If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent poll from AlarmForce, conducted by Environics Research, 27 percent of Canadians rely on a large dog and 16 percent a baseball bat/golf club to defend against break-ins. Nearly a quarter of us don’t use any form of home security at all. Unfortunately, not all homeowners are aware of just what an asset a professional home security system can be, not just for their peace of mind but for their pocketbook as well.

A home will be the biggest lifetime purchase most of us ever make. Yet, buying a house is not only a financial investment — it’s an investment in our family, our sense of community, and our future. While we usually factor in the safety of a home and surrounding neighbourhood when buying a property, many of us don’t always give enough thought to how we can actually ensure our home’s security.

A majority of Canadians (76 percent) correctly believe that monitored home security systems add value to their homes. Indeed, over 40 percent of homeowners looking to purchase a new home have a pre-installed home security system on their must-have checklist. Yet, despite the obvious value an alarm system contributes to a property, some of us may rely a little too much on our neighbour’s vigilance to thwart thieves. The poll found that while 76 percent of Canadians feel their neighbours are generally aware of suspicious activities in their area, when asked who is more likely to notice unusual activities, 75 percent of respondents felt they were actually more likely to notice than their neighbours.

Reliable protection and cost savings on insurance

For those who have invested in a security system, several items stand-out as especially valuable features. An overwhelming majority of poll respondents (80 percent) feel that it’s important to have direct contact between the alarm company and emergency services. Many people also believe voice response by the security company is important as is the ability to remotely arm/disarm their home security systems.

"A majority of Canadians (76 percent) correctly believe that monitored home security systems add value to their homes."

While a professional security system may not have the cuddle-factor of a Fido, it certainly provides a much more reliable form of protection. Furthermore, what many homeowners don’t realize is having an alarm system can actually save them money in the long run because installing a system reduces insurance rates. Insurance companies will give policy holders as much as 20 percent off their annual premiums. These insurance savings can go a long way towards helping to offset your annual monitoring subscription cost, while increasing the safety and value of your home.