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LuckyGuy's avatar

As a rule of thumb, how much is reasonable to spend on home and personal security?

Asked by LuckyGuy (43780points) November 5th, 2023
13 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I am asking for an answer as a percentage of the asset value.
For example, the rule of thumb for a hunting rifle is the optics should cost between 50% and 100% of the value of the rifle. You put an expensive scope on an expensive rifle and an inexpensive one on cheap rifle.
Is there a similar rule for home security? If your home and property is worth say $1 million do you invest 1% of the value, $10,000, on a system? What if everything is worth 1/10 of that ?
How much of your time and money is spent on security, like locking doors, installing locks, and monitoring equipment? Are you checking cameras constantly?
We spend very little and don’t lock doors.
(Do you know where our front door key is hidden? We don’t know either.)
What about you?

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Blackwater_Park's avatar

Very situational. IMO, where you live makes the most difference. If I live in the suburbs near a small town in a safe area and I don’t have much worth stealing,then not much. If I live in a metro area with high crime and I have expensive assets, then a lot.

janbb's avatar

I spend almost nothing on home security. I lock the door if I am going to be gone most of the day and I have a motion sensor light by the front steps. I live in a fairly safe suburban neighborhood.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I am 6’5” , 300 lbs. I am the security. So its from my food budget.

JLeslie's avatar

This is the first house I have owned that doesn’t have an alarm. I would prefer to have one, but for whatever reason I haven’t done it.

In my other houses I paid $700 to $4,000, many years ago. Those house were $125,000 to $600,000, when I bought them. So, I guess it was .6—.7% of the house price for basic systems.

The bigger the house the more it costs for a couple of reasons. Back then the sensors were hard wired for every window and door and I had 2 or 3 control pads.

Now, you can buy systems that aren’t wired. They work with apps on your phone, it probably works out cheaper now.

I never paid for monitoring services.

Where I live doesn’t really matter, bad people can go anywhere and everywhere.

smudges's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 I thought I remembered you saying you’re afraid to walk to the store and have difficulty getting out of the house?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@smudges Yes, but they don’t know that. I look menacing enough for anyone to try anything.

smudges's avatar

^^ hahaha! Touche’

canidmajor's avatar

I have an an absurdly loud, fairly big, dog, and I live in a neighborhood with many absurdly loud dogs. The Twilight Bark is ongoing, no chance at all for stealth.

gorillapaws's avatar

Dogs aren’t too expensive, plus they pay you back with love and there are many looking for good homes. I think they’re a fantastic deterrent to would-be home invaders. Just to be clear, I’m not necessarily talking about a big attack dog either. Even a medium-sized family dog will be a good incentive for an intruder to skip your house for the next one.

I also own a crossbow as an absolute last resort, but if someone is breaking into my home, my Plan A, B, C, D, E…K is to get my family and I out and call the police. The absolute last resort would be to get into physical combat with an unknown number of assailants, with unknown weapons and training.

Forever_Free's avatar

I think it depends on the location. Sometimes a piece of paper that says “smile you are on camera” works.
If they want in, a pro will get in no matter the cost of your investment.
My homes are in quiet safe towns that have minimal traffic. While I do lock them while I am away for a day or more, they are not locked at night or if I run an errand.
If I have a renter in one of my spaces, I do lock up. Otherwise, nobody is driving to the top of the ridge or up a private drive on an island.

MrGrimm888's avatar

For personal security?
How valuable is your life?

It’s relevant to consider self condition, personal security.
If you aren’t healthy not much else matters.

Home security, to me, IS personal security.
Bad people have legs, cars, boats, etc. In fact, for bad people, “good/safe” places are essentially hunting grounds.

Assuming that a nefarious character couldn’t find their way to your door or develope from your neighborhood is not wise.
The most dangerous people are like sharks, if they stop moving they’ll die. They commit a series of crimes in an area, and move on.
If you think your neighborhood is safe and nice, so do opportunists. It’s extremely common in my area for “safe” neighborhoods to experience multiple robberies of houses, cars or both. Guns aren’t a deterrent. Small groups run through a neighborhood looking for unlocked vehicles, check the glovebox (the only legal place to keep a firearm,) and move on.

Dogs are great. But if they bark frequently, that’s no indication anything unusual is going on. Conversely, I’ve seen some funny cctv footage of criminals petting family dogs during burglaries.

The Ring systems, and similar products are fairly cheap and to me are a great investment.

Before my liver transplant, I was RDG’s size but I still had a guy try to mug me a few years ago. He had a VERY bad night, but he tried…

I guess my opinion is that there is no proportionate security system, given the fluid variables.

I can agree that, as said above, it can definitely depend on your living situation.
However. I always believe that overlapping, and redundant strategies be applied for best results.

It also bares mention that cost doesn’t mean quality, necessarily. Going with a firearm reference, like the OP, a cheap shotgun is a better choice than a $900+ AR, or even a $600 Glock…
Beer cans on a string could perform similarly to a motion light that could potentially have power or bulb problems.

As I am always preaching situational awareness, I feel I should plug it here. Especially since that’s free.

I have always been a fan of telling people to tie a bell to the entrance doors of their dwelling.
Tie them to the inside door know, and nobody can open the door without making a noise. If you have multiple entrances, I recommend a different bell for each door. That way you know which door has been compromised.
Fishing bells are cheap, and in a cluster of 2–3 will be plenty sensitive.
If there is a door that is rarely/never used, you could easily install a nice slide bolt lock.
Having a chain lock is VERY nice. It won’t stop much, but it is better than nothing when answering doors.
At one of my old places, I even had fishing line with Christmas jingle bells next to my back window.
I would take advantage of plants. Thorny plants under 1st floor windows are pretty effective, and esthetically pleasant…

Having a good relationship with your neighbors helps.

Lastly. Think like a crook.

Walk around your place. How would you get in?
Really put some thought into it.
Some people feel safe because they have a small “doggy door.”
It’s not uncommon for people to get a child to crawl in and open the door for the adult(s.)

For yourself.
Know your weaknesses.
Know your strengths.
Only consider something a strength, if it is proven.
If you jog ,take different routes at different times occasionally.
Don’t put pictures of your children online.
Just don’t make it easy for trouble to find you. Remember that almost all criminals are opportunists…


LuckyGuy's avatar

Wow! GA! I wish I could give you more!

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Sorry it was so long…

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