaluation of different home protection systems. What are you most concerned about?
Are you worried about break-ins or package theft and want to be alerted to suspicious motion or noise within or just outside your home when you're not there?
Have you experienced the costly effects of home water damage and are looking for an effective way to stop water-related issues in their tracks?
Or — are you just hoping to check in on your kids (or pets!) when they're home and you're at work or out running errands?
Home security vs. environmental monitoring
Some home protection systems fall into the "home security" realm and feature devices like security cameras and motion detectors to address break-ins and theft. Others are geared toward "environmental monitoring" and include devices like leak sensors that detect water accumulation and too high/low temperature and humidity levels.
Hedge is unique in that it addresses both home security and environmental monitoring, featuring devices that check multiple boxes for homeowners: security cameras, leak sensors, motion detectors, and contact sensors (which monitor doors and windows opening and closing).
#2: How much protection will I need?
When it comes to home protection systems, one size doesn't fit all. You need a system designed to fit your home and lifestyle. Ask yourself these questions to determine how much protection you'll need:
How big is my home or apartment?
Your system should fit the size of the area you need to protect. If you live in an apartment or smaller home, a small system with minimal equipment might suffice. If you live in a larger home, you'll have to cover more ground (literally), and should choose a more robust system.
How many areas do I want to protect?
In addition to the sheer size of your home, you should also consider the number of entry points, bathrooms, or other areas you'd like to protect (for example, your small home might happen to have just as many sinks and toilets as a home twice its size!). Fortunately, some systems — Hedge included — give you the option to customize your system with add-on devices.
#3: What is my budget?
With a variety of options to choose from, it's possible to find a home protection system to fit virtually any budget. Even a streamlined system with just a few devices can provide adequate protection for your family and your home (Hedge's Prevent Package is one such example, starting at just $74.99).
As your budget allows, you can select a larger, more advanced system — like Hedge's Protect Package, which clocks in at $109.99. With more budget to play with, you can customize either system with add-on devices for more comprehensive security.
When it comes to budget, another important consideration is one-time vs. continual fees. Don't be fooled by a low initial cost followed by expensive monthly payments. If you prefer a one-and-done scenario, look for a system like Hedge; with Hedge, there are no monthly fees, cancellation fees, or long-term contracts.
#4: What are my installation preferences? Do I want a professionally installed system or one I can install myself?
The installation process for your home protection system depends on what type you purchase.
Traditional wired system: professional installation
A traditional wired system requires professional installation, as it usually involves drilling and wiring to connect the security sensors. The pros? You won't have to do any of the work — a trained professional will do it for you. The cons? These types of systems usually come with expensive installation fees and/or monthly payments, long-term contracts, and cancellation fees.
Wireless system: DIY installation
Wireless systems are typically much easier to install as they don't require drilling or wiring. Hedge, for example, is delivered in the mail ready to go; all you need to do is place the devices around your home and connect them via the Hedge App. (Curious what else Hedge installation entails? Take a sneak peek at our simple setup guide.)
What about monitoring? Do I want professional or self-monitoring?
Similar to installation, home monitoring falls within two categories: professional monitoring or self-monitoring. Some people feel more at-ease with professional monitoring, while others are comfortable with self-monitoring.
The best systems make self-monitoring simple and effective. Hedge, for example, makes it easy to add "secondary users" to the account to share responsibility. Hedge also includes a 24/7 issue escalation process that acts as a safeguard in the event that you're unable to receive an alert notification (for example if you've turned your phone off or don't have service).
The 24/7 issue escalation process involves a series of notifications, texts, and calls to you and other users on your account — followed by your emergency contact — and is included with Hedge. In contrast — professional monitoring typically includes monthly fees above and beyond the cost of the system itself.
#5: Does the system include a mobile app? What is that experience like?
The best home protection systems make it easy for you to monitor your home from your phone — no matter if you're down the street or across the country. Hedge's mobile app connects you to your smart home devices on the go; if they detect an issue, you'll receive an immediate app notification.
You can also use the Hedge App to access the SmartCam's live stream and use two-way audio. Another benefit? The Hedge App enables a special feature called auto-arm, which involves your system automatically "arming" and "disarming" depending on whether you're home.
#6: What does the system look like aesthetically?
Design matters. At least some of your home devices will likely be visible — so it's important that they're visually appealing. Many systems offer small yet powerful devices that seamlessly blend into their surroundings. Hedge's all-white devices are streamlined and stylish, so you won't mind setting them up in high-traffic, visible locations.
#7: What special features and benefits does the system offer?
While there are some characteristics shared by many protection systems, some are relatively unique. Taking into account these differentiating features can help you decide which system is right for you.
24/7 Issues Escalations via Text, Call, and Emergency Contact
As previously mentioned, Hedge includes 24/7 issue escalations via text, call, and emergency contact. When your Hedge devices detect certain "high-priority" events (like water accumulation) the escalation pipeline activates: notifications, texts, and calls alert you and other account users, followed by your emergency contact. If there's a serious problem within your home, Hedge won't stop until you're aware of it.
Water Damage Prevention
Water damage is one of the most common types of insurance claims, affecting roughly one in fifty insured homeowners each year. Included in all Hedge packages are three Leak Sensors that address the very real potential for water damage head-on: by alerting you to even a drop of water accumulation (as little as .5mm) plus shifts in humidity and temperature outside your specified range, which could indicate a water-related problem like freezing pipes or mold.
Potential Insurance Discounts
Some insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who take proactive action to protect their home from things like water damage, fire, and theft. American Family customers who get Hedge may be eligible for this type of discount (check with your agent!).
Choosing the right home protection and security system requires a bit of research and careful analysis. But — if you keep these considerations in mind — you'll have an easier time selecting the right system for your family, your home, and your lifestyle.